Tag Archive | animal tales

Do you ever wonder???

I reflect best when I ride. Some of the things I’ve wondered about recently are shared below.

A couple of days ago the Geezer and Mrs. G were running errands and took me along. They know how much I love the car. This is particularly true when we’re going somewhere … you know, like on vacation or a book signing trip. This wasn’t nearly as much fun.

The half-day was a series of short drives from uninspired stop to uninspired stop. The car would get hot after a few minutes parked in the Florida sun. It’s May. It’s 90. It’s boring! I shared this emotion with either the Geezer (most of the time) or Mrs. G as one or the other sat with me while the other performed some mundane task. The expressions on their faces said, “Ennui!” If anything, they were more bored than me!

Don’t get me wrong. I love being petted and having my ears scratched. The Geezer always has treats to reward me for just being his buddy. The windows were down in back so I could exercise my nostrils. But all these enjoyments have limits. I was bored to the point of distraction. That distraction started me wondering if other canines (and humans) wondered the same things I wonder. I’ll share a few of these wonders with you.

Do you ever wonder, if a few generations from now, human babies will be born without hands? If Darwin is correct they’ll be replaced with a cell phone on one side and a game tablet on the other. Will they be called right celled or left celled?

Do you ever wonder what television would be like if every program wasn’t a vehicle for pushing a political view or an ideological agenda? I’ve seen archaeological artifacts like, Ozzie and Harriet, Fantasy Island, and Dragnet that entertained without rubbing manure in your nose every minute.

Do you ever wonder why human ladies spend so much on the “latest style?” It would be smarter to just keep your old clothes for a long enough time so that some high-priced designer re-invented something that was done forty or fifty years ago. Hey, pants suites are now rompers. Remember the “chemise” and the “sack dress?” They’ve come back under a new title. Micro-mini skirts do keep their same title, though the Geezer calls them “water cooler stop lights.” Anybody know why? Anyway, my coat is always in style.

Do you ever wonder if we’ll get the politicians and TV anchors to settle their arguments Roman Style. In the Coliseum. Televised. With appropriate weapons. How about Sean Hannity versus Chris Mathews with battle axes? Or Hilary Clinton versus Sarah Palin with maces? Why not Ted Cruz fighting Chuck Schumer using long swords? Think of the attraction of Jon Stewart matching up with Rush Limbaugh. They can fight each other with shovels and huge piles of manure. The first one that covers and smothers the other, wins! After all, it’s these individuals creating the huge divisions in the country. Really, 75% of the people would just like them to go away.

Do you ever wonder when humans will figure out that reading is the best way to get information? Stuff on TV, in movies, or on the radio, effects people primarily based on presentation … NOT SUBSTANCE! If humans read most speeches or documentaries made on/for TV, etc. they’d learn something completely different than the quick view that’s intended to trick them. Reading actually gives you time to think and question information.

Do you ever wonder why canines are so far superior to humans as a species? No further explanation required.

I love my human. He is an inferior species, but this is even more of a reason for me to look after him.

 

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Code Blue! Sound the Sirens! Valentine’s Day ALERT!

Valentine's Day - Males forget it at their peril!

Valentine’s Day – Males forget it at their peril!

 

It’s danger days for males! Have you forgotten that gift? Those words? That evening out?

You know what day it is? It’s February 12th. That fact and a couple bucks will get you a lousy cup of restaurant coffee. So why is it so important? It’s two days before the 14th AND the 14th is  … Valentine’s Day! Have all of you males made your plans? Speaking for all ladies, human and canine, there are three days you boys need not forget: Valentine’s Day … Her birthday … Your anniversary (Particularly if a ring is involved).

If you were forgetful, you have this chance to have flowers delivered, buy chocolates or Lingerie, order pajamas or teddy bears, and make dinner reservations.

If you simply intend to ignore the event, let me enlighten you to possible consequences.

  • An empty underwear drawer.
  • The answer to any question you ask in the next thirty days will be “I forgot.”
  • Breakfast will consist of a bologna sandwich.
  • Your in-laws will be invited over for every weekend for three months.
  • Lunch will consist of a bologna sandwich.
  • The TV remote will disappear (I suggest looking for it in the frige freezer, her car’s glove compartment, or taped to the back of the toilet tank.)
  • Calls from all of your credit card companies stating you’re maxed out.
  • The loan of your hunting, fishing, camping, golfing, and tennis equipment to your lovely’s brother … located somewhere in Siberia.
  • Supper will consist of a piece of lettuce and a bologna sandwich.
  • A trip to your bedroom will be like a visit to Greenland complete with a glacier for a bed.

