Category Archives: Happiness

The Price

IMG_1373I said I wasn’t going to do it again.  I wasn’t going to set myself up for heartbreak and regret, but I did and Iris lies curled up on the bed I made, trusting me, needing me to do what is best for her, so I will try.

One of three little sisters tossed out to fend for themselves, beautiful lab/spaniel mixes, one black and the other two brown and gold, and Iris has green eyes that follow me, waiting to see what I’m going to do.  She’s not sure of me, not yet convinced I won’t bring pain to her poor neglected body and at the same time she’s terrified I will leave her.  It takes time so I will be patient and my hands will be gentle.IMG_1372

She can’t understand what’s happening, doesn’t know that I am trying to help her, and she misses the warmth and comfort of her sisters’ bodies against her and softly cries for them.  She doesn’t know that Daisy has already died of parvo and that she and her other sister, Lilly, who is with another foster, may find themselves in the grip of this terrible sickness as well.   They’ve been to the vet, have all the medications and the vet says it’s 50/50 now, so we wait. In the meantime, with good food, medicines and vitamins, we will fight this as hard as we can.   I’m trying not to love her, I’m afraid of the loss of her, but already I feel the attachment that binds me to her, I love her already.  There is the price of  inevitably losing her one way or another that will be paid, either to sickness or to her forever home, but I will gladly give her up to someone else if she will just hold on to life.

IMG_1350How can you not feel compassion for the helpless, the discarded and abused? I still cannot comprehend such apathy, but it no longer surprises me.

The innocent and invisible in our world so often suffer. We must ease that suffering where we find it, we must respond to the ones that fall in our path, the ones across the city, or across the world. When we can hold out our own two hands to help we must, and those times we cannot, we should support the work of others.

It is my time now and I will do everything I can for Iris, we will take walks in the sunshine and she’ll rest on her IMG_1386bed and I will tell her that she will live a long happy life and find her forever family.  If, however, in spite of the medicines and care the worst happens, then with sorrow I will pay that price instead, a price rescuers know all too well.  I will hold her on my lap and craddle her head as she slips from this world to the next. I will tell her she can go, that Daisy is waiting for her and to watch for me, because one day I will be there too, looking for her and so many others.

©2011-2012 itsa5doglife  All Rights Reserved

To help Iris, Lilly and other dogs thrown away at the local dumping area, visit http://crosbypuppymassacre.wordpress.com/

Our Crosby group is now a part of Tall Tails Animal Rescue – visit us on Facebook.

UPDATE:  Sweet Iris never developed Parvo and is a big and beautiful girl.  We could not let her go so we adopted her ourselves and renamed her Chloe.  Here is a recent pic of her in her favorite place:IMG_1490


You Won’t Remember Me

Marigold1There is something haunting about that part of the river, down under the bridge with the echo of cars passing overhead, a lost place.  I would like to stay safe in my truck, but this hidden place is where the unwanted end up and it’s the unwanted I’m here to find. She was beautiful and living in the thick underbrush near the river bank, skinny and scrounging for food among the garbage tossed out by passing cars, trying not to die, another ghost among the trash. The dog had belonged somewhere once, she had on a collar, frayed and faded, but like many pit bulls probably discarded when she didn’t produce enough puppies or maybe her disposition made her unsuitable for fighting, we see that a lot here in Houston where living things are possessions to be aquired and discarded at will.

You never know what to expect when you go to rescue a dog. I’ve had them run up to me and try to get in my truck and others I have to chase around and then watch in heartbreak as they collapse on the ground belly up, waiting for mercy or pain, and some cannot be caught without a trap, but they all have the empty pleading look in their eyes, fear and hope sown together. It took a while to find her and she seemed to have a hard time hearing or seeing as my fellow rescuer eventually walked right up on her before she noticed anyone was there, and she was wary, but she let us touch her and scratch behind her ears as we clipped the leash on her collar and walked her away from that place. We called her Marigold.

