A Moment to Paws…

It’s ‘National Pet Day’…. and for my photo challenge #9, there is no finer subject that our dear sweet dog, Friday.  She is the subject of many photos, an abundance of cuddles, and is the ‘Smackiland therapy dog’, offering warm hellos, sad good-byes, many laughs and much love to her pack.

She is part ‘Catahoula’ (which is the official state dog of Louisiana) and all love; she is mischievous yet well-behaved, unless she comes across a squirrel, rabbit or other such furry creature, and then, well, all bets are off.   I wrote a blog post about her many moons ago, which you can read here, which also includes our incredible gratitude to the many amazing, kind and generous people who rescued and loved her on the long journey to our door.

IMG_0062

Advertisements

Words of Wonder

I have always loved and adored the written word, and poetry in particular has always felt very moving;  like the image of tall grasses dancing in the wind.

It has been a number of year since I was so very fortunate to visit my Uncle Paul at his cottage on Chandos Lake, Ontario.  While I was growing up in Alberta as a young girl, he had already been living in the St. Catherine’s area, so I wasn’t able to see him often.  But when I moved to Ontario many a moon ago, I would visit when I could, and wait with bated breath as I clung to the words he shared of his youth or quietly ponder life as we stared out over the lake in silence.  His blue eyes, so reminiscent of my mom’s would sparkle with mischievousness as he relived his tales, and I would feel a special connection to home.   I don’t recall sharing my love of poetry with him, but I remember what a kind and loving gesture it was when he gifted me this book, and how he instinctively knew I would cherish it.  Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but I will always look back with fondness and gratitude for those moments in time I was able to spend with him.

Candian Poets book

Photo Challenge #3

Below is a poem from this book, written by Norah M Holland, a poet from Collingwood, Ontario. I thought this fitting, in my melancholy moment recalling memories of Uncle Paul… and seeing as our sweet Oreo (who sadly is also no longer with us) would accompany both Big D and I on our trips to the lake, it seemed applicable.

The Little Dog-Angel

High up in the courts of Heaven to-day
   A little dog-angel waits;
With the other angels he will not play.
   But he sits alone at the gates;
‘For I know that my master with come,’ says he:
‘And when he comes he will call for me.’

He sees the spirits that pass him by
    As they hasten towards the Throne.
And he watches them with a wistful eye
    As he sits at the gates alone;
‘But I know if I just wait patiently
That some day my master will come,’ says he.

And his master, far on the earth below,
    As he sits in his easy chair,
Forgets sometimes, and he whistles low
    For the dog that is not there;
And the little dog-angel cocks his ears,
And dreams that his master’s call he hears.

And I know, when at length his master waits
    Outside in the dark and cold
For the hand of Death to ope the gates
    That lead to those courts of gold,
The little dog-angel’s eager bark
Will comfort his soul in the shivering dark.

Friday(s)

TGIF blog banner2

I have always wished that every day could feel like Friday.  AhhhhhFridays.  A day, where you wake up with optimism; a keen new perspective on the day ahead and inner reflection on the week that is ending.  I’m deep like that.  Friday’s fly by quickly (making the rest of the week seem even longer!), people aren’t as serious (they’re sometimes even dog-gone pleasant!), and you know with a degree of certainty that you won’t have to hit the dreaded ‘snooze’ button five times on Saturday morning.  Oh, glorious Saturday!  You carry a sense of anticipation throughout the day for the never-ending possibility of what Friday night’s activities may entail; where you can do as little or as much as you would like.  Well, I can; everyone else must adhere to my delegated task list!

Mouks loves Friday’s because school’s out for the weekend, and it’s ‘Pizza Day’, where he can gorge himself with his favourite food.   (Because, seriously, what 10-year-old boy does not love a little ‘ZZA?!)   He is excited for a full night of hangin’ out, and staying up late – and he literally radiates with anticipation for his first buddy to arrive for what will be an ENTIRE marathon weekend of Lego and Wii.  Whereas I am carefully devising my ‘mental preparedness plan’, which includes when, where and how long, to nap.

When I asked the Big D, why Friday is his favourite day he replied with his usual philosophical wisdom (and witty chuckle; the one where he laughs at his own joke before he tells it),  “‘Cause it’s Friday”.  Ahhh yes…. profound.  What’s not to love?! 

Friday’s are Hopeful.  Optimistic.  Joyful.  And now, every day is Friday, in Smackiland.Friday for Blog

Exactly 363 days after our beloved Snor’eo passed away, many months of mourning and oceans full of tears later, we welcomed a new pooch in the ville to share all of our pent up puppy love with.  No shortage of a supply in our abode!

And, very fittingly, her name, is FRIDAY. (T.G.I.F!)

And now, every day, we are greeted as though we are the most awesome’est pack in the whole animal kingdom, with full body tail wags and slobbery kisses.

Friday’s Favourite Pastimes:  Hunting for duck stuffies, snorking the stuffing out of ducks stuffies, chewing rawhides (and duck stuffies), tearing apart boxes (ohhhh, and did I mention, duck stuffies?), begging for food, running, playing, hugging, sleeping, cuddling.  (And hogging the bed).

Date of Birth:  Some time mid-July 2012.  Six months and still growing.

Breed:  Catahoula / Mountain Cur Mix.  (Yup…. Gotta love ‘google’; apparently, the Catahoula Leopard Dog is the official dog for the State of Louisiana!)  – We lovingly call her our little Catahooligan! 

Place of Birth: Ashland, Kentucky (American born; Just like the Big D!)

