Thursday, April 30, 2009

Edgar Sawtelle Made Me Reflect.

Remember a few weeks ago when I encouraged you all to take up, "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle," and read? Well, it was mere hours after posting that encouragement that I finished the book myself. I know that some of you out there in "Blogoland" are reading it and I look forward to our discussions on it in the future so... for that reason... I won't give away too much. I will say however, that a great book encourages the reader to reflect on metaphor and analogy and the authors intentions. An outstanding book encourages you to reflect inward and look at your own life. Edgar Sawtelle made me think about my own pack and just what a dog is or can become. Specifically I thought a lot about my dog Maggie.

When I was a younger woman... new to the Air Force... I went looking for a puppy. Like most kids I was unconcerned with the quality of the breeder or the pedigree of the dog. I wanted a companion that looked good and would love to go to the beach with me, ( I was stationed in Panama City Fl. at the time... say no more right?) What I found in the paper was a litter of Dalmatian puppies. "Cool," I thought "they like to swim." So, I went to pick my pup from a backyard breeder and that's how I got Maggie.

Maggie was my constant companion and friend and I suppose I gave her the worst case of separation anxiety known to mankind. When she was a puppy, I carried her in a picnic basket, even sneaking her into work with me from time to time, (yes... these are your tax dollars... but we don't judge here.) Still, I had to leave her sometimes and when I did... oh boy! The litany; shoes, chickens, Skoal (don't ask),fiberglass insulation, two blocks of rat poison, one diamond earring and a porcupine. (Sounds a bit like "Marley and Me" right?... I know I was shocked too.) But, Maggie was more like my sister than my dog and we grew up together. We drove together all the way from Florida to Alaska... onto the maritime ferry... and up the Al-Can Highway. The first time she saw snow, was one of the most inexplicably beautiful sights I have ever seen. I loved her deeply. She was the most loving and loyal dog I have ever known.

When Maggie was 14, her body riddled with arthritis, we were forced to make the most impossible decision a dog parent has to make. Further, this was not something my husband could help with... she was my girl and it was my choice. I had always said that I would nurse her through the pain until God decided to call her home. Yet there came a day, which many who had gone before me said there would be, when I saw the fear and pain in her eyes and knew what I had to do. As odd as it sounds... it was the most painful separation of my life. In Edgar Sawtelle we see the separation of Edgar and Almondine explained like this...

" Others dreamed of finding a person in the world whose soul was made in their mirror image, but she and Edgar had been conceived nearly together, grown up together,and however strange it might be, she was his other."

The author then goes on to explain the way that Almondine loved her boy saying he was,

"her essence, her soul."

I believe in soul mates. I also believe that God gave us dogs as a way of understanding his perfect love. What better example of grace, faithfulness and loyalty do we have, here on Earth, than a dog? I loved her very much and hope to feel her presence again when I am in eternity. It was good to know that "Edgar Sawtelle's" author had also pondered the depths of love that can exist between dog and man. I felt a great comfort in that and I hope all of you readers out there do as well.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Have You Seen THIS Stick?

Okay so... me and my doggie peeps were just chillin' last Thursday. We had busted open a few rawhide nummies and some Haagen- Daz. You know... typicalThursday routine stuff? Dinner, bath... Survivor. That's right, the pack loves some good old-school Reality TV! Anywoooof, so the show goes off without a hitch when all of a sudden... our "tribal council," shocker turns into disgust. You see, what happened next is... well... beyond words. I just have to show you... this is what we saw!.!.@

That's right America! America's most wanted... Notorious S-T-I-C-K!!! "OMG" says I! The pups trembled in fear. Ruby averted her eyes...

Bailey ran to the creek, to wash away the stench of this twigs odorous malfeasance..

and Oliver... wellllll...

he FAINTED from sheer terror!

So, for those of you who don't already know... the word on the "bark chain" is that this googly eyed cudgel stabbed some Lab, up in Vermont, costing the pup's owner some OUTRAGEOUS wad of cash! Further, said stick... went on to violate their pack, even more, by seducing the dude's wife into... how shall we say... bumpin' bark... if you know what I mean? So, consider this your personal PSA. This unctuous scion is run amok and he could be coming to your town soon. He has violated the sanctity of one man's pack... has been spotted with many a maniacal character... and now has infiltrated the most honored of American traditions... prime time TV! Has he no honor? Just look alive people... look alive!

P.S. I hear this dirtbag has his own site... the nerve. Check him out at (at least that way we can keep an eye on him... uhh... is anyone else thinking about that "Craigslist killer" right now?) Creepy stick!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Reading Challenge from the Pack to You!

Okay, I'm not trying to get all "Oprah" on you but... my pack just found the best book and we would like to share it with all you dog lovers out there.