The plea went out and a group in Austin stepped up to foster her if we could get her there and since the weather was not good for flying, I agreed to drive her instead the next morning. I settled her in for the night on a new bed with fresh water and good food, gave her some treats and a rawhide and sat down next to her. Apparently that was her cue to edge closer, and then a little closer until finally she was in my lap, all 40 pounds of her. We sat like that until my legs were numb and the hour was late and I told her it was time to sleep and that I would see her in the morning and she cocked her head at me, got up from my lap, turned around twice and then curled on her bed. As I turned out the light, I heard her whine just once and then she was silent.Marigold 2

The next morning she’s full of life and when I go to load her in the crate I find my husband with her, his big hands cradling her face, telling her she’s going to be okay and to be a good girl and she seems to understand. I would have liked to leave her loose in the truck, but I’ve learned from experience that you never know how a dog is going to respond in transport, some sleep the entire way and others are jumpy and active, so for their safety, I use a crate. I had put her bed in the crate the night before and left the door open so she would be used to it and feel safe for the trip and sure enough, she didn’t mind at all when I loaded her up. As I closed the door, I asked her if she were okay and she replied with that odd little sound pit bulls make, my Maggie responds that way, too.

Marigold 3 (2)The drive from Houston to Austin is a nice one once you get out of the city, it’s mostly rural highway and the roads are quiet and traffic is light and you have time to think as you pass the small farms and towns with names like Giddings, Elgin and Manor. As I drove I wondered about Marigold, where she came from and where she was going, I didn’t know the young woman named Kate that was meeting me, but others that I trusted knew her and had worked with her rescue group before so I felt certain she would be in good hands, but even so I worried. She was going straight to the vet as soon as I dropped her off and then to her new foster home and I was glad she had a place to go, she was lucky, many like her are automatically killed in shelters for simply being a certain breed.

We arrived in Austin a little early so I sat with her while we waited, she wasn’t afraid, she trusted me completely and I prayed that her trust would be served. It’s hard to let them go and I told her so as we sat there together in the back of the truck with the door up watching it rain, I told her that she was going to be happy and she would learn about couches, toys and dog parks and that she wouldn’t remember me, that it was okay, she wouldn’t need to, but I would remember her. She put her paw on my leg and licked my chin with her eyes closed, this big sweet girl I’d known for less than 24 hours.

Soon I was loading her into another car and being assured that she would be fine, that her foster mom couldn’t wait to see her. I gathered her new bed and the red blanket and handed it to Kate who smiled as I explained that it was bought for Marigold and I wanted her to take something of her own into her new life, she understood and took them from me. I reached inside the car and gave Marigold one last pat on the head, closed the door and then they were gone, my part in her life was done. I walked back to my truck and as I was closing the back door I noticed something in bottom corner of the crate, I opened it, moved the other blanket and saw the treats and rawhide I had given her the night before, uneaten, tucked carefully and intentionally for safekeeping under the pad. She had buried her treasures.

Marigold 4Had I known, I would have sent them with her, but she was gone and I knew she wouldn’t miss them, she had many treats in her future, and standing in that parking lot in the rain, 3 hours from home, I realized that our brief time had mattered for her, that she had felt love in a handful of treats and a soft bed. She reminded me that anything, however small, that lessens suffering or enhances life is never wasted, it all matters, and once again I recognized God’s whisper in the voice of the helpless.  She would be okay. I left her treasures where they were, climbed in my truck and headed east; it would be dark before I got home, dark when I finally crossed the river on the road leading me home.

©2012-2013 itsa5doglife  All Rights Reserved

 

Update: Marigold was adopted quickly and is living a good life in Austin, Texas.  To read about the Austin rescue group that took her in, please visit http://www.straightfromthestreets.org/. If you would like to help the group of individuals working to solve the homeless animal problem in one small town or to read more, please visit crosbypuppymassacre.wordpress.com


As It Passes By…

SadieWe did not need a big dog,  we already had two big dogs, but that big brown lab was the saddest animal I’d ever seen and I couldn’t walk away. 

I did at first, I left the pet store where the rescue group was set up, drove home, but she wouldn’t leave me alone.  The card attached to her kennel said she was found at an abandoned house by animal control, her owners had moved and left her alone with no food or water, with a small pup from her last litter and pregnant again. The poor dog had been breed nearly to death, practically crippled from being kept in a small crate most of her life. She also had heartworms, really bad heartworms.  I found out later that a rescuer had pulled her and her pup from a small rural shelter on the day they were to be euthanized. She was taken home and set up in a safe place to have the new pups which would eventually be adopted out. Another story like so many others, but this one stayed on my heels, tapping me on the shoulder until finally I gave in and made a call.

She lumbered along, head and tail down, but she didn’t resist when I brought her in the house, she had long ago given up her spirit to other humans.  This dog had no expectations of kindness or comfort and had simply resigned herself up to whatever was next.   When I led her to a huge soft bed, she stopped, lifted her head and looked at me, puzzled, and then with hesitation, stepped up on the bed.   I sat down beside her, rubbed her head and told her that her name was Sadie and this was home and I left her alone to rest, but when I came back in the room, she had gotten off the bed and was laying on the floor, I guess even good things take getting used to.

