Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Sometimes, it takes more than one chef to make a delicious meal, and today it seemed to take more than one blogger to write a blog post! My best-girlfriend-soulsister-favoriteshoppingcompanion-vicariousmotherofmydaughters Emilie wrote a blog post that moved me so much, EVEN before coffee, that I ended up writing my blog post in her comments!

Being the loving and responsible woman that she is, she rescued a dog from a bad situation and was musing about the decision she made to relinquish the dog to animal control.

As I stated in her comments, she absolutely did the right thing by that dog and by her family, who aren’t in a position right now to take a dog into their lives. And what follows is the thought that sprang forth organically as I commented:

But…..one day…one day….I know you will fall in love with a dog. People talk about dogs being child-replacements, but it’s not always so. There’s something a dog gives you that no other human being can give you, not even a child. It’s a special love that I think that displays another facet of the infinite love of God. It’s not replacement child love; it’s dog love. And for what it is, it’s perfect.

So, yes, you did the right thing with Lucky. But one day, if -you’re- lucky, a dog will find you when you’re a bit thin on acceptance, perhaps a bit wormy inside from the challenges of being human, running in and out and dodging the traffic hazards of modern life. And -that- dog will adopt you and say to you with its eyes, “Don’t worry, Lucky! I’ll take care of you!” “

That’s it. That’s how the dogs in my life found me, even the ones that I seemingly adopted. They take care of the human part of me. They are the love that never judges, always stays by me. They only want to be with me. Even when there’s nothing they can do to ease the hurts of my life, they somehow do . They ask for so little and so much. All they want is me.

True, sometimes they need food, walks, baths, and combing. But who really benefits from fulfilling their needs? Certainly, the dog benefits in the short-term, but the long-term benefit is mine. By allowing me to stop worrying for a moment and care for them in the most basic, tactile ways, they smooth the callouses that form too often on my human soul.

And as I stated in an earlier post, I know they are not children. They can never fulfill the role that children play in a parent’s life.

But I don’t think that sells them short, because I’m pretty sure that children can not fill the role that a dog plays in my life, either.

I know that, even if I’d been blessed with children, I’d still have a house full of dog hair, and even after kissing my children goodnight, I’d still crave that tender, loving, accepting, and soul-nourishing kiss from my dog.

Dogs are dogs. And that is a God-blessed existence unique to dogs.

[On a side-note, Georgia State University featured a story this week about dogs in education. It’s an interesting read, and futher underscores the importance dogs play in the human existence.]

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Napping on a cold day

Animals really know how to live.  They eat.  They play.  They nap.  They are happy doing all those things, but even happier when their busy humans join them in their daily activities.

Today, while staying in from the cold and knitting the second sock, I issued an invitation to my pets.  Well, actually, I sat on the sofa and covered up with a warm blanket, but of course, they saw it as an invitation to join me on the sofa and proceed with the napping portion of their day.

Here’s Abby and Lia, curled up and sound asleep. That’s me under the blanket.

Nap 1

Obviously, Lia got the choice seat next to Mommy.  Lia is not the kind of kitty to keep all the joy and love to herself though! She’s more than happy to “pay it forward”, as seen here where she spreads a little love Abby’s way.

Nap 3

Naargarph….” says Abby, as she rolls over to snuggle Lia even closer.  Hey, Lia, is that close enough?  I bet you’re feeling warm now, squeazed in between Mommy and Abby.  Actually, she looks pretty comfortable….

nap 5

Now that’s what “sisterly affection” looks like in our house!

nap 6

Awwww….the feline kissing and hugging continues!  When you see love like this, suddenly you believe that peace on earth is achievable as long as there are warm blankets for everyone.

Nap 7

What’s the matter, Abby?  Is this too much kitty love for you?  Hey, where are you going?  Soon, Abby moved to the end of the sofa where she could get her nap on in peace.  Napping is serious business, not to be interrupted by grooming.

Abby naps alone

And all the while, Oliver does his best impression of The Neutered Prince and the Pea.  It was just too crowded on the sofa, anyway…

oliver’s nap

Is it any wonder that I didn’t leave the house all afternoon?  Nope, I stayed warm and cozy in my own little cocoon of peace.  I hope your Sunday afternoon was as restful and peaceful as mine.



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why is my house littered with toys?

Pets, like children want your attention almost all the time.  Abby will clean out her toybox trying to find the one toy that will entice me to stop working on the computer and play with her.  So this evening, when I looked down on the floor next to my chair, here’s what I saw.

Abby’s toys

From the top left to right, the cast of Abby’s favorite characters are 1) Teddy Bear, 2) Squeaky Squirrel, 3) Squeaky Puppy, 4) pajama pants tug toy, 5) Quacky Duck, 6) Chewy Bone, 7) Squeaky Cow.  At the base of her feet in the upper right of the corner is toy #8, Squeaky Shark.

