Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Lovely weather

It's springlike outside, and hard to believe the first day of winter is almost here.  I'm still going for a walk with Gabe most days, although I usually have second thoughts when I'm cleaning him up afterward.  Almost every time we walk (OK, I walk, he runs circles around me), he disappears down below to get a drink at the spring and, in so doing, gets mud up to his elbows.  Do dogs have elbows and knees?  Anyway, I can't just hold his feet under a faucet when we're done; he kicks and struggles until I end up getting soaked; so I've started getting a plastic tub half-filled with water to stand him in when we get back to the house.  Then there's the several minutes it takes to get all the stick-tights out of his fur, with him biting and fighting me all the time because he thinks I'm hurting him.  Here's the pile of stick-tights from yesterday after I bathed him.  Those beggar-lice comb out a lot easier when he's wet, I've found.

Gabe thinks he is master of the universe when he's out running in the pasture.
Can you tell I was lying on my belly on the ground to take this picture?
I had totally given up going for walks some time ago because of knee pain, but I've learned if I walk slowly, I can handle at least a half-hour daily.  I walked fast for so many years trying to get aerobic exercise that it's unnatural to me to slow down.  My knees take a real pounding when I walk fast!  I regret ever getting a knee replacement on the left knee, since it only gave me relief for the first few months:  now both knees hurt equally.  But I can still walk, and for that, I'm thankful!

The grandson and his wife got a new Great Dane puppy last weekend.  He seems to have the same disposition as Titan, the Great Dane they used to have.  Gabe is happy to have a playmate come and see him.
He's only three months old; his name is Apollo.  He was terribly shy the first day, and sort of scared.  When Heather brought first him over, his tail was tucked between his legs and he was whining.  I don't believe he'd been socialized much by the breeders.  Gabe brought him out of his shell at their first meeting, and he has settled into his new home just fine.  On a sadder note, the oldest granddaughter's dog, Sophie, had to be put down Saturday.  She'd been having seizures for a long time.  

Here's a picture of me holding Sophie when Amber first got her.  There's sort of a story behind this picture:  I'd been crying all day and had to force a smile for the camera because my dog, Mandy, had been run over earlier the same day.  There seems to be a pattern here:  One dog dies, another one comes along.  

I had a wonderful friend named Shirley, now deceased, who loved all animals with a passion I couldn't understand.  In fact, I laughed about how she worried about varmints like the opossums and raccoons, when I've hated them for being chicken-killers.  Shirley (I always called her by her nickname, 2E) wrote little poems, essays, and such.  After living most of her life across the river in Richmond, she and her husband moved to Napoleon, and that's where she lived when I first met her.  She worked at the rest home in Richmond, so she had quite a little drive through the country to work.  She got truly depressed at all the road kill she saw on her drive.  Back then I'd tell Cliff about it and we'd laugh together about her concern, because in our book, the only good possum is a dead possum.  The same goes for raccoons.  But she had a tender heart.

Putting words on paper was sort of a therapy for her, and she finally came to accept all that death by writing a little story she entitled "The Circle of Life", which she typed off and shared with me.  I think she might have even given me a copy at the time, but I don't seem to have it now.  Her daughters came by after her death and shared some things of hers they thought I'd like, and I asked them about that particular essay.  They don't recall it.  In a nutshell, she wrote that she was was finally able to deal with all those dead animals by realizing death is a part of the circle of life.  One dies, another is born, and life goes on.  Once she looked at the big picture, she could deal with it.  Her essay came to mind this weekend when Amber called, sobbing, to tell me she was ready to put Sophie down, and then on the same day, Arick and Heather got a new puppy.  

It sure left a big hole when Shirley Coen left this world.

I've read two books in the last four days.  The first, "All the Ugly and Wonderful Things", is probably the most riveting book I've ever read.  My emotions were all over the place.  Some folks might not want to finish it, once they get halfway through it.  It's a good book, it just shook me up, and I can't get it out of my head.  There's some pretty explicit sex in it (not romantic sex).  I don't want to recommend a book without giving that warning, because some people might want to pass on it.  Then today I finished "Little Fires Everywhere", another one that makes you think about your values.  Why is it so easy to find a great book to read, yet so difficult to find a movie I like?        

I believe that's it for today.  



Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

Not too long ago I checked out a book about Mormons splinter group who practice polygamy and arrange for very very young girls to be married to middle-aged men. What was happening to these young girls was so disturbing, I had to stop reading it. Good that you give a warning about explicit stuff before you recommend something. Had I known in advance what the book was going to describe I never would have checked it out in the first place. Spring like weather here too. Lovely and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Calfkeeper said...

I remember the coming and going of various pets I had growing up. The circle of. Life was part of my growing up. Ellen has had that to a certain extent with the cows and calves, but not with beloved pets. I believe she will have trouble with it as well.

Thank you for listing your books. I am running out of reading ideas. I just finished “The Tattooer of Auschwitz.” Very hard read. There has been only one book I couldn’t finish, a novel about teen suicide. I couldn’t finish it.

Sister--Three said...

Are both the books fiction?

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your weather is much the same as ours. We are to be close to 50 degrees today. No snow, lots of mud. Yes, life is a circle that goes on and on. And I always have that that books are much better than movies.

Margie's Musings said...

Our library Book Club reviewed "Little Fires Everywhere" this past month. I read it for that occasion. This month we are doing "The Red Garden" by Alice Hoffman. You might be interested in that one.

Margaret said...

I enjoy reading thought provoking books for my Book Club because I like discussing them. We read Little Fires and had a good conversation about it.

Debby said...

I love books and rarely find a movie that I like better than the book itself. So I tend to skip the movies altogether. Books are so much richer. Books can switch perspective and books allow you to see into the mind of the characters. I could be very happy without television. It would be a hard life without books.

Debby said...

PS I like your dog!