Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Tale of Jack and Sparky



            Sabrina, from next door, came over to apologize for the cries of her young kids (goats) Truth is I don't even hear them unless I happen to be outside and behind the house.  Sometimes I hear Jack through the kitchen window.  I think Sparky may answer him, but Jack is definitely louder.

            Sparky is the dog who lives next door.  He shares the fenced yard with the goats.  Jack lives behind us.  His yard isn't fenced.  He feels free to go wherever he pleases at any time.  I don't know all of his daily routine, but it appears to me that his morning routine is to descend the hill that leads from our yard to his and torment Sparky.



            I don't speak dog, but this is what I hear, "Ha, ha.  You are stuck behind a fence all day. I am better than you.  Certainly more trust worthy.  I am the more superior breed"


            I could be wrong.  Perhaps it's more friendly than it appears.  Perhaps Jack is angry about the fence and wishes he could play with Sparky.  Overall, Sparky looks sad.  Perhaps he feels trapped in his yard.  I don't think Jack's routine is helping.   

           Do I have too much time on my hands?  or am I just overly tired?  Why am I posting about two dogs that I don't even know? 


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Four Legged Angels



             I remember being in the congregation during a sacrament meeting in which a newly returned missionary was giving his homecoming talk. As he shared various experiences, he would explain why he felt the need to share.  I remember him saying that all missionaries have at least one dog story.

         “We do?” I had thought. 
         I must admit that I had missed his dog story as I had been thinking of my own.  One that actually brings a smile to my face each time I think about it.

         I was serving in an area where each door had been knocked on (weekly if not daily) by one religion or another.  It came to the point that people just didn’t want to open their doors as they felt they were being bullied by religious freaks.  We had actually been told to back off from going from door for at least a few months.  No sweat off my brow.  I hated that particular method of trying to find people, but I was with a companion who measured her missionary success by going from door-to-door.  

         Many members in that area referred to our companionship as “The Odd Couple” thus we named ourselves Oscar and Felix.  I was Oscar, and my high-maintenance, “by-the-book” companion was Felix.

         After two months of contacting members and searching for referrals in ways other than door-to-door, my companion counted down the days that we would go tracting door-to-door.  I did not share in her excitement.  I know there are people who have been found through knocking doors - but for me personally, it was not the greatest method and definitely did not measure my success (or failure) as a missionary.

         We had gone to only two houses before a German Shepherd started to follow us from one house to the next.  He would sit behind us and away from the door as we invited those who answered to listen to our message.  A few would look at the dog and ask if he was ours.  As we'd walk away from the skeptic who refused to believe the dog was ours, I'd make jokes just to get a rile out of my companion.

          "Yes, it is our dog and if you don't listen to our message, he'll eat you."

         My companion felt embarrassed and was a bit defensive as answered their concerns.

         “He’s not our dog.  He just started following us.  We don’t know why.”

         After four more houses or so, Sister Felix turned to me and said,  “Sister Cannon, we need to say a prayer so that the dog will stop following us.”

          I'm certain that the look that she saw on my face was one of puzzlement.  
          “Sister Felix, the dog could have been sent as a guardian angel.  If a prayer is offered, it won’t be in harmony, as the dog is not bothering me.  You go ahead and say a prayer if it makes you feel better.”

         Sister Felix offered a prayer and pleaded that Heavenly Father return the dog to his home.  No sooner did we say “amen” and we were joined by a Basset Hound – thus we had two dogs following us.  They weren’t doing anything wrong.  They seemed well behaved.  But it bothered her – which only amused me further. 

         We knocked on two more doors I think, and then Sister Felix became disgusted and announced that we may as well just return to our car, as we obviously weren’t going to get anything accomplished.  What? No more knocking door-to-door? I was right.  They were four-legged angels.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Who is Grandma Beth?