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle," a novel by David Wroblewski recently caught my attention on a trip to Costco, (I'm a sucker for their discounted books.) The cover says that it is a "coming of age novel about a boy, and his pack of dogs. "Say no more," says I but wait... there was more. Edgar Sawtelle is likened to a, "modern-day Hamlet," with tragedy, drama, ghosts, mystery and did I mention the dogs? (Also a big fan of the Shakespeare... just sayin'.) I didn't take the book home from Costco right away (how do you like my self restraint?,) but instead with economic conditions prevailing... I sought it out at the library. Of course, and much to my chagrin, the book was on a wait list but the librarian assured me that the turn over was quick... "apparently it's quite the page turner." So I reserved my copy and waited. Sure enough it was only a few days before the library called and told me to come and pick her up. Two days in... and I'm almost finished! Don't you hate to leave a good book? So does Stephen King. His review of Edgar Sawtelle said, "I flat out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle." He continues to say that he envies those of us who are just picking up the book our, "trip." He was so right.

So, here is my challenge. Let's read and discuss it together... a virtual "book club," if you will! I can guarantee if you like a great read... you'll love this one! The way Wroblewski writes from the mind of a dog is phenomenal! Don't want to give away too much but... Almondine is the embodiment of all that we have come to love about dogs. If you have already read it... let me know what you thought. Feel free to comment on any post at anytime to talk about this amazing book. Our pack gives it a definite 3 paws up!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's With the Springer?

The Springer Spaniel is just about everything I ever wanted in a dog. Compact and agile, the Springer is a real beauty when it springs a bird! They are so even tempered, loyal and loving. When Bailey and Oliver greet you, they wag their entire body with exuberant goopy love. Springers are just as happy running in the woods as they are sitting by the fire. They are easily trained and are inquisitive... quick witted even. So why, oh why, oh why... do they blow kibble every time they get in the car? Don't get me wrong... this is no "deal breaker" neccessarily but, I would like to take my beauties out into town without being covered in dog vomit (don't ask!) My son did teach the little one to do it in a bag, (gives new meaning to the term "doggie bag" doesn't it?) And the old one has grown out of it... but back in the day... watch out! So, this is something I hope will end one day. Until then... I'll be savin' all my Wal-Mart sacks and hopefully my car's interior in the process!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Friends of the Pack

In this segment I would like to highlight some of our best doggie friends! After all... there is no truer pal than your canine BFF so, a little recognition is what they deserve!

Today's pack pals are Bruiser, (pictured above with Mom Alicia Lynn,) and the Ragin' Cajun Roux, (pictured below.) Bruiser and Roux are new buddies but we love them still! Bruiser found a new home with Alicia Lynn and it was a match made in heaven! After hurricane Ike destroyed Alicia Lynn's home... she decided to leave the tumultuous shores of Texas and head for higher ground in No. Georgia. Bruiser was with a family that had decided to pack up and leave town too, but couldn't take Bruiser along. So, Alicia Lynn... being a kindred nomadic soul... invited Bruiser to be her new BFF and the rest is history! Our pack adores Bruisers shy-guy ways and winning smile!

Roux belongs to Alicia Lynn's daughter Jenny. Because Roux ain't no sissie... he's stickin' 'round Texas for a while to make sure the "coast," (get it... "coast"?,) is clear. Really, Roux is a big ol' softie... but he's got a reputation to uphold. Roux loves to swing by his teeth for fun. WOW! Our pack loves you tenacious Roux! Thanks for your service.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Another Scientific Poll... from "the pack."

Another very scientific poll has again been conducted and again... ya'll are a bunch of fibbing fibbers that fib! Or... maybe not. Most of you agree that it is best to feed Fido after the people eat, and away from the table. I fear that some of you might have skewed the very "scientific" data. In the future please know that Cesar doesn't read my blog, (yet) and there is NO judgement here. And... P.S. ... where does he get all those dogcentric freaks anyway?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ask Ruby

Now for a new segment called... "Ask Ruby." You're welcome to use that little "comment" area below the post, to add a question for Ms. Ruby's consideration. No question is off limits as Ruby attempts to delve deeper into the human psyche than any dog has ever gone before. Some sample questions might be... "Ms. Ruby... how can I get my hair as shiny as yours?" or... "Ms. Ruby... my man is giving me fits... how do you manage living with so many males whilst maintaining your sanity?" See Ruby ain't skeered... ask away!

So, Here's What Ya'll Do, When It's Rainin'!

A VERY scientific poll was recently conducted (by me) to determine what you do when "Fido" won't go out in the rain. Well the results are back and just as I suspected... you're all a bunch of radicals! It was pretty evenly split across the board but most of you either fall on the side of logic or crazy. Some of you believe in speaking rationally with your dogs to get them to... let's just say... "perform" while others of you believe in first hand illustration to achieve your goals. So, if I were a fly... I would witness a bunch of people either holding lengthy conversations with their dogs on bladder health or... wizzing in the yard like animals. Interesting. One thing is for sure, doggie people will do whatever it takes to help their doggie friends!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

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