Yes, in the course of an hour or so, Abby pulled out these toys and brought them over to my place at the table.

Play with me!Eventually, Abby gave up and tried to convince Oliver to play with her, instead.  Apparently, he’s not as attracted to the computer.  Unfortunately, he’s also not very attracted to Squeaky Shark.

“Hey, Oliver….want to play with my Squeaky Shark?”

“Ew, dog….that toy smells like dog breath! No way!  Besides, I’ve got all these magazines to read…”

Poor Abby.  I should post this message now and go play with her.  Afterall, she’s brought me all these great toys!

[And it’s really going to snow tomorrow!]

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Sorry I haven’t posted anything in awhile!  I’ve been more than a little preoccupied this week.  Besides knitting until all hours of the morning, trying to set a world record for the most knitted gifts produced in a week, and baking cookies, I’ve also been steeling myself for…

…Mother-in-Law Visit 2007.   Coming to a small house this Friday.

Okay, coming to my house this Friday.   Between you and me, I’m a nervous wreck.  I don’t dare let her know how we really live day-to-day; I don’t think she’d appreciate just how much personal time school takes up in the evening, leaving little time for domesticity and the labor that accompanies it.

And really, why can’t three ring binders, notebook computers, photocopied articles,  and textbooks be considered just as classy and decorative as, say, faux antique china figurines?  All the best interior designers work around an established theme, afterall.  Let’s just say that my theme is “Absentminded Professor” and leave it at that.   When we look at it in that regard, I’m like a DIY genious!

What other decorating themes apply?  Well, when I’m not in school, I like to decorate liberally with yarn, pulling out different cones and skeins of yarn and arranging them in colorways to find my next inspiration.  And textile arts tools are ever so rustic and decorative.  Oh, what’s really charming is the way that  I leave pattern books open to pattern drafts all over the house.  It really gives the whole house a “frozen in textile art consideration” theme.  Let’s call it “Indecisive Erstwhile Artist”.

But fortunately, I don’t have to rely on my interior artist talents to keep my home unique and individual; my pets are all talented decorators in their own right! Abby works in an eclectic Jackson Pollack technique called “Squeaky Toys Everywhere”, in which she flings colorful toys on the canvas of our happy home, while Alys has a particular penchant for a style she calls “Hey, I Was Laying on That.”  [Like most cats, her themes tend to border on the meglomaniacal.]  Our only male child, Oliver Cat, has a surprisingly effective hairball decoupage technique, while our oldest child, Lia Lou Kitty, takes after her mom as an accomplished fiber artist, leaving felted cat hair products on all surfaces.

So you see, it’s not that my house doesn’t have any style; we’re long on style as long as that is either “Preoccupied Grad Student” or “Pet-tacular”.   But I’m afraid my MIL will be looking for something a bit more…..conventional.

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The Dog Days of Christmas

Since Tony and I don’t have a houseful of human children, but rather a houseful of four-legged children, our Christmas traditions may be just a bit different than yours…..

We tried hanging stockings by the mantle, but the cats kept jumping up and grabbing at them.

We tried putting a train around the base of our tree, but again, the cats and dog wanted to chase it.

We even tried letting our children open their wrapped gifts from Santa Paws, but we were afraid that Oliver would eat the ribbon.

Alright, perhaps I exaggerate a little, but the holidays without having children does make you reexamine your traditions and rituals.  And sometimes, out of creativity (or desperation) you even create new traditions.

Take, for example, the Advent calendar.  You know what that is: as each day gets closer to Christmas Day, a little door is opened, or a drawer is pulled, or a pocket is inspected, each with a small gift or a piece of candy, or some other treat to make the countdown to Christmas both more concrete and more exciting.  Usually, children are allowed to do the opening. (The grown-ups already know how many days are left before Christmas, and they also know they are way, way behind in their shopping/cooking/knitting….or is that just me?)

Advent wreathSo here is our family version of the Advent Calendar.   Look closely.  I’ve lovingly tied 25 dog biscuits to a $5 wreath I got at a craft store, and added a craft-foam dog head to the bottom.  Cute, huh? 

So now, each day as we get closer to Christmas, we can take a cookie off the wreath and say, “Abby! Santa Paws will be here in just a few days!  Better be a Good Girl!  No chasing kitties!” 

She doesn’t understand what I’m saying.  The attention alone is enough to make her eyes sparkle, but with a cookie added into the bargain, she’s a twitching, focused, eager puppy.  And it brings holiday joy to our quiet home.

Now, if I could just keep the cats from looking in the closets for where I’ve hidden their kitty presents….

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