      The week before we left for Oregon, I had gone to the school to pick up Jenna. I was reading a book from my own collection and not the library as the parking lot started to empty. I wondered if she was dawdling again before I realized it was Thursday and she has an after school program. So my choices were to go home and return or continue reading.  Or hey, I could just go to the library that was near her school.  I chose the latter.


       I looked through a few titles before picking up: “Girl’s Best Friend” from the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series by Leslie Margolis.  It was interesting enough, but thought it might be fun for Jenna and I to read together.  And so I continued to look for another book before I settled on “A Million Ways Home” by Diana Dorisi Winget.  I ended up reading both at the same time and proceeded to mix up the characters and plots – at least in the beginning.





      Both involved girls in 6th or 7th grade.  Both involved dogs – though Maggie walked dogs in New York while Poppy assisted at a shelter in Washington.





Jenna and I took turns reading aloud from “Girl’s Best Friend” – I often laughed at the wording from story.  When I read “A Million Ways Home” it was to myself.  I often cried.  Not a good book for me personally to read out loud.  I really did enjoy it.  It was the book I was trying to finish up before we went to Oregon.


The story starts out with Priscilla Parker (who goes by Poppy) in a children’s shelter.  She’d been placed there when her grandma had taken ill.  She believed that her grandma would get better.  She believed that she would be able to care for her when she left the hospital.  Her grandma could not return home after the hospital, but was sent to a nursing home to recuperate.  Poppy believed she could care for her grandma every bit as good as the rest home.  There was so much about her current situation that she did not understand.


Her own parents had been killed before Poppy turned one.  She had been left in her grandma’s care for all that time.  She tried to make the best of the situation at the shelter, but that’s NOT where she wanted to be.


In searching for her grandmother, and losing her way, Poppy witnesses a crime and is placed in a protective custody with the detective’s mother.  Poppy visits her grandmother – sometimes without permission and does her best to continue in protective custody so she doesn’t have to return to the shelter.


I feel for the character.  I feel her love.  I feel her pain.  I understand her choices.  I really loved this book.


After we got to Oregon, Jenna asked me, “Who is Grandma Beth?”


The first thing that came to mind was the book “A Million Ways Home” – as the name of Poppy’s grandmother is Beth.  But how would Jenna know that?  It wasn’t the book that we were reading together.  And then it occurred to me that I had mentioned that we’d be visiting “Graham and Beth” and Jenna had heard “Grandma Beth”


We never finished “Girl’s Best Friend” as she seemed to have lost interest and I returned it back to the library two days before it was due.  Perhaps we'll check it out again some other time.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ester Loves Babies and Dogs



Ester doesn’t get to visit with
Bill and Kayla’s kids all
too often.
She is their second cousin
once removed on
mine and Kayla’s side. 
They are seventh cousins
on Tony and Bill’s side. 

Ester will always sit with
the adult closest to
the one holding B.J.
Ester Loves looking at
this little human who
is smaller than her
(though that’s bound to
change within the next
two to four years I think; 
Ester’s small)

Randy and Carrie have
a dog. 
They did not name him
Iron Chops,
but that is what I
call him. 
Even though he is
still a puppy,
he is three times
bigger than Ester
and oblivious at
knocking over anybody or
stepping on body parts. 

Ester likes to watch him from
a distance –
tightly secured in
someone’s lap and not
anywhere near the
same floor that
Iron Chops occupies with
his very long body.

Highness is our dog
Ester Loves him.
Highness is old
and slow
and Ester can
keep up with him.















 
Highness moves to
get away from Ester as
she follows with her
hand raised in the air
ready to pet him.

He goes under the
table and Ester follows with
no problem. 
Highness looks to each adult
waiting to be rescued from
this almost-three-year-old who
is quite tame compared to
Iron Chops who
tortures Highness far more
than Ester ever does.

At the end of the night
when Tony and Rochelle have
said their good-byes and
Ester has kissed everyone,
she bends down toward 
Highness and whispers loudly 
in his ear.
“Don’t cry,” she says. 
“Don’t cry, Highness”

She Loves Highness. 
She only tolerates
Iron Chops.  But
someday she may
love him as much or
maybe even more
than Highness. 