May Zeus, Mars, and Odin forgive you – she won’t.

 

PS- If she’s a reader a good book might work. Try the Geezer’s new book The Bait Man, a suspense/thriller. It’s being released this next week.

 

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A dog’s tale of Christmas spirit

As is my custom, I like to present my readers with a canine crafted Christmas story this time of year. This is a new one.

The Geezer and I wish you all a very "Merry Christmas"

The Geezer and I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas”

I watched the dog from my apartment window. The first time I noticed him was when I was eating lunch one Saturday. It was a blustery December day, cold, dreary … the type day best served by fireplaces, sofas with blankets, hot chocolate, and football games on the TV … not being outdoors. My apartment building adjoins the park where I saw him; that park’s lively April through October, but is as still as a mortuary in the cold Midwestern winter.

The dog was by himself, his actions rather strange for he chose to sit by an isolated park bench away from the access sidewalks that criss-cross the facility. Immobile as a statue, he faced into the wind and waited. I might have forgotten about him if it hadn’t been for the fact he was a Golden Retriever, one of my favorite canine breeds. It was for this reason I noticed the same animal, sitting precisely in the same location, after I returned from church the next day.

I’m a project engineer and elected to take a break in job assignments. Christmas was coming and with it another anniversary. My wife died, an untimely victim of a drunk driver the preceding Christmas day. Our ten years together was hardly enough and there were no children to help fill a Grande Canyon sized void in my life. Pity from relatives and friends, though well-meaning, added to my anguish. Their efforts to force me to indulge in an active social life revolted me. I was home, alone, on Monday and when lunch time arrived, I looked to see if the dog had returned to the park. He sat there, waiting for someone or something, patiently.

It was a bright, sunny day, with clear skies and cool temperatures. Between eating a sandwich, sipping coffee, and reading a novel, I kept tabs on the beast. The dog sat there, gazing intensely at the park entrance. The clock in my kitchen chimed two, I glanced at the dog in time to see him walking, alone, to the park’s front gate. I watched him cross the street and disappear into a maze of apartment buildings and homes. I decided I’d see if he’d return the next day. He did.

At eleven the next morning I saw him stroll through the park entrance, trot straight to the same bench, face the gate, sit on his haunches, and wait. Promptly at two, he left. Fascinated, I waited for the animal to change his behavior. He did not vary from his routine. Rain, wind, bitter cold … nothing made a difference. The only change I could see was his body thinning and a slightly perceivable slow-down in his gait.

A few days before Christmas two inches of snow covered the ground. I fancied I could see the animal shake. The poor dog looked as empty-hearted and forlorn as I felt. Before I gave it much thought, a pack of hamburger was in the microwave defrosting.

When I entered the park and stepped the hundred yards that separated us, the dog never looked at me. His eyes were focused on some unseen being in the world outside the park entrance. Goldens are known for their friendly disposition, but this one never acknowledged my existence, even when I sat on the bench next to him. His body was emaciated, his eyes slightly sunk into his skull.

“Hi boy.” The dog ignored me. “Who are you waiting for?” The retrievers eyes remained fixed on the gate. “You hungry?” I removed the hamburger from a cloth cooler and held it on my lap. The dogs nose twitched and its tongue circled its mouth. It did not move or take its eyes away from their vigil. I unwrapped the waxed paper from around the meat and placed it in front of the dog. It whimpered, but remained immobile. “Go ahead, boy.” He whimpered louder. “Go on,” I coaxed. The dog’s hunger won for a few seconds. He dropped his head over the meat and in a couple of gulps the hamburger disappeared. The dog returned to its watch. No amount of petting or verbal persuasion could distract it from its purpose.

“That dog belong to you?” A policeman stared down at the two of us. His expression was friendly, but sad.

“No, officer. I’ve been watching it from my window.” I pointed to my apartment. “I felt sorry for him.”

“It’s a stray. Some people reported it hanging around their home a couple days ago. I been keeping an eye on it. It doesn’t have a home. Sleeps where it can find a warm spot. One thing it does do, it always comes here during lunch time. I was hoping it was yours. Now I’ll have to call animal control and get it put down.”

“You don’t have to do that, do you?”

“Afraid so … unless someone adopts it.”

I heard myself say, “I will.”

‘Royal’ came home with me from the pound on Christmas Eve. It was obvious the dog had been well trained and cared for before his abandonment. He reacted to his new home with an attitude of grateful acceptance. As I had expected, there was a defined reservation in his demeanor. I new I was number two and probably always would be. We woke on Christmas morning … me grateful that something had entered my life to return some focus to it … he grateful for his improved chance of survival. I told him, “Well Royal, we got each other for Christmas.”