She was a beautiful dog, dark brown with a ridge of hair down her back like a Rhodesian Ridgeback, which was probably one of the reasons she was being bred, but her beautiful body was ravaged after so many years of breeding and neglect.  Her heartworms were very severe, her teeth were ground down, probably from chewing on her kennel or fencing, her joints were stiff and muscles atrophied from a life of confinement, but with patience over time her sadness lightened and her eyes shone with intelligence and interest.  The vet told us we could try the heartworm shots to possibly slow down the progressive destruction of her heart, but we needed to understand she was not going to survive the heartworms, the damage was already done.  We tried one shot, but after witnessing the pain it caused her we said, no more, and took her home to live out the rest of her life.

And Sadie did live.  She decided early on that she was queen of everything and made sure the rest of the pack understood this completely.  Sadie2She installed her throne (foam bed) in the foyer so she could look out the front door to keep an eye on the neighborhood and nothing escaped her notice.  Our world was a far safer place when Sadie was on guard.  The other dogs acknowledged her superiority and avoided her designated area in the foyer, any ball or toy that landed near her was lost, they would not cross the invisible boundary she had established so they waited until she went outside to make a dash to claim the errant item.  Having raised many puppies, Sadie was quick to met out discipline in the form of a gentle nip to either human or canine should they get out of line.  More than once have I been in her way or a little too slow and received a small nip as she passed, but she was also quick to show love by butting her head against our legs and holding her it there for just a moment, and then moving on.

Sadie loved to go for long walks by herself in the fields around our house and being that the property was fenced and she too hefty to fit under or through the fence rails, we let her go.  Every morning at about 5:00 am, she would stand outside our bedroom door and flap her jaws until one of us surrendered and got up to let her outside.  She would wander around the fields and yards for about an hour and then bark at the back door to be let back in and you certainly better be ready to let her in or you were in for a nip as she walked by.  This routine would take place each morning until the day she died and nothing stood in her way, not anything or anyone.  One morning, still half asleep, I missed a step and fell two steps to the tile, breaking my leg.  Sadie stood at the top of the steps looking at me, obviously annoyed, then ambled down and flapped her jaws until I pulled myself over to the door and let her out, and then I yelled for my husband.

Although her health deteriorated over the two years she was here, I believe she was happy with us.  She knew what it was to lay her head down in comfort and safety, she knew the freedom of wandering and following scents on the wind, and she knew we loved her, of that I’m sure.  That morning I knew something was up as she wandered from room to room as if looking for something and kept coming back to me.  I followed her and she lead me to her bed by the door and she stood there waiting for me to sit down.  I sat on the floor and she climbed on her bed just as the sun rays were starting to move through the glass across the floor. 

We stayed there together for some time while I rubbed her head and body, but her eyes didn’t leave me and when her breathing changed, I knew where we were going.  I stretched out beside her on her big bed, put my arm across her softly trembling body, held her close and whispered to her.  She lifted her head to look at me a final time, gently sighed, laid her head back down, and then she left me.  The other dogs lay near us, but still outside her invisible line until that last breath, and then they silently moved closer and settled down again.  We laid there awhile, all of us still and quiet, but when I finally got up and was walking away, I looked back and saw little Shasta crawl closer, put her two front paws on the bed, and lick Sadie’s face.Sadie 3

Some mornings I look across the wet fields and I expect to see her plodding gait, brown nose to the wind, as she follows the smells leading her back home. You take grace where you find it and sometimes it nips you on the leg as it passes by.  I miss her still.


Humanity, Thy Name is Puppy

photo (7)It started innocently enough.  With time on my hands I decided to volunteer for a local dog rescue group.  I had never actually worked with a rescue group, but my husband and I had rescued plenty of dogs on our own, fixed them up, made sure they were neutered or spayed and found good homes for them, that is, when we didn’t keep them ourselves.

I had read about Corridor Rescue, Inc. in the local paper, their founder had recently been recognized by CNN for the work she was doing, and I liked the idea that they took on one of the worst areas of town for animal dumping and cruelty.  The area is off of a major freeway and is so bad that it is known as the Corridor of Cruelty.  Corridor volunteers visit the area everyday looking for abandoned animals and have many feeding stations throughout because it takes a while to get an animal off the street as most are very skittish and you must gain their trust to even get near them.

