Tag Archive | Humor

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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Happy Thanksgiving All!

Sandy wishes you all a happy turkey day!

Sandy wishes you all a happy turkey day!

I know. I know. I’ve been behind in my posts. Sorry, I’ll catch up in the next week or two.

So much for excuses, I have a thing or two to tell you. My human has had a short story (500 words) published in a literary magazine. The magazine is Ripen the Page. Check it out!  http://www.thepagereader.com/blog/  The story is titled, “There are no lights in Naples.” I promise it will grab you.

My humans have been busy going to book events – some I could go on and some not so much! Here are a couple pictures.

"DL when is your next book coming out?" - "It's being released this spring, Dan - it's a suspense/mystery called THE BAIT MAN.

“DL, when is your next book coming out?” – “It’s being released this spring, Dan – it’s a suspense/mystery called THE BAIT MAN.” Dan is one of DL’s biggest fans.

 

The Geezer, sorry that's DL, making a historical presentation to a full house at King's Gate Country Club.

The Geezer, sorry that’s DL, making a historical presentation to a full house at King’s Gate Country Club.

And once again – HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!

 

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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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The most popular place to shop … The Two Sizes Too Small Mall

 

a shopper at the Two Sizes Too Small Mall

a shopper at the Two Sizes Too Small Mall

 

I’ve noticed more and more people are going to one place to buy their clothes. It has to be the “Two Sizes Too Small Mall.” My humans take me with them everywhere they can, so I can attest to the growing popularity of this shopping Mecca. More and more people I observe while sitting in the car, walking down the street, or curled up under the table at one of Geezer’s book signings are packed into clothes that would make sardines sweat.

I assume humans pinch their body into what amounts to a sausage casing because it’s one of those fads humans are fond of pursuing. Fads! One more reason to be thankful I’m canine! Why would these folks reveal secrets better kept cloaked, if it wasn’t for some misguided fashion whim? Most men would like others to think they have abs, not flabs. Isn’t the hour-glass the vision most women would like others to believe lies under their garments? Clothes purchased at the Two Sizes Two Small Mall give many ladies the appearance of a stack of tires in a used auto parts store.

Maybe this fad is a guilt trip on which humans are embarked. They seem unable to speak the truth. Is this their way of being truthful without having to verbalize it? They display what’s there whether it should be or not. Maybe clothes bought at “Two Sizes Too Small Mall” are a form of truth serum. It’s like them saying, “This is what I got.” Unfortunately, more often than not, what they got is one hell of a lot.

Not all the men and women who buy their clothes at that mall look bad; in fact some look just fine. This isn’t just my opinion. I can tell from the straining eyes, the snapping sound of necks turning, and dripping saliva that I observe as human members of the opposite sex saunter by each other. I guess many of them don’t really mind being objectified after-all.

I asked my human why the fad was so popular. He answered, “Sandy, it’s not a fad. Many of these people suffer from fatassia disease.” I didn’t know what fatassia meant, I asked, and he explained. “It’s pronounced fat-ass-ia.” I asked why the thin ones and humans with good shapes wore clothes from the Two Sizes Two Small Mall. He grinned and replied, “All humans are marketing experts. They’re advertising.” I told you humans can’t tell the truth.

Humans! I glad my coat fits fine all the time.

 

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Octoberfest – some canine observations

 

The Geezer with the smiling fraulein from the Octoberfest.

The Geezer with a beautiful, smiling Fräulein from the Octoberfest.

I always enjoy going along on the Geezer’s book adventures. Last weekend I had the opportunity. He attended an “Octoberfest” in Sarasota, Florida that was a number of things. First, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Its organizers are an enlightened crew that understand that canine presence adds to any festivity. I became a major point of interest in the Geezer’s booth; a celebrity in fact!

The Celebration was a bit of Munich transplanted to Florida’s west coast. The authentic garb many of the participants wore livened the festivities. German food and pastries added a yum factor and there was an abundance all types of beer to wash it down. The sounds of music was non-stop and had me looking for Julie Andrews and Christoper Plummer. The traditional folk songs made me try a four-legged polka from time-to-time. Beer steins were everywhere, smiles were on most everyone’s face, and tossing beer kegs was a big time game.

It was hot! I’m going to speak to the event organizer and see if some Bavarian temperatures can also be imported next year. Of course, the hot temperatures meant some patrons reduced the clothing wore to a minimum. In many cases, this was a good thing – least ways, the human males seemed to enjoy it. There were some individuals that would have been best served to have dressed themselves in fur like I do. Most of these wore fashions from the “Two Sizes Too Small Mall.” I’ll write a whole blog post about my visit to that shopping area.

Come next year this Octoberfest event is one to add to your list of “got to go to’s.”

 

octoberfest-1

 

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I do … (A quiz — would you prefer to be a child again?)

"Do you ever wish you were a child again?"

“Do you ever wish you were a child again?”

There are days when I wish I could flip the calendar back to my care free youth. My worries were whether I got a comfortable spot to nurse at Momma’s dinner table, how long I should stay awake between naps, and if my brothers and sisters were told they were “the cutest puppy” more times than me. Ahhhhhh … Those were the days.

If you ever think you’d like to hop in a time machine and travel backwards, some of the following questions might help you decide.

Do you remember when there were no cell phones? No way to call for help if your car broke down versus no way for the boss to check on you or disturb your weekend. Which do you prefer?

Do you remember kick the can? Do you think that game was better for your kids than Pokemon?

Do you remember when fresh meat and vegetables were really fresh? Do you prefer picking veggies you raised in your organic garden to picking up preserved veggies in plastic wrap from a grocery counter?

Do you miss reading the morning newspaper or prefer watching TV news each AM?

Do you long for the day when “Clinton” was best known as a town in Tennessee and “Trump” was a term used when playing bridge?

You decide.

 

 

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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