We spent the morning introducing ourselves to each other until eleven. It was then Royal barked for the first time. He changed from being calm and sedate to agitated. He went to the apartment door and scratched it and the floor beneath it. “Have to go out?” I asked. He barked and kept looking back and forth at the door and me. I had the leash on him and as we left the apartment there was no doubt where he was headed.

He led me to the park bench, and we sat there and waited, for what I had no idea. It was sunless, very cold, the wind was vicious, snow flew by horizontally and I settled deeper into my coat, wrapping my scarf over my face. Royal whimpered then began barking. When I uncovered my face he was staring at me … I thought.

From the bench next to me a soft feminine voice said, “I’m so happy that Clancy found a new home.” The voice came from a pretty young lady. Her long silver coat covered her in a manner that was surreal. Her brown hair spilled from a knitted cap, she had brown eyes, and smiling lips.

“You know who the dog belongs to?” I asked. She rose, nodded, said “yes,” and knelt in front of Royal wrapping her arms around the animal. It whimpered softly. The girl said, “Clancy belonged to Sally James. Sally had leukemia. The last weeks she lived she came to this park and sat here with Clancy.” The girl stroked the dog and scratched behind its ears. She put her head next to the dog’s ear and whispered to it. “I lost track of him after Sally died.” She patted the Golden on its head a few times and stood up. She smiled at the dog then at me.

I hoped for a negative answer. “If you’d like to take the dog, since he knows you …”

“Oh, no. I can’t have him with me. No dogs allowed kind of place. He is yours now. Besides, you two were made for each other.”

Royal, or Clancy, rested his head on my knee. His eyes were fixed on mine. It was as though a bond had passed from the dog, through the girl, to me. Looking deep into his eyes, I asked, “Ready to go home, boy?” He whimpered a positive response.

“Jessica approves.” It was the girl’s voice, but my wife’s name. My head jerked up to look at her … to ask her. No one was there. The dog and I were alone. His head and eyes were on me and are hearts were one. The weather hadn’t changed, but my life had suddenly turned warm. I spoke to the wind that howled around me, “Thank you Sally. Thank you Jess.” I will never be sure, but I believe I heard two women’s voices faintly, sweetly answer in the wind, “Merry Christmas.”

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Meet Remi, my niece … she’s nice!

 

Meet Remi!

Meet Remi!

I want to introduce you to my niece, Remi. She lives with my humans friends in Jacksonville. Isn’t she a pretty puppy. She’s only four months old and she’s a heart-breaker already.

 

Remi loves the pool. Is she a future Olympian?

Remi loves the pool. Is she a future Olympian?

Remi has energy levels that exhaust me just watching her. Her human, Mr. R, would throw different toys into the water and … kerplunk! She never tired of retrieving and swims magnificently. Imagine, she’s just a baby. I see gold metals around her neck in the future. Look out Katie Ledecky!

 

Ssshhhh. I'm not supposed to be here. If I don't move they may think I'm a stuffed toy

Ssshhhh. I’m not supposed to be here. If I don’t move they may think I’m a stuffed toy

Remi is a mischievous young un’. She likes to tease her humans, the Geezer, Mrs G. and … me! She’s learning. And she’s very smart. Mr. R says she’s too smart! If Remi knows there is something off-limits to her, naturally, that’s the thing she wants to do. She usually finds a way. Like the picture above. She claims she’s camouflaged for just such occasions.

If I’m around her enough, I’m sure I can impart some canine wisdom in her. The picture below is proof. My lecture was on how to train your humans to bring treats to you. It went like this — “Take a load off. Lay down. Look bored. But, still look cute. Adorable works better. Give them a big doggy smile. Wag you tail to reward them when they feed you. It works.”

 

 

"Remi, lay down, relax, let the humans bring the treats to us." She's learning.

“Remi, lay down, relax, let the humans bring the treats to us.” She’s learning.

 

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All points of view told here … now for a cat’s eye view.

"Confucius" Oreo!

“Confucius” Oreo!

All points of view should be heard! Unlike humans, we animals listen to all ideas.

With that in mind, this post features the feline point-of-view as expressed by my house mate, Oreo. My interview was a question and answer session. Some of his wisdom is expressed below.

Sandy Q. – What is your defense for those people who say cats are lazy?

Oreo A. – That’s completely unfounded. Our species just really enjoys doing nothing.