Beyond all they do for the animals, Corridor is committed to making a difference on the front end, before cruelty or abandonment can happen. IMG_0803 They go into the community and talk to people, build fences so dogs don’t have to be chained, educate pit-bull owners on the horrors of dog fighting and even offer free spaying, neutering, shots and grooming.  Corridor provides dog food for low-income families so they can keep their pets, and they go into the schools and talk to the kids about caring for animals.

My first work with Corridor was at one of their Saturday adoption events, setting up the crates, showing off the dogs to prospective adopters, walking the dogs and giving lots of head and chin rubs.  I loved it and decided to do a bit more so I started visiting some of the rescued dogs at the boarding kennels that were waiting for foster homes and transporting dogs to and from events.   One day a call went out, they had found thirteen lab-mix puppies dumped in the Corridor to die.  At the time, Corridor didn’t have any place for the puppies to go as foster homes are hard to come by, boarding is horrendously expensive and the puppies needed treatment for mange and ringworm.  Corridor’s founder was getting ready to remodel a house so she put up a wood fence and we set up rooms for the puppies in the house – thank goodness it had tile floors.  The Baker’s Dozen project was in business.

The coordinator set up a volunteer schedule so that there would be someone at the house with the pups from very early in the morning to very late at night and I agreed to mornings on the weekdays.  If you’ve ever had a puppy you know how much work they can be and the seemingly endless pee and poop you havIMG_0802e to clean up, now multiply that by 13 puppies.

That first day as I unlatched the gate to the house, I heard them, I opened the sliding glass patio door, went to the rooms and opened the doors, puppies poured out, jumping all over me, running around, barking.   I couldn’t move, trapped by 13 balls of fur, running around my feet, so I started scooting my feet along the floor instead of trying to actually walk so that I didn’t step on one of them or trip and break my own legs.  I herded them towards the living room where they scattered and they are masters at hiding or running off into another room, so I had to count them to make sure they all went out. More than once I only counted twelve only to look down and find a puppy sitting by my feet.   It wasn’t long before I figured out how to block off every room entrance so they could not divert off the path on the way to the back door.

While the puppies play, I clean their rooms.  Rooms are IMG_0805cleaned and fresh papers put down at pretty much every shift, as was done the night before, but when I walked in that room, my jaw almost hit the floor, except I would not have wanted my jaw to hit that floor.  The puppies had used the papers and puppy pads, but they had also torn up all the newspapers, so with newspaper scrap mixed in, I was dealing with a really nasty paper mache mess.  Luckily, their bed and food area on the other side of the room appeared to be their no pee/poop zone – smart puppies. At this point I go in search of rubber gloves and, thankfully, find a box in the kitchen, but when I get back to the rooms, I am also wishing for rubber boots.   After picking and scraping up the debris, including the food and water that they tossed around and the toys and beds, the floor is cleaned with a special antiseptic liquid.  I fill the huge bucket with the cleaner and water and with a gigantic industrial mop, start at one corner and mop my way backwards to the door.  I repeat the process for the other room and then I wait for it to dry, put down clean newspapers on half the floor and close the doors until I’m ready to put the pups up when I leave.  You figure what works after you’ve done it a few times– I got pretty good at it.

During the cleaning, the pups have been playing outside so I scatter dog beds in the living room, put out huge bowls of water and some food and treats, and pee pads because I know that even though they have been outside for an hour, the first thing some of them will do is poop or pee and do not want to haul out the big yellow monster and mop again.   I brace myself and approach the back door. Thirteen puppies are jumping on the glass barking so I slowly slide the door back and as soon as the door is open a few inches they are pushing and climbing over each other to get in like the mobs on Black Friday.IMG_0804

Finally everyone is in the living room, wait, no, there’s only twelve, so I go into the backyard and sure enough, there’s Cadence sitting by the corner of the fence, without a care in the world.  I scoop her up and go inside, trying not to let the others back out.  By this time in the living room there’s lots of running, slurping, crunching, fighting over treats, toys, beds and me, but suddenly like magic they all pass out.  While they nap I sit on the floor, several pups snuggled against me, or I sit on the brick hearth and marvel at the scene before me.  There are puppies everywhere, making small sounds in their sleep, some on the beds, some on the cool floor, but almost everyone is sleeping next to someone else.  Occasionally someone will get up and then plop back down somewhere else, but peace reigns for about 30 minutes.