Originally Rescued by:  AARF, Ashland Animal Rescue Fund in Kentucky
Ottawa Rescue AgencyCatahoula Rescue Inc. (Ontario) Ottawa

Heartfelt thanks and gratitude to:Friday, blog puppy pic

  • Those who first rescued this sweet little ‘pupper-do’.
  • Those who pulled her from the shelter and saw her potential.
  • Those who housed her, fed her, cared for her and gave her medical attention before she even made the trek to the Great White North.
  • Those who transported her and nurtured her during what was surely a very long journey.
  • Those who pulled the strings behind the scenes in Canada to bring her here knowing that eventually she would find her ‘pack’, and for continuing to  save the lives of countless other furry friends.  Gloria Baggs, the rumours are true; you are amazing!
  • Those who donated funds, food, supplies, time, effort into helping our little Friday, and all of her puppy pals.
  • Those who adopted from a rescue agency opening up a space for her to be saved.
  • Those who foster these sweet dogs with comfort, understanding and unconditional love, until they find their new families.  Trish McQuhae you TOTALLY rock!  And Diesel, you giant great dane puddy-tat, we have photo evidence of some Friday cuddles!
  • To all those countless others who understand that a rescued dog may actually be the one rescuing you.
  • And to our beloved dog Oreo… thank you for opening our hearts to how truly amazing life can be, when a ‘pupper-do’ becomes part of your family.

ben and friday blog polaroid

Doggy Days…

Once upon a time there was a beautiful hound dog named Oreo, that snored her way into our hearts. (a.k.a Roar’eo, Snor’eo, Big O).  When the Big D and I got our first apartment (after a brief stint in his bachelor pad;  yup, those were close quarters;  we MUST’VE been in love!), we saw an ad in the community paper for some puppies that had been abandoned in a knapsack on the side of a road; 2 had suffocated, but 10 survived.  (Yeah… I know… it breaks my heart, disturbs me, and makes me so sad and mad all at the same time.  We said all the same bad words, so don’t hold back on my account)!  Anger aside, we opted for a visit, and there was one itty bitty black and white pooch left, named Oreo, who was about 8 weeks old.  We went to see her, she sniffed us, gave us slobbery kisses and showed off by  ‘peeing on the potty paper’.  It was love…. we brought her home the day after Valentine’s 1997.  She immediately made herself at home, flopped down on a floor cushion and proceeded to saw some serious Z’s.  Even though she was only the size of a football, her snores echoed throughout the apartment (and down the block).

We took Snor’eo everywhere.  One year we packed up my little red Festiva (ya-ya-ya-ya!!!) and drove to PEI for a bit of October car camping.  Okay… so we didn’t put a lot of forethought into how cold it would ACTUALLY  be and “yowza!” it was c-h-i-l-l-y!  In our little 3 man tent, Snor’eo kept us warm and she loved to chew on freshly cut firewood and hang out by the campfire in the hopes that a few dropped marshmallows would roll her way.   We explored the island and had a great trip.

Confederation Bridge

I remember being terrified to drive over that crazy long Confederation bridge that connects PEI to New Brunswick.  So, there I sat, petrified, as the Big D calmly maneuvered the car onto the bridge for the trek back home…. and then, as the car was gently rocking back and forth in the wind, I noticed it.

It was quite faint at first, actually.  I gave the air a quick ‘sniff’, and then it increased in pungency, creeping its way from the back seat, engulfing the car with its wicked stench.  It was the overpowering smell of terror that had escaped from Snor’eo’s bottom side.   She must’ve ‘passed wind’ in fear, and the stench was even more ferocious than her bark!  So, in true smacki fashion I made up a wee song to ease her nerves and mine, which I sang until we reached the other side safely…

“Your bum’s as big as PEI… as PEI… as PEI”
“Your bum’s as big as PEI.. and it smells like ocean fish!”

Some days, like today, I get very melancholy, especially when I remember her fondly in her heyday. It’s been just over nine months, since she passed on to the big doggy bone heaven in the sky, and not a day goes by in our house that we don’t miss that big ball of burly love.

She died the week before Christmas, 2011;  just shy of fifteen years old. It shook us all, even though we knew the days we had with her were getting shorter.  On that fateful Saturday, she faithfully followed the Big D into work, hoping to get her share of pepperoni from the pizzeria next door, and maybe some extra crust, as she did on most days.  It was there, later that morning, that she had her last bite of roasted chicken, and took her final breath in the Big D’s arms.

We all miss her.  Mouks had a really hard time, especially for the first few months.  He was nine at the time, and would lay in bed on many nights, write her name in the air, and cry;  deep hearted sobs of loss in the darkness, over the dog he loved so much.  It is one thing to lose your beloved pet, and to have to cope with that loss.  It is another, to see your child in despair, as he mourns the loss of his cherished pooch, and to watch him struggle to try and comprehend what happens when one dies.

I remember crying (well, more like bawling, with gushing tears and wet boogers) to the Big D one night and saying that I didn’t want to get another dog (EVER), because I didn’t want to feel this overwhelming sense of loss again.  But now, 9 months later, I feel differently.  A void is still left in our little family from the place she held in our lives.  We all know that big ball of love can never really be replaced, but we are getting closer to the stage where we can imagine another exuberant hound dog becoming part of our clan.   NOT, that I’ve been scouring through all the Ottawa rescue sites on a frequent basis, searching for the right ronker to live with us in Smackiland, or anything like that….   But, secretly, in my heart, I know that Roar’eo would like us to save another furry soul and open our hearts to loving another pooch one day.