Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

I read my horoscope last week & it said I needed to run away. I couldn’t agree more.

Tonight, after slowly walking the dogs around the block for the umpteenth million time, while Zephyr wandered away from me, because he’s figured out I can’t grab him if I have Trooper, I’d had it. I took the dogs home, threw their leashed in the basket, grabbed my purse & nearly ran out the door.

My car is gone. It died today again–died is becoming a word my jeep does more often than not now. Everything in my life is dying & breaking–my dogs, my jeep, my apartment. AND I’M TIRED!

So tired, and losing my patience with this slowness, this tedious, every day, slowness and breaking down, so I ran away.

You wouldn’t know it. You would call it “going out for the evening”, but for me, it was running away.

I rode my bike all the way downtown–me, on my bike! I rode all the way to Hot Italian, my new favorite bar/pizza spot–all white, black, marble, very modern. It shines & glitters. It’s clean. It’s  everything my life isn’t right now.

I ordered something with vodka, limoncella & ice. It was splendidly tall & fizzy. I flipped through Italian Elle & ordered fresh basil pizza with a thin, thin crust. And I didn’t think about the dogs once. Not once. No worry, no fretting, no nothing. I was free.

This has got to be what parents feel like when they have just given and given, and one day, that’s just it. There’s nothing left to give, if they don’t give to themselves, and fast.

There are so many things I don’t do anymore– leave town, for one, kayaking, tango. I need more time, out there, or just more time with me, sans dogs.

And the funny thing was, tonight? I wasn’t scared–not sitting alone at the bar, not riding my bike home at dusk without a light, not taking alleys, nothing. I felt free. And free is something I haven’t felt for a very long time.

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We were at the park, & just as I let the dogs off leash to sniff about a redwood while I sipped my coffee, Trooper took off in a mad dash across the green–luckily no golfers were in play–& directly into an enormous Mexican Easter picnic, complete with soccer game and BBQ.

And here comes me, nearly dropping my coffee, hat flapping on my back, waving, as I run, in a “he’s friendly” gesture, which really, depends.

A large flowery mama threw up her hands to stop him but, a swarm of little girls in fanciful party dresses descended upon him, the token Easter bunny, with wide-eyed wonder.

I swooped in and grabbed him, just as a dozen hands reached out to pet him–& perhaps pinch a finger. Trooper–so inviting–will lay against you in the grass forever if you scratch his belly, nuzzle his ears, but strange hands coming at him, all at once, bad plan.

Once rescued–Trooper? The girls?–Mama looked up and smiled. “Whew!” we both agreed, and away we went, back to the redwood, the quiet, while Trooper whined over my shoulder for the bbq. It did smell good.

d, xo

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Here I was working away when Eddie Vedder began singing Hard Sun on Pandora. You know those weird moments, where you see something, or smell a bygone scent, or hear that one song, that propels you back in time? This is that song for me.

Suddenly, I am here: Mission:Wolf, Colorado, elevation 8,000 feet. No electricity, no phones, water from a stream. Closest town: 20 miles, mostly rough dirt roads. See that little one person tent on the left? That’s mine. There are 8 of us humans, & 20-something rescued wolves. The hybrids live down low, but the wolf pack lives on their own territory. Today I hear it has expanded greatly, but this was back in the beginning.


Below: This is Hota Hill. I named it and as far as I know, it’s still the same. I hiked up there a lot. It’s nearly 9,000 feet. I could see forever and never see another man made anything.  If Hota Bear and I howl, the wolves will howl back from across the valley.

Hota hill2

This is Hota Bear. Hota is dog, not wolf, but he’s a rescue at M:W. This is our prayer pole.

Hota hill3

Below, I shot this balancing the camera on a rock. Me & Hota.

Hota hill

And that’s 1989. The year I ran away from home on a moment’s notice & found myself across the country, by myself at this wild grass-roots wolf rescue. Best spontaneous decision ever. xo

If you are interested in wolf rescue, Mission: Wolf still exists, MUCH larger now and more powerful, I hear, than ever.

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Trooper went to the vet today for a sore mouth, but came home & now has a stomach ache–I can hear it roiling–& he’s crawled under my vanity–a place he’s never gone, after I had to force the antibiotics into him, because he wouldn’t eat ANYTHING….sigh.

He bit my finger so hard it’s throbbing. Glad to know those back chompers work…

And today–TODAY–is one year (!) since I found him &…

It scares me when my guys are sick.  It makes the world feel slippery…

Papa was sick this week too, back in the hospital for his heart, and mom was trying so hard to keep a brave face, and we are all of us–mom, dad, me, papa, trying to keep good brave faces while the clock ticks onward.

And there’s nothing I can do about any of it, except try and breathe, try and keep my footing while the ground shimmers and shakes beneath our every step.


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Some days having dogs means being the pariah.

I know my dogs temperaments, their sociability, or not. And I have to remember that other people don’t, the same way I may avoid another dog that looks a bit scary to me, but some days it’s just a big personal knock down.

I walk my dogs twice a day, at least–or they drive me nuts. Plus, I need the exercise too, but today what I really needed was to sip my coffee sitting down, not with leashes wound around my arm, a dog poop bag dangling amongst them while trying not to spill my coffee–oh, that would be bad. So, I did the bad thing–the illegal thing–I took the dogs, on a short leash to sit down inside the playground, the only place where there are benches. (Apparently, only mom’s get to sit down, not the elderly, the infirmed, the park walkers & strollers, just the moms–& sometimes dads.)