Right now she sees
Iron Chops as a big
scary dog. 
There is nothing
scary about Highness. 
He is a very
well -mannered dog.

Ester Loves babies and dogs

                                                                                                 kfralc

Friday, July 19, 2013

Puppies are cute; That doesn’t mean I want one.



Biff’s girlfriend (at the time) gave him a puppy for Christmas – ironically the last year they were together.  They didn’t even make it to the next Christmas.

The puppy was cute with his little brown patches and Jenna liked holding him and playing with him while his patches were still intact. As Buddy got bigger (just in the matter of months really) the patches disappeared and Biff had a large white dog who wanted to play 24/7.  Biff couldn’t give him 24/7.  We all needed to sleep sometime – except Buddy. Barked if we tied him up.  Lot of complaints from the neighbors.

Buddy was no longer cute.  He was a nuisance.  Jenna loved him when he was a puppy, but when he got bigger than her, he was just too much for her to handle. He went through the chewing stage and managed to get some of her toys while indoors.  She hid all of her outdoor toys in his dog house – which he refused to take shelter in.  And that was okay by Jenna.  She liked playing in it.  After about four months he had outgrown the dog house anyway.

We both got to hate that dog.  Buddy actually grew to bigger than Biff.  It was great entertainment to watch Biff giving Buddy a bath.

Biff and his girlfriend broke up, but still had a platonic relationship.  I think the only reason that she continued to visit was to see Buddy and not Biff.  He should have given her custody of the dog a lot sooner.




Carrie wanted a puppy and so Randy got her one for Christmas.  Not just any puppy – a two hour drive to a pure breed puppy farm.  They lived in an apartment at the time and had to pay extra fees when their newfound friend was discovered. Plus they’d have to take turns getting up and letting the dog out of the apartment while trying to potty train him.  I got up with a human baby.  I am NOT getting up for a dog!

Potty training isn’t the worst of it though.  They seem to catch onto it better than many human children do.  It’s the teething and chewing and barking that I have a problem with.

Randy would bring the dog over to our house and leave it in the yard (I didn’t want him to be making messes in my house, thank you very much) and sometimes come back for it after his classes or it would be here all day until Carrie  returned from work. 

Chief liked to Chew on Highnesses ear – and though I have called our own dog finicky and high maintenance but he really is a good natured dog – not thrilled at having Chief biting him, but never fighting back.  I didn’t have many problems with Chief being outdoors until quite recently actually.

When they moved out of the apartment Randy bought a scooter and left the dog at his house (YEAH!) and so we didn’t see as much of him anymore.  But then there was that day that their car broke down and they just happened to have Chief with him and the dog got left at our house again.

That dog is a terrorizer!  He chewed on almost everything that he could find in the yard – Jenna’s wading pool (which she had only used once) the floatation device that came with it, and a mop I had left outside to air out among other things.  I hadn’t even realized that we had had that many things in the back yard until I had to clean up after him.  I WASN’T HAPPY ABOUT IT either.  I told Randy and Carrie both:  DO NOT LEAVE THE DOG IN OUR YARD ANYMORE!      The only reason our trampoline survived is because he is still unable to reach the tarp (at least on all fours)

Randy replaced the pool.  I put it on the side of our house.  When Chief got left in our yard again – really?  Listening is definitely not one of  Randy’s strong points – he dug up the seeds that we had barely planted – plus he stepped on some plants in the process (I was surprised he hadn’t attacked them when he attacked the pool and the mop)




Today I bought a cable.  If/When Chief comes again, he will have room to play among the weeds.  He won’t be in our back yard.  He will be on the side of our house where it’s nice and shady.  And if he would like to dig up or step on all the weeds, I will learn to love him again. 

