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Bean the Wookie

Awakened at 4 a.m. needing to tend to personal things.  The grandchildren are visiting with their two-month-old Wookie, who needed to be let out a short time after that.  Wookie is growing up and decided to go for a run.  I had to laugh at my granddaughter chasing after Wookie and bringing him back to hook him to the leash.   It confounds me why everyone thinks their dog will just stay by their side because of love!

Love has nothing to do with it.  A dog has got to be a dog.  If a dog can get its way, it becomes the top dog, the alpha dog, numero uno!    Some people know how to train a dog to stay with them, but I don’t.  My best reasoning says to keep a dog tied to you until it is at least two years old, and has learned to come to you when called, no matter where he is or what she is doing.  A tether helps with this also, as a small tug helps the dog to respond appropriately, but don’t forget the loving.  Treats also help, and include playing with their favorite thing as well as food treats.

Hubby either doesn’t understand this, after many years with many different dogs, or he just doesn’t care.  Many people believe it does no harm to let a dog just run free a little bit.  They explore, never really go far, and come back happy.  In fact, running seems to be essential for some dogs.  If you have ever tried to contain a beagle, or other hunter, you will understand.  These dogs live by their nose, and if they pick up a scent, they have just got to go.

Unfortunately for our dogs and for Hubby, continual conflict with neighbors over our unleashed dogs has caused me considerable stress, which I pass right to Hubby.   As I’ve told my neighbor who called me while I was out of town to tell me where my dog was, “I have more luck training the dog, than I do my husband.  Obviously, I’m not very good at either.

I am seriously distressed by the things people create to keep dogs from even their mailbox poles.  Nasty, cutting things with the intention of hurting an animal.  Poison in a tempting wrapping to punish both pet and owner.  People, really.  For a few dollars, you can buy a spray keeping animals away with an unpleasant, but harmless odor.  Reapply as needed.

And there are other hazards, like people who want to walk off with your adorable pet.  There are cars to dodge and wells and sewer grates to avoid.  There are dangers in the world.

Is a tiny, constricted life the kind of life any creature wants?  Let’s continue to explore and experience the world we live in.   Let’s live free and bravely, with our pets.


Who Needs a Puppy?

I have been a little sleep deprived recently, with our little old lady, Penny, being unable to sleep.  Last night was a very restful night for a change.  I woke early with energy.  There was no early “good morning” slur, but instead a person eager for the day.  A person eager to set about those things that I have been neglecting.  I picked up the household clutter while I listened to the news.

The news has been a source of consternation.  I spend hours better devoted to blogging about The Daily Prompt just trying to understand what is going on and what can be done about it.  I am eternally perplexed at how my friends and I can hear the exact same news so differently.  There just are not enough puppies, kittens, and babies to ease the unrest.

I did however have the best dreams recently.  I dreamt I had a baby, who was just so sweet and content.  Dream analysis says dreaming about a happy baby means I am happy.  The dream certainly made me happy.

The news today has me thinking about how passionately people feel about their lawns.  Lawns are a lot of work, as we tend them with weed killer, bug killer, feed with fertilizer, and spend hours mowing and trimming.  I get it.  After all of that effort, we want our lawns to look nice.

I have neighbors who get really nasty when dogs stop at their house, even though owners dutifully pick up after the dog.   I just feel sorry that they can’t appreciate the love a dog can give in a way a lawn can’t. I have neighbors that fuss when kindergarteners step on the curb edge of their lawn to avoid a hazard, such as a car or freshly poured tar on the roadway where they normally walked to the bus.  Their lack of concern for the children in their neighborhood confounds me.

I have also been the neighbor with a corner lot that the kids, postal carrier, and others would cut across.  Did I scream and curse?  Did I lay hands on them?  Did I pull and fire a gun?  No.

The fact that an off duty police officer could behave in this way, and justify it by saying he was threatened is shocking.  I can see his confusion.  “I’ll sue you,” does sound a little like “I’ll shoot you.”  Yet there was no gun threatening the officer.  Just a boy, defending a girl in his class from a man cursing at her about stepping on his lawn.  I’d say he needs a puppy, but I’m sure a puppy would not relieve his stress over his lawn.

I would recommend anyone who finds themselves in a dangerous confrontation with anybody should not threaten to sue.   Just go ahead and file suit after you are away from danger.

So how did I handle people cutting the corner of my lawn?  I put in a pathway so the postal carrier could short-cut without causing damage.  I told children cutting across that I had no problem with friends crossing my lawn, but friends always smile and wave when they see me.  I had lots of friends smiling and waving at me.



Finding Your Place

Being under the weather during a polar vortex isn’t the worst thing. I cancelled everything and climbed under a blanket with my pups and a kitten to sleep my way to better health and watched television to keep me company. Unfortunately the news was full of gun violence, including, local people who shot their family members, protests against police shootings of young black men, ISIS violence, the Sony hack, and terrorism in France. I try to bring something positive into the world with my writing, and I was not feeling good about anything.

I don’t know how to bring about world peace, but I thought I would share with you how peace has been restored to my home. In October A Black Cat Crossed My Path. Hubby named her Shadow, and she has grown from shy, frightened kitten into a confident and playful young cat.

The dogs, Penny and Brutus, just wanted to be friends and play, but Shadow didn’t speak dog, and was a frightened hissing ball of claws. Both dogs gave Shadow her space at great cost to themselves. with Shadow occupying my lap, the dogs were fearful of occupying their normal places at my side, or feet. I did not let that go on for long. The dogs were here first, and I did not want them to end up resentful of the kitten, so I installed the dogs in their proper places at my side, and feet and tossed a blanket over all, and Shadow came up to join us. Shadows discovery of the dogs, sent them running, but I brought them back to their places. Shadow quickly learned that is she wanted to sit with Mommy, she had to tolerate the dogs.

Peaceful coexistence grew as Shadow learned the meaning of gentle. Teeth and claws must be put away during petting and playtime, and are not to be used against family members. A flick of the finger was enough to get Shadow to back off, but I would have graduated to a squirt from a water bottle, if that had been necessary. I had several conversations with Shadow, holding her firmly, containing her claws securely, while introducing her to the friendly dogs, allowing the dogs to sniff and come close. Once Shadow learned the dogs would not hurt her, she settled down and the dogs happily made room for Shadow.

Blue was another matter. I figured my handsome gray male cat could handle a kitten, after I made clear to him that this creature was now part of the family. Cat fights are not tolerated between family members. A reminder to be gentle was all Blue needed. If not, the water bottle would have targeted the aggressor. It was enough. They share a food bowl. Blue has asserted his right to play with toys he hasn’t been interested in for a long time. They run through the house after each other, and Shadow is seen peaking around corners stalking Blue who sits provocatively in the middle of the room. Shadow pounces and the wrestling commences. Hubby and I enjoy the show.

Shadow is definitely my cat, but Blue is hubby’s cat. Everyone has found their place, and our new routine has fitted Shadow into the family happily. If only a reminder to be gentle could solve all of our conflicts.

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