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Good Manners

Good manners do pay off. For being so well behaved, Patches and Cali were upgraded to their “doggie suite.” Thanks to the superb front desk staff at the Las Vegas Flamingo Hotel for making this extra sweet!

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Pay Attention To Your Dog!

So, Cali got into a small scuffle at the dog park today. This is usually a rare occurrence. Cali is a female mix of Pit Bull and Border Collie. She is completely harmless, but on occasion, when another dog gets in her space, she will let them know in a defensive way not to go there.

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For the most part, I enjoy going to the dog park. The people are nice and 98 percent of the dogs are not aggressive or dominant. I always scope out “the scene” when entering the park.  With anything in life, there are always a few bad apples within a crowd.  Today the park was full and I was feeling a slight vibe of doggie trouble.

My dogs are social, but we tend to keep to ourselves as they are more interested in tennis balls instead of chasing around other dogs. While taking a break, Cali laid in the shade enjoying her time at the dog park. From the herds of circling dogs, a mix German Shepard came up to Cali. Without even blinking twice, I knew there was going to be a fight.  Within thirty seconds, this dog was in Cali’s face and she instantly went into defense mode. The scuffle only lasted a few seconds as I shouted “Hey, Hey,” but the confrontation was aggressive enough for either dog to sustain a injury. Luckily my sixth sense kicked in to breakup the fight so this was not to case.

The part that irritates me Is the owners of this German Shepard were no where to be found.  This dog is a dominated Alpha dog and should be supervised at all times.  To me personally, this is dog ownership irresponsibility. Most dog owners, actually almost all, stay close and watch their dogs freely roam the park.  But, there’s always a few in the crowd that think there dogs are perfect and don’t cause trouble. These are the dogs that do get into doggie scuffles! PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DOG! And that’s my two and a half cents on dog park etiquette.

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Charlie

The other morning, like most mornings, I took Patches and Cali to the dog park.  Their barks grew louder as we approached the park while I was singing to songs from the radio marketed to fourteen year old’s.  This is our daily routine. Going to the dog park each day is not only necessary, but it is vital for our serenity.

The two gremlins bolted out of their crates in all their glory, waiting no time to chase the meaning of life in the form of a tennis ball.   We walked around the park making the rounds.  I said hello to the regulars while nodding to people I did not know.  The dog park always has a tendency to put me in a state of balance and well-being.

While chucking the ball back and forth for my four legged kids, a dog came up to me.  He was such a friendly dog. This particular dog was extremely happy; living in the moment the way all dogs do.  I called him “Charlie” (which he responded to for some odd reason).  I threw the ball for him and he came back giving me a “ruff” along with the wag of his tail for approval.  After a few tosses, Charlie went on his merry way.

After finishing our routine, I looked for Charlie and his owner.  That was the strange thing.  No Charlie.  No owner.  That’s because when Charlie left, he walked back into heaven.  He was my Charlie.  Charlie passed away three years ago at the age of six from cancer.  He just came down from heaven to tell the dogs and I he was OK.  And that night, the dogs and I slept well, knowing Charlie was OK.

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Charlie (left) last picture ever taken with Patches.

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Look Around…

“But look around
The leaves are brown
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter……”  Courtesy of the Bangles.

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“Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won’t you stop and remember me…….”

Yes, We Are Good Dogs.

Well, daddy accidentally made a mistake and booked a non pet hotel.  I am grateful my gremlins are well mannered. The front desk clerk gave us a “hall pass” and let us stay. I captured their moment, taking in “the good life.”

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My rockstars, Patches and Cali.

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Dogs Set The Bar For Loyalty

2:46am in the morning.  I am doing the “toss and turn groove” all night listening to my thousand year old heater produce mysterious noises.  It almost sounds like Freddy Kruger needs to break out of it.  On top of that nonsense, Cali and Patches are snoring away.  They both sound like I’m sleeping next to Chicago’s O’Hare airport with 747’s landing in both directions.  If snoring is the most annoying thing my dogs do besides wanting to crash through the front window to rip the mailman apart, I’m perfectly fine with it.

The other day, I was talking to a friend from high school. I asked her opinion of me back then and how she thinks of me today.  Her answer was no big surprise.  She told me back then she considered me a “burnout”.  I had to agree. Thinking of the days during in senior year waking up eating toast, drinking beer and smoking pot before class.  No argument there.  Today, she referred me to as a “lost soul”.  That threw a tiny wrench in the life equation.  After careful consideration, I could see that.  Divorced, no kids, do what I want, vagabond, I’ll take that.   The reason that statement is so true is the past four years (though my drinking and using) I lost a lot of respect and loyalty from my family and close friends.

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 Yes, Loyalty.  My dogs have seen me at my personal best and worst.  I literally was living a real nightmare as they were living  it with me.  Alone, scared, depressed, crazy, I was not someone you exactly invited over to dinner.  I blamed life, isolated myself from everyone, and walked around with a constant rain cloud over my head labeled “poor me” on it.  If it wasn’t for my dogs, and their true love and loyalty to me,  I would not know where I would be without them today.  The bond between humans and dogs is so strong that dogs can see through the temporary lapses of momentary insanity.  If only we humans could to that. 

Next time you are down (but not out) and hate life, look in your dogs eyes.  They love you no matter what.  Every day I look into their eyes and am grateful.  And with that, those two four legged creatures makes life a whole lot easier.