Here’s hoping Randy and Carrie may take the hint and just leave Chief at home until he is no longer teething.  There is a reason we have always gotten older dogs. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dog Sitting




 Noel took Jenna for half the day two Saturdays before Christmas.  In the process Jenna fell in love with Noel’s dog, Hallie.  Later, when Noel was traveling out of town, she was looking for a sitter to take Hallie for four days.  I volunteered – more for Jenna than Noel. 

Unlike our dog, Highness, who’s only preferred activities are sleeping and taking walks, Hallie is an active four year old lab who LOVES to play – possibly more than Jenna.  I don’t know why Noel has her on such a strict diet, but I can’t leave food out for Highness to eat at his convenience as Hallie is supposed to eat certain foods at certain times – and Highness is such a fussy eater that he usually chooses NOT to eat what’s been left in his dish.

Last week I watched Lacy – who belongs to Frank and Marie.  Normally I’d have said “No” except for they’ve watched Jenna on several occasions – not overnight, but several hours each time. Unlike Hallie, Lacy is a small dog – Affenpinscher, maybe. I was afraid she’d get stepped on.

Jenna has played with her as well, and seems to have had fun with her while at Marie’s but seemed to hate having her around our house – or laying on her bedding as Lacy smells.  I can’t smell her, but Jenna seems to have an extra sensitive nose. 

I also believe Marie has spoiled her and she is bit of a fussy dog and almost as High Maintenance as Highness. She liked being in Jenna’s room.  She was not fond of the rest of our house.  She didn’t like our yard at all.

We are watching Hallie again. Poor dog is always hungry and searching for food.  Roland found Highness’s bowl on the counter and put it on the floor.  I imagine Hallie scarffed up what was left – which I’m sure would not go over well with Noel. But what can I do.  The evidence is gone.  And I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t give her the nighttime “meal” that Noel portioned out (Lacy seriously would have eaten a larger portion; Hallie is a long white lab who’s always in the way)

In addition to giving her small portions for breakfast and dinner and keeping her out of the garbage cans and away from food that may be within her reach, Noel has also given me some medicine to give to her inside of a peanut butter ball.  This is a job for Biff – not Biff’s mom.  He’s the animal charmer.  I am an animal tolerater.

I don’t watch Randy’s dog – well actually Carrie’s puppy, Chief.  Randy used to leave him in our back yard (only after I banished him from being in the house) when he and Carrie lived near his and Jenna’s schools.  But they have moved farther west and he has been riding his scooter and Chief gets left in their yard.  Except the other day.

They were on their way to taking Carrie to work when the car broke down.  Roland picked them up and brought Chief back to our house. He is in his teething stage and destroying stage.  His cuteness wore off before he got bigger than Highness.  Chief is at the top of Jenna’s black list.  She had used her pool only one day and Chief managed to have pool bits all over our yard

It wasn’t just the pool he had destroyed.  It was almost everything in the yard – some things I wasn’t even aware were in the yard until they became chewed up bits.  It’s a wonder he didn’t destroy the hose or garden.  I feel so fortunate that I didn’t have Lacy out there.  He probably would have chewed her to bits as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

An Act of Service for both parents and children


         Children call her the animal balloon lady as she has brought her pump and balloons to various activities providing the children with a sweet gift to take home (provided it doesn’t pop first)

Noel announced a service that she would be providing for parents to drop off their children for four hours and she would provide snacks for them and a play a holiday movie and provide other activities.  Sounded like a great bargain to me.

          I signed up for Jenna’s sake more than my own.  I figured she’d enjoy the activities and association with whatever fellow classmates might have showed up.
          Noel offered two shifts: 8-12 and 1-5.  I chose the earlier of the two – figuring there would be less children and it wouldn’t be so overwhelming for Noel to have a huge amount of children in her apartment. 

          As it turned out, it was Jenna by herself – which actually worked out to her own benefit as she really does enjoy the one on one.  And when Noel was preoccupied with putting cookies in the oven or cleaning or what have you, Jenna would play with the dogs.  She loves that.  Our own high-maintenance dog doesn’t interact the way some neighboring dogs do.