I sat at the farthest bench away from the playing kids, and wham the minute by toosh hit the bench a gaggle of mom’s began squawking amongst themselves–catty and loudly, about how dogs don’t belong in the playground. I instantly got up and left. I know they don’t belong here, still, it was mean, and it hurt.

We wandered out into the park, but the dogs can’t be off leash, even in the vast emptiness, even though a drunk was sprawled out on the lawn, asleep. No one calls the police on them, only the dogs. Sigh.

We walked on, my coffee sloshed & I gulped along the way. The dogs  sniffed endless lawns, and peed on everything. There was poop–& I had bags! Still, I have been yelled at by home owners, indignant. One, woman stormed out of her house one day to yell at me while I was leaning over with the bag, “How dare you! I would NEVER let my dog poop in someone else’s yard.”

I want to say, “Where should they go? Your neighbor’s lawn? Or the one across the street? It’s a fucking lawn for Christ’s sake! I’m picking it up. Get a new hobby already!” Sacramentan’s and their lawns, it’s a strange attachment.

Some people are not necessarily pleased but shout out, “Thank you!” as they walk by as if I were doing it for them personally–as if I wouldn’t do it if they weren’t looking.

It’s the price of living in a cramped urban space. I get it. And there are plenty of dog owners who don’t pick up after their dogs–who are dangerous, or unpredictable, who really don’t’ belong in the playground ever, but today, I just needed a bench, under a tree, so the dogs could sniff around and I could take in the breeze, the birds and sip my coffee in peace.

d xo

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Over 100 degrees again today and Zephyr refused to come indoors near the AC. He spent his day prostrate on the garage concrete floor. Time for a little hose action! Zephyr loves to play in the hose.

Look at that face?  A moment of complete happiness. We grab then wherever and whenever we can. ❤

d, xo

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I got up early today, 8 a.m. I know YOU don’t think that’s early, but I do. So there.

I got up early because the temperature is supposed to reach 102 degrees and the dogs needed walking. I will get up for them. I will not get up for anything else–not coffee, not bacon, not even waffles. I am NOT a morning person. I never have been. Ask my mother.

So we walked TO coffee. Coffee that was perhaps 1/2 a mile away, but felt like 5, because the dogs had to stop. And sniff. And pee. On every. Single. Solitary. Tree. Lawn. Bush. Stick. It was agony. I carried Trooper part way just to put some lead on it.

Zephyr was stauled on a particulary intriguing tree when this ratchety old woman resting her bunions on a porch railing, whaled, “HEY! Don’t let your dog pee on my tree!!” This confuses me, greatly. Her tree was probably a hundred year old oak, and Zephyr peeing on it wasn’t going to DO anything to it. It’s a gnat on an elephant. A spritz on a whale. Seriously, lady, go tend to your bunions. They’re gross.

Onward, we spotted matching Siamese cats lounging in a driveway. I’m not a fan, either is Zephyr, who walked way around them. Trooper rarely notices such oddities.

A man went whizzing past on a bike, wearing an iRAPTURE shirt. All I could imagine was a techie born-again Christian, and I wondered if Jesus would be texting before his arrival?

Finally, I got my coffee and a croissant, but someone, somewhere, sometime, had PEED on the bakery patio, and I quickly lost my appetite, ditched the croissant & we walked back. Dog pee I noted, does not smell NEARLY as bad as human pee. In case you were wondering.

The temperature was rising, my coffee was soothing. the dogs seemed to walk faster, or me slower. The return trip is always better–the pooping is out of the way–bagging dog poop does not lend well to the aroma of sipping coffee, FYI.

And the grande finale? I stopped to ask the postman a question, and he didn’t speak English…so much for my illusions of  the postal service as the all-American grand gesture of the wild west. *Sigh*

This neighborhood is just strange.

d, xo

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What are you doing in the corn, or do I want to know?

Remember: when gardening with pets–dogs, cats, hamsters, bunnies, chickens & ducks too!

Be careful to avoid pesticides and garden chemicals, especially snail bait. Animals will eat ANYTHING–and lick the ground or plants where sprays have landed. These chemicals can be highly toxic and you might not always notice their effects right away.

Play and garden safely with your pets. 🙂

d and the dogs.

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Look at these two. All day long I get this look. How do I get any work done?

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Trooper is very patient in the bath, even when I splash his ears, but once he’s out, oh, my.

He shakes & whimpers (of course, there isn’t much too him). I bundle him up in multiple towels–always as wet as he is–then scurry him off to the space heater and the blow dryer.

Zephyr checking out what all the fuss is about.

Look at that forlorn face! Oh, the suffering!

Once, he’s warm enough he squirms away like a two-year old, frumping and scratching, barking and shaking, then scampers down the stairs to roll on the carpeted landing in great flourish, before he starts the process all over again. 

Once I coax some food into him, he’ll acquiesce, let me carry him back upstairs to his bed, where he burrows under his blanket.

Life is rough for our new little prince, but we love him–well, I do anyway. Zephyr will have to speak for himself.

d, xo



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