Soon they are awake, re-energized, and before they can begin to chew on the beds and walls, I shuffle them outside to play a little more and this time I go with them.  I toss toys, hold them, play tug of war, stop a few fights, and occasionally yell “Puppies!” just to see thirteen sweet faces running at me.  Soon it’s time for me to go.  I get up off the grass and they think it’s a game, I now have puppies chewing and tugging on my pant legs so I drag my feet and the attached puppies back inside and start trying to catch them and put them back in the clean fresh rooms.  As I slip them in the rooms, one at a time, the puppies already in the room are trying to get back out.  And, of course, you have to count them again and make sure Sam doesn’t go into the same room with Tansey who chews on Sam’s ears.

IMG_0806I am exhausted, filthy and reek of puppy poo, but I’ll be back.  In an hour or so another volunteer will be there and the routine will begin again, but I’m always sad to leave them, however I’ve got a pack of my own waiting  at home.  As the weeks go by, the pups heal from their various issues, they get their shots, all are spayed or neutered and they grow huge.  Each day more of them find foster and permanent homes and there is less to look after and then one day they are all gone.

Every now and then I see pictures of some of the pups, Lark, little Ellie, Angel, Bella, Sam – they turned out beautifully and I am grateful to have been a small part of that.  Before being adopted or fostered, some of the puppies were part of a short program for juveniles at risk – once again Corridor Rescue did not forget the people of the community.  Under the close supervision of Corridor volunteers, the young men and women handled and played with the pups, were taught proper animal care and made to realize that animals are not possessions to be used and disposed of at will, that they feel love and pain.  I suspect for many of those kids those puppies gave the first unconditional love and acceptance of their life.  I hope if nothing else, maybe a little healing took place, a softening of a heart or opening of a mind, you just never know what sparks a soul.

So many people, noticing what needs to be done and doing it, buying supplies and dog food and transporting back and forth to the vet, all to save some mix-breed puppies tossed out like trash.  Maybe we didn’t change the world, but those thirteen puppies challenged and changed me, and that’s where all real change starts, hands on, one person at a time.

For more information on Corridor Rescue or how to adopt, foster, donate or volunteer, visit their Facebook page

©2011-2012 itsa5doglife  All Rights Reserved.

Note:  Photo 2 and  3 are the property of Corridor Rescue, Inc.  All other photos are the property of itsa5doglife.

My Foster Dog is Beautiful

I didn’t write this, but I wanted to share it with all the animal lovers out there.  I can vouch for everything in this, fostering is hard and sometimes heartbreaking, but very rewarding.  If more people would foster, the rescue groups could save many more animals.  The pictures are some of our fosters, rescues or dogs we have transported.

IMG_1071“My foster dog stinks to high heaven. I don’t know for sure what breed he is. His eyes are blank and hard. He won’t let me pet him and growls when I reach for him. He has ragged scars and crusty sores on his skin. His nails are long and his teeth which he showed me are stained. I sigh. I drove two hours for this. I carefully maneuver him so that I can stuff him in the crate. Then I heft the crate and put it in the car. I am going home with my new foster dog. At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs are in the yard.IMG_1265 I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants ‘outside.’ As I lead him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and shows me his stained teeth again. When we come in he goes to the crate because that’s the only safe place he sees. I offer him food but he won’t eat it if I look at him, so I turn my back.  When I come back the food is gone. I ask again about ‘outside.’ When we come back I pat him before I let him in the crate, he jerks away and runs into the crate to show me his teeth. The next day I decide I can’t stand the stink any longer I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hand. His fear of me is not quite overcome by his wish for the cheese. And well he should fear me, for I will give him a bath.

After an attempt or two to bail out he is defeated and stands there. I have bathed four legged bath IMG_0743squirters for more dog years than he has been alive. His only defense was a show of his stained teeth that did not hold up to a face full of water. As I wash him it is almost as if I wash not only the stink and dirt away but also some of his hardness. His eyes look full of sadness now. And he looks completely pitiful as only a soap covered dog can. I tell him that he will feel better when he is cleaned. After the soap the towels are not too bad so he lets me rub him dry. I take him IMG_0820outside. He runs for joy. The joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being clean. I, the bath giver, am allowed to share the joy. He comes to me and lets me pet him.

One week later I have a vet bill. His skin is healing. He likes for me to pet him. I think I know what color he will be when his hair grows in. I have found out he is terrified of other dogs. So I carefully introduce him to my mildest four legged brat. It doesn’t go well. Two weeks later a new vet bill for an infection that was missed on the first visit. He Oliver (2)plays with the other dogs. Three weeks later he asks to be petted. He chewed up part of the rug. Eight weeks later his coat shines, he has gained weight. He shows his clean teeth when his tongue lolls out after he plays chase in the yard with the gang. His eyes are soft and filled with life. He loves hugs and likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.