           How awesome it is to have people like Noel who are willing to provide a service for both the children and the parents who are involved.  Thank you, Noel.  And thank you also to your roommates who allow the children to come into their home also.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Houdini Could Toss a Basketball


          We had a bear-sized dog come live with us before we were married and were moving Roland and the boys into the house.  He was an older dog who had come with his own name – but if he hadn’t, we would have named him Houdini as he was an escape artist.

          The first year we lived in Kearns we had gone to a Cinco de Mayo [taste of Kearns] celebration.  The boys (Randy specifically) had wanted to enter Houdini  in a contest but didn’t know what category.  They ended up entering him in the fluffiest – we were among the first to arrive and hadn’t had the opportunity to see the one we knew would take first place.

          Best trick really would have been the best option, but I don’t think the boys had a ball with them (as I recall we had just walked to the High School where the celebration had taken place) otherwise Houdini would have put all the other animals (even more so, their owners) to shame.  For the “tricks” that were performed were not all that impressive – and each animal had to be rewarded for his unimpressive talent – whereas Houdini could bounce a basketball off his nose and didn’t need a reward.  Being able to play with the boys was reward enough.

          Houdini could also catch a baseball in his mouth.  It seemed so odd that this overweight tailless dog had so much talent. From what I have captured on video tape, Houdini always had perfect aim.

          Houdini has been our favorite dog of all the dogs that we’ve had.  We miss him tremendously.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beagle Juice

        I did not understand that when dogs barked at Houdini (first family dog), it was only because they wanted to play or sniff each other out.  But with Houdini, his was a mission to find his boys.  He managed to ignore every snide remark and pick up line that every dog may have barked to him.  He just kept his eyes ahead and moved at a steady pace. Didn’t even acknowledge the other dogs.

Highness (our current dog) walks with his nose to the ground – searching for a long lost friend (we think) and will sniff out other dogs and decide that’s not the one he’s looking for and will move on.  Generally if I allow Highness and the dog behind the fence to sniff one another, things are cool and the barking generally stops.  Not always.

          There have actually been a few mean dogs.  MEAN.  They grow extra fangs right in front of us and growl as they bare their new sprouted teeth looking as though they will bite off Highness’ nose.  But don’t mess with Highness!

          Realistically, Highness is quite a good natured dog.  He yowls occasionally, but for the most part he is just a quiet, often lazy dog.  But when another dog continues to growl and bark at him and really isn’t being nice,  Highness will just lift his leg up and mark his territory right on the other dog’s face.

          For my own wicked reasons I am generally amused – sometimes feeling envy.  Not that I’d want to urinate in the face of another – be it human or another animal.  It just would be nice for those occasional irritating moments to squirt some sense into the face of another to symbolically say, “Who do you think you are?”  “Don’t even think of messing with me;  I am NOT  one to be messed with” etc.

          Long before we got Highness – perhaps at a time when we were dogless – I was taking a walk to relieve some tension that had been building up inside of me.  I have an idea of what I may have been stressed about at the time, but it really has no relevance to what I’d like to convey at this time.

          The point is I was already not in the greatest of moods.  I had walked past a house where a pit bull had run out to torment me with its barking and populating fangs.  Normally I am actually quite cautious of dogs and not a violent person, but I already had a bitter anger inside of me.  The dog’s actions allowed me to add fuel to the fire and I kicked him.  I kicked him hard.

          It is mind boggling when I look back upon it.  I have never been athletic.  NEVER had great eye/hand (or foot) coordination.  I don’t know how I was able to kick him as hard as I did – or that I was able to kick him at all.  I had injured him – I don’t know to what degree.  I was angry.  He had started it.  I was just minding my own business, trying to relieve some stress when this high and mighty literally went out of his way to start barking at me.  What business was it of his anyway? 