Sandy Q. – Do you believe that personality and attitude are impossible to divide?

Oreo A. – Ridiculous. My personality is who I am. My Attitude depends on many things: What food you put in my bowl, how many tummy rubs I get a day, if you have a broom in your hand, if you pet the dog more than me … I could go on.

Sandy Q. – Do you take responsibility for opinions you express?

Oreo A. – Absolutely. But … not for your lack of intelligence to understand them. Gee, maybe I should run for office.

Sandy Q. – How do you settle bitter arguments you have with others?

Oreo A. – Its a 4 step process. 1) I suggest a cooling off period. 2) I insist we stay silent and hold our breath for 20 minutes. 3) I cheat. 4) I call for a hearse.

Sandy Q. – Do you believe that we can read each others minds?

Oreo A. – No. If that were true I’d be slapped and punched much more often.

Sandy Q. – Are you in agreement that we carnivorous folks should change our eating habits because we kill living things?

Oreo A. – Hell no. Aren’t plants alive? Whats that leave? Rocks? Give me a break.

Sandy Q. – Do you doubt that humans are the mentally superior species on earth?

Oreo A. – Yes. Proof in one word answers. Bush. Clinton. Obama. Ryan. Pelosi. Romney. Want more?

Sandy Q. – Do you have a suggestion to create more world peace?

Oreo A. – Just as we animals are subject to … forced neutering. Less humans, more peace.

 

So speaketh the feline sage.

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My new job as Physical Therapist … give me a whip!

 

Leading the Geezer - "Only two more miles."

Leading the Geezer – “Only two more miles.”

 

I’m added another title to my many accolades – Physical Therapist. The Geezer’s recent hip replacement has him shuffling along and I’ve decided to take a personal hand in getting the old boy up and operating at full speed! What ever that is for him. Here we’re walking in the morning Florida sun.

I’ve found training him presents its challenges. The use of a dish of ice cream as a treat reward overcomes all obstacles, however. This is another example of how we canines are human’s best friends.

 

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Meet my friend Thomas!

 

Read Thomas’ description of life as a lady author’s cat.

 

Hi Gals & Guys - Meet and welcome my feline friend, Thomas

Hi Gals & Guys – Meet and welcome my feline friend, Thomas

The Five Best Things about Being the Cat of an Author

Hello, everyone! My name is Thomas, and my human, Kate, is an author. I’m sure Sandy has shared lots of stories about what it’s like to be the canine companion of one of these odd humans. However, I thought you all might like to know a bit more about the feline side. So, without any ado (I’ve got to catch my afternoon cat nap!), here are my favorite things about having an author for my human:

  1. I get to help!

Sometimes, Kate sits down with her laptop to write and the words get stuck in her brain. Just when she thinks about giving up for the night, it’s Tommy to the rescue! I’m the perfect size to crawl up in her lap and lay on top of her arms. With me being so sweet (and pinning her hands to the keyboard), she can’t help but keep working.

  1. Procrastination = Tommy Time

Whenever Kate is trying to avoid working on her author business, I reap the benefits. She’ll bustle around the apartment, cleaning my litterbox, gathering my misplaced toys, and giving me fresh food and water. It’s like having my own personal maid. Now I’ve just got to train her to sprinkle a few kitty treats on top of the regular food …

  1. She’s easy to cuddle.

Much of Kate’s author “research” involves reading other books (especially those in her genres – science fiction and fantasy). Most of the time, she reads in the bed (that is, in my bed), propped up against the pillows. While she takes up more room than I’d like, it’s the perfect time to get my cuddle fix and a few good ear scratchings.

  1. It’s all about me.

Kate says that her career goal is to be a full-time author, so that she can stay home with me all day long. If that isn’t devotion from a human, I don’t know what is! I know she’ll get there and that’s not just my feline loyalty talking. She is really good – all you have to do is read some of her work.

  1. I’m on the fast track to fame!

Part of Kate’s author work includes social media and sending an email newsletter. Often, she likes to take pictures of me to share with her growing readership. (Probably because I’m way more photogenic than she is … and who doesn’t love cats?!) I’m a frequent star on her Instagram, Facebook, and I even get to make a few appearances on the blog. Give it a couple years, and I’ll have my own YouTube series. Just you wait!

If you’d like to learn more about Kate (and me!), you can visit her author website at www.KateMColby.com. And don’t forget to follow her on social media to see all my adorable photos!

It's me Thomas! Oh those humans in the background are MY humans, author Kate & husband Daniel

It’s me Thomas! Oh those humans in the background are MY humans, author Kate & husband Daniel

 

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