Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...

Backstage at Reggae on the River, 2017...
The author of Mark's Work

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Crossing the Eel River at French's Camp

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Butter in the fly...

July Jewels

July Jewels
Bees to the Kingdom

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bowsers Revisited *



Bowsers, Revisited *
Dogs are cool people.  I was raised in a household with nine kids, but no dogs.  We had a dog all right, but not in the “house”hold, only outside.  My folks figured there was enough chaos as it was, without throwing critters into the mix.  So, even though we frequently joined our bowsers outside for the night, our doggies were not allowed to reciprocate, and join us under the same roof.  After all, the temperature at night, in SoCal, was far more inviting outside, than inside, back in the pre-air conditioned 60’s.
When we moved up here to Bell Springs Road, my sistah gave us a mixed breed Australian Shepherd named G’Day.  She was the sweetest little hound that ever you did want to be around, but she was an eighty-percent-outside dog, allowed in only at night, when the temperature outside, created the need for refuge.  Even then, I trained G’Day to remain within the five or six feet radius of the door.
When G’Day took that final trip Down Under, we acquired Hazel, our golden retriever.  She also remained within the immediacy of the back door, only she probably spent half of her life inside, most of the winter, and even times in the fall and spring, when things were dicey (Remember Dicey seventh graders?).  Of course, the boys thought I was inhumane, because Hazel was not allowed to roam within the house, but I just had my childhood attitude about dogs in the house, getting in the way.
Then came the current Australian shepherd, Clancy, no mixed-breed he, but a pure-bred merle, who is exquisitely beautiful.  He broke the kitchen door barrier, and became a full-time resident in the house, until such time as his thick fur jacket, makes it imperative that he seek the shade of the north-facing side of the house, where he burrows into the cool soil along the foundation, and snoozes.
And for the grand finale, we have Dozer, our English Bulldog.  He actually belongs to Lito, but when he first arrived, he brought the series of lightning strikes, known locally as the 2008 Mendocino Lightning Complex, with him.  Talk about an entrance!  There were 129 fires in Mendo County alone, half of which I am sure, Lito and Benny extinguished on their own, but that would be the dad in me.  I admire people who risk their lives, so that maybe my house might stand to see another winter.  Allow me to assure you, when one of those 129 fires started near Leggett, and headed for us over the course of those long June days, it left us slightly off-balance, with a lingering sense of doom.  Nothing brings on that impending sense of doom, like ashes falling all around you in the blistering summer heat.
Dozer not only roams the house as he pleases, he also-gasp!-sleeps on our bed at night (and whenever he darn sure wants.)  How that happened, I don’t have a clue, he boldly lied.  Actually, when he first came, he was still a pup, and well, he, uh, whined and howled, and whimpered and did what puppies are programmed to do, and our hearts went out to the little guy.  He ended up on the bed.
That was when he was this cute little butterball.  Well that butterball has become a lard-butt.  Fifty-three pounds of dead weight, often strategically located between the two of us, :( , as he snorts, snuffles, snerts * and snores his way through the night.  Trying to  wrestle enough of the blankets away from under him to cover me, is a battle I would rather leave to the Marine Corps.  I know it leaves me battle-fatigued.
As the paradigms continue to shift for me, after emerging from the mist of my 48 years of panic attack syndrome, * dogs have transmogrified from “dogs” to “pals.”  I would venture to guess that most of you already place “dogs” in this category, but I am a recent convert.  I now view my two bowsers as pals.  To not walk them up to the top of the driveway each morning, about a twenty minute round trip, spitting defiantly into the throes of a hurricane, should that be necessary, would be heresy.
You know all those years I read “Where the Red Fern Grows” to you guys?  Well, as much as the story sells itself, I had to feign enthusiasm for Old Dan and Little Ann, as “dogs.”  I remember a revered colleague of mine, relaying her inability to keep from crying when, well you know when.  I never had issues with that, while reading aloud to every sixth grader, who fell into my clutches.
Well guess what?  Recently, the new me went to my pool room bookshelf, and snagged one of my copies of WTRFG, and I did another read.  And I have to tell you this.  I could NEVER read that book out loud to you again.  I would be crying like a baby.









* I did a piece from Ireland, entitled Bowsers, which chronicled my encounter with Nell, the village dog You can reach it here: http://markyswrite.blogspot.com/2011/09/ireland-bowsers.html.   If you were to hunt for it on my blog, go to September.  In the twelve days I was there, I wrote 34, 500 words, to attempt in some willy-nilly manner, to convey the depth of my emotion, at being in this tiny jewel of a magic kingdom.
* Don’t try this on your own, folks, but this word just fits perfectly here, even if I can’t find the stupid thing in any dictionary in my house.
* I wrote about freeing myself from panic attack syndrome, in a piece called "Six Days a Week."  It is the first thing posted on my blog. I wrote it in a day, last March, and have since written everything on my blog, more than two hundred and fifty pieces, many of them 25  or 30 pages.  

7 comments:

  1. Sweet! I do beleive I have followed the same progression - as in, the pets that we had when the kids were little were all outside pets but gradually things have changed. When George (the cat) was here he was 100% in the house. Now both Keeva and Ellie spend time in the house in the evenings when we are here - they have their own "bedroom" in the house too -- the little office space near the stairs). They hang out inside on the weekends and in nasty weather when we are home. I have come to regard them as pals too - more Ellie than Keeva - mostly b/c Ellie was mine from the get go and she is small and cuddly -- Keeva just wants her ears scratched.....

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  2. Me too, sometimes. You know, getting my ears scratched? That can be kind of fun, Sistah.

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  3. I've always wanted dogs to be indoors, on the couch, under the covers, and even occasionally, one dog sits at the table (not at meal time, only when we are visiting)...Now I must sign off. I've got three pairs of brown eyes staring at me, as I sit here, and they sit at the back door, waiting for our daily walk. Missing this ritual would be heresy indeed!

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  4. I had always been a "no dog. EVER." kind of person . . . that is, until we got our Izzy a couple years ago. She is MY dog and I love her like one of my children. She is a house dog, sleeps with me and my husband and, I'm afraid, sometimes gets a morsel from the dinner table. I never in a zillion years would have thought I could love a dog as I do her. Life is strange :)

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  5. We have three dogs all of whom used to try to sleep with us. We eventually set up doggy chairs on either side of the bed so at least theoretically, the dogs sort of rotate who gets the bed while the other two get the chairs. In reality, Remy almost always has the bed because he is a whiny, selfish, needy 60-pound baby. :)

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  6. Thanks so much for stoping by. I feel honored to take my place amongst you, as one who has seen the error of his ways. Michelle, we're back now, so Dozer is on his "bed" to one side of me here at the kitchen table (my office) and Clancy's head rests on my shoe.

    I am feeling pretty good about it all.

    Judy, then we are kind of the same…

    MM, what can I say? 60 pounds and 53 pounds are in the same church, if off by a couple of pews. And they are selfish about sharing covers, that they don't even employ.

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  7. Oh, gosh, I come from a long line of animal lovers. My pets tug at my heart and abuse their privileges like good pets should. As for books with animals I could never read again without bawling-- Black Beauty comes to mind!

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