          How nice it would have been just to rationalize with him.  He wouldn’t have gotten hurt if I had had some kind of squirter – some kind of Beagle juice to throw into his face.  And yet I wonder, if it weren’t for the fences would the dogs become more provoked and actually eat my Highness?  Only one out of three dogs was actually bigger than Highness (maybe twice as big) while the other little yappers have been so much smaller. 

          What is up with small dogs who are so unpleasant?  I mean, think about it.  Why would such a small creature provoke one who is obviously four to eight times its size.  Doesn’t it realize that the larger one could sit or step on it and crush it?  The pit bull for example – much smaller than me – though larger than my foot.  Duh?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dogs


Recently I made a scrapbook page of Jenna posed with various dogs. They have all been good dogs – except one.  Our first dog ran away before I had even learned that I was pregnant with Jenna.  Houdini was our favorite dog.

I had worked with a women who was a humanitarian and on a mission to save all animals – dogs in particular.  She asked me if I’d be willing to take a dog.  And the boys had always wanted one – and finally we had the room.  We went to take a look at the dog before we moved to the house I had just purchased.

My boys commented that the dog was fat.  They were more interested in the dog’s sister (who was not available for the taking)  apparently a fat dog was better than no dog.  I told my co-worker we’d take it – but first she’d have to wait for us to move into our house before she brought the dog.  But actually the dog was brought to us on first day of the move – so we hadn’t actually settled in yet.

Houdini was an overweight borderline collie/Australian shepherd – who when shaved of all of his hair looked like he could be part greyhound. A board was used to block the entrance from the driveway to the backyard.  It was only because of his weight that Houdini was unable to escape. 
  
Once the boys slimmed him down, Houdini would make escapes from the yard as he often went in search of the boys.  That’s not the real name that our dog answered to, for he had been given a name already long before he came to us. But it is the name we would have given him had he not already come with one.  And actually what we had called him that when we make reference to him.

 Houdini was a larger dog and any gaps that we could find in the yard seemed much too small for his body to slide through. And yet he was always making these astounding escapes that would make us scratch our heads.

Our boys were out of town and we left Houdini with a sitter while we went to meet the boys.  Houdini made his escape and was never rescued.  The sitter felt bad, though I assured her that it wasn’t her fault.  I had warned her about Houdini - but there are some things that some people don't take upon face value - and she may have ended up even more floored than we were.

My oldest son asked if I was pregnant.  At the time I didn’t realize that I was.  But I suspect Houdini knew.  It was after Houdini was gone that I understood why he had been sticking so close to me.

We didn’t get our second dog until after Jenna was born.  Roland had wanted to get a dog that could protect me and Jenna while he was away.  And we’d gone to animal shelters in search of something – nothing specific in mind.  

We happened to be at the pound when Roland received a phone call from a business partner who inquired about the background noise.  By coincidence he had a dog and a newborn though he didn’t seem to have room for both and perhaps we’d be interested in taking his dog? So we went to check her out.

Daisy – our only female dog.  Also fat.  Sweet. Not too bright – reminded me of Odie (from the Garfield comic strips) – she was actually younger than I had thought.  Such a lazy dog for still being a puppy – though she was an awfully big puppy. 

Lab mix with a what looked like a St. Bernard head –or so thought my oldest son and me.  St. Bernard’s are big dogs, though I suppose she could have been part horse. But she did not seem to offer any protection for us – oh, her size alone would throw off a few people.  But overall she was not a threat.  She was a homebody.  Never wandered off to explore the way the rest of our dogs have done.

Houdini had always hidden from the noise of the fireworks – where Daisy would literally stand on top of them.  Crazy dog.  Lazy Crazy Daisy.  Sometimes I think that’s why her previous owners named her so.  Rhymed with some of her characteristics.


All three boys were in high school – busier than they had been with Houdini.  Daisy still wasn’t getting the attention she deserved. Jenna was my priority – not Daisy.  Two years after we got her we learned her previous owners had been looking around for another dog.  We gave Daisy back to them. Evidently they had learned to make time for her as they had slimmed her down so much she literally looked like another dog.