Someone called today and asked about him, they saw the picture I took the first week. They asked about his personality, his history, his breed. They asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of questions. I checked up on them. I prayed. I said yes. When they saw him the first time they said he was the most beautiful dog they had ever seen.

Six months later I got a call from his new family. He is wonderful, smart, well behaved and very loving. How could someone not want him?IMG_0783

I told them I didn’t know. He is beautiful. They all are.”IMG_0950photo (3)

IMG_0586


The Beasts of the Backyard

MH900446578It’s why we live on the Texas Gulf Coast, those rare perfect weather days.  The temperature is 75, the fields have been mowed and I smell fresh cut grass and  hear flocks of geese as they fly in formation from the inland lakes back to the reedy marshes of the Gulf.  Of course tomorrow the temperature could be 80 or 40 with rain and 50 mph winds, but today is beautiful and my dogs are making me laugh.

My dogs love it as well and spend a good bit of their day lying out in the sun in the cool temperatures – as long as I leave the back door open. For some reason, however, if I close the back door, they rush the door and start banging on it to be let in. Once inside, they fight over who gets to lie in the slim beam of sunlight on the floor. I have two theories about their reasoning in this matter. Either they think that if the door is closed they will miss out on a possible snack because they can’t hear us opening the pantry door (because the last bite of any snack is always shared 7 ways) or they think if the door closes, then they will be abandoned to the outside forever. The first theory has some validity, but the second is just absurd, which guarantees it’s the right one. Now, these are dogs that have lived inside our house since the day they came to our home, they each have their own bed, they lay on our couches and watch TV and there is abundant food available to them at any time. However, let that door close and suddenly they act like orphans from Oliver Twist. “Please please don’t abandon us to the wilds of the backyard, cruel mistress. Our soft padded feet are meant for better things and we are without our sweaters. We are delicate flowers at your mercy and have no snacks.”

It’s just not nice weather days when they act ridiculous about the backyard. Let there be someone working out back which means I have to keep them in the house (in order not to annoy the workers with the substantial amount of canine digging assistance that will be offered) and you will see 7 noses of varying sizes pressed against the glass like they’ve never been allowed outside a day in their life. This, of course, is after they’ve acted like blood thirsty devil dogs snarling and barking when they first see the workers. This is for my benefit for truly their only concern is if the workers brought lunch and know the last bite rule.

The cat doesn’t help the situation. He will parade up and down the porch, preening where they can see him through the glass, like he’s saying, “Look at me, free to be outside, trusted by our dear mistress. Oh, you poor poor pups, I am so very sorry you can’t enjoy being out here for it is indeed lovely to be free.”  This is the same cat that we rarely see from sun up to sun down now in full glorious display on the porch just to torment the dogs.  Thank you Mow-Mow.

Before the dogs go to bed they go out one last time and with the opening of the back door, turn into nocturnal feral hunters of the vile night creatures hiding in the backyard.  I am fairly certain, however, that neither the slugs nor orb spiders are planning a take-down of man or dog-kind anytime soon, but that is a moot point so we move on.   They run through the flower bed,  around the pool, they stand at the far fence corner and bark and snarl threats at the darkness and then run to the other corner and do the same thing and then it’s back to the flower bed to begin again.

At this point it is obvious they have no intention of coming in even though I am standing barefoot in my pajamas waiting.  As usual, the tattletale of the bunch, Peaches, comes back to let me know the others are savages and we should just go in and let the night have them.   I sigh and get out the flashlight and take a step out into the dark, trying not to step on the slugs, and start threatening bodily harm to 6 dogs.  Hopefully no one hears me and takes it serious and calls the SPCA.  I only threaten 6 because Peaches is right beside me making sure I know, yet again, she is a good and obedient dog. Finally, I hear bushes and palms rustling and the padding of paws in the grass – success.  I head back inside and  one by one the beasts slink back inside.  They know I’ve had enough and a bedtime treat is  unlikely, but as they go by with their heads down, their tails are in the air and there are secret smiles on their faces as if to say “It was worth it.”

Goodnight to all.  I wish you grace, contentment, a sharing heart, and compassion for all living things in 2012.

©2011-2012 itsa5doglife  All Rights Reserved


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