And then there’s Patches a Great Pyrenees.  I don’t actually consider Patches to be a family dog.  He was the only dog that came into our family as a puppy.  He was a Christmas gift to my eldest son from his then girlfriend – who assured us that he would not become too large of a dog.  She must have been comparing it to a grizzly bear. 

It actually took him a while to come up with a name for the few week old puppy. Originally our son had come up with Patch – but his girlfriend had dated a guy who’d gone by Patch and didn’t want the reminders – but Jenna had already started calling the dog “Patches” and that is what I called him – until he ran away.

I don’t remember how long he was gone before my son and his girlfriend found him and returned him to our house.  By then most of his “patches” had seemed to disappear and we referred to him as “Buddy” which is the name my son had finally settled on.  Though neither Jenna nor I considered him to be our “buddy”  What a disobedient dog.

My son has always loved horse sized dogs and actually had that with Buddy as he continued to grow and grow and eat and eat and grow some more.  I remember my brother looking out the window three months after Christmas, asking if that was our dog.  I said yes – though Buddy was just a puppy.  My brother looked again and said, “That ain’t no puppy”

Seems like our oldest son was spending his entire paycheck on Buddy.  First with a dog house that Buddy would never go into – not even when he was puppy sized.  He was a weird dog – always buried beneath the boards which leaned against our house.  We could always find him there when it was raining – but loved the snow.  Our youngest son tried building him a larger house from the boards he used as shelter – Buddy wouldn’t use that either.

Jenna learned to love the dog house.  When Buddy went through his “chewing” stage, Jenna hid all her toys in the doghouse knowing that they would be protected as the dog would never go in.  I thought that was really quite clever of her.

I thought it would be great for her to have a companion – until he got too big for her – still playing like a puppy but outweighing Jenna and pushing her down (which she didn’t like) and actually turned out to be longer than my oldest son. 

Buddy wanted to play 24/7.  He was always barking.  My son would often keep Buddy in his room at night so the neighbors wouldn’t complain – but even if he was inside the house, the neighbors would still blame any barking noise on his dog.

Biff tried.  He really did.  But though he had time for a normal dog – he didn’t have time for an undisciplined puppy. On the first week of October, my son’s girlfriend (who had broken off the girlfriend/boyfriend thing and asked for a more platonic relationship; we’d see her just as often – but I think she came to our house just see Buddy and not so much for Biff) took Buddy back to her home (which was in another county)  We never saw either one of them again.

          Buddy was the only puppy.  Never doing that again.

          The economy has been unkind to so many people.  We lost our house and were forced to move to a much smaller house in another city.  Jenna has always had a lot of friends but seems a lot more challenged in the current city were we presently reside.

Two years after we moved in, we went dog shopping again.  This time we brought home an older dog whose previous owner discovered health issues on her part that made it difficult for her to take care of her dog anymore. 

And it’s not as though Highness (not his given name – but seems to fit as he seems to be under the impression that he is prince or king of our domain; very high maintenance) doesn’t demand much time – although he does enjoy going for walks.

I truly believe his last owner tied a bib around his neck and allowed him to sit at the dinner table with her. What a finicky eater.  I don’t know who is more finicky – Highness or Jenna.  If I did not know better I would think Highness was/is a cat.

          Highness (a beagle) seems to be a cross between Houdini and Daisy.  Not quite as active as Houdini – but sweet – very sweet.  And naps almost as much as Daisy did.  We all enjoy Highness’s company.  Even my oldest son who would still like a horse sized dog is happy with our actually smallest dog. 

          My scrapbook page also includes Max and Bear.  Max, who we see on occasion outside the library and Bear who belongs to our hairdresser.  Both dogs are bigger than Jenna – but not puppies who don’t know their own strength.  Jenna has enjoyed playing with both.  Often both she and my oldest son wish Highness was more active – but I’m happy with him the way he is – and I’m the one who spends the most time with him.  Jenna loves him, too.