Monday Mischief Pet Blog Hop- 4/14/14

My Luca has always been a thief. If anything goes missing in the house, he’s the first one I blame. And usually, with a little searching, I’ll end up finding what I’m looking for buried under the dog toys or on a dog bed somewhere. He doesn’t destroy anything, he just moves things around. Shoes, socks, blankets, towels, pillows, my clay heating pad…

This is not an atypical scene:

sneaker thief

sneaker thief

dog with owner's sneaker

“I just like to feel close to you, mama.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were taken yesterday. Now if he could just learn to keep the pairs together!

photo 2 photo 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Mischief Pet BloghopThis post is part of the Monday Mischief Pet Blog Hop. I just hopped from Snoopy’s Dog Blog. You can see the other participants’ mischievous posts here:

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F is for …

FThe Best and the Worst of F Words

One of my favorite words begin with F. I’m sure you know which one I’m talking about. That crude four-letter word, to me, is an important communication tool. It’s a word I use when I want to place great emphasis on something that I’m saying. It’s also very effective when used in the passionate throes of hot steamy sex.

On the other hand, one of the ugliest F words is FAT. I hate that word! In our thin-obsessed society, the word has grown to be one that can throw a woman (or a man) into a downward spiral of crash dieting, eating disorders, body dysmorphia and even into a full-blown state of depression. It’s a bad word, fat.

Another F word that I have come to hate is FACE. Let me just state this on behalf of all the beautiful fat women in the world: The worst compliment you can give us is to say, “You have such a pretty face.” If I hear that one more time I’m going to scream and not stop screaming. God, it makes me crazy!

Why is this compliment so bothersome and so very uncool? Because if you are complimenting a thin woman, you say, “You’re so pretty” or “You’re beautiful.” But when you compliment a plus-size woman, you say “You have such a pretty face,” “You have a beautiful face.”

Do you know what that tells us? It tells us that although our face is pretty, the rest of us is garbage, and that everything below our necks is worthless. In other words, you’re telling us that 95 percent of our physical being is horrid. That’s exactly what it says to us. To use another F word, it’s so fucking insulting!

I do believe that most people who use that compliment are coming from a place of love and they don’t even realize the implications their phraseology has on the one being complimented. But, please, from now on, consider your words before you tell a fat woman that she’s beautiful. Don’t pinpoint her face. Just say, “You’re beautiful.” Period. Because that’s what we are.

With that being said, I’m going to do something very foreign and unfamiliar to me. After years of growing up fat in America and decades of self-image and body image issues, I’m going to be brave here and finally, for the first time in my life, I’m going to claim my beauty. And I’m only doing this for me:

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REMEMBERING MAGGIE

I adopted Maggie on June 7, 1999. She was just 3 years old then. And she was my first greyhound: she awakened my love for all things canine and was the start of my life with dogs.

reverse brindle greyhound

We don’t know any real background on Maggie because she was double tattooed. National Greyhound Association, aka NGA, racing greyhounds are registered and tattooed on the inside flaps of their ears. In one ear is the owner/breeder ID number and in the other is the month and year of birth. When the dogs are illegally disposed of or sold to be used for underground racing, often the owner/breeder tattoo number will be obliterated so that the dog can’t be traced back to them. Maggie had such a tattoo. She was rescued from a rabbit-runner bust and, according to the adoption coordinator, the dogs that were rescued from that underground circuit were in terrible shape. When they got to Maggie, she had to be carried out because she was too weak to walk on her own. She was only 38 lbs when they found her —and her regular weight was supposed to be 65-68 lbs.

She was a two-time bounce-back with the adoption group. A bounce-back is when a dog who had been adopted out is returned. I always found that hard to believe because Maggie was such an incredible dog!  Apparently the first family had adopted her when the husband had a home-based business,
but then he got a job outside of the home and Maggie started peeing in the house, so instead of working with her on it, they gave her back. The second woman who adopted her said she couldn’t control her (Maggie was very strong-willed!). So ironically –but I believe it was actually fate– the day that Maggie got returned for the second time, the woman dropped her off at the GPA Meet & Greet and I just happened to be going over to there to hand in some additional adoption application paperwork.

I’ll never forget the first time we met. They told me her story and said that if I wanted to take her, she was mine. They suggested I walk around with her for a little while, which we did. I took her outside for a walk on the grounds and was sweet-talking to her but she was completely unreceptive to me. I kept telling the adoption coordinator, “She won’t make eye contact with me.” It was bothering me so we sat down on
the steps and I just talked to her and petted her and she just kept averting her gaze. But finally, after what seemed like a very long time, she turned her head and looked into my eyes. And that was it. The bond was established. And it would be one of the most incredible bonds of my life.

the bond between pet and human

Maggie was a love-bug. And everyone who met her fell instantly in love with her. She simply and immediately captured the hearts of everyone who spent any amount of time with her. My vet described her perfectly: “There was something very special about Maggie. She was a real lady.” And that she was.

She was also fun, funny and goofy. Especially at dinner time: she would go into one of her playful modes while I was preparing dinner for the dogs. She would start tossing around the toys in the living room, twirling around in circles and diving at the toys, then throwing them up in the air again and again. This would go on for a few minutes until she had worn herself out. Then she’d come to the doorway of the kitchen, panting, with this big grin on her face, in anxious anticipation for her dinner to be set down.

And just two days before she died, she did exactly that. When she was standing in the doorway that day, I looked at her, laughed and said “Boy, Maggie, no one would ever believe you were 13 years old!” She was actually just two months shy of 13 when she passed.

See, Maggie had been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Disease in December 2008. Her prognosis at the time was three to six months. My vet put her on a cocktail of drugs that turned her around quickly and she was doing fantastic! So good, so back to her normal playful self that I thought we would well surpass that six month prognosis.
Four months into it, she woke me at 5:30 on the morning of April 1st 2009. I took her and the other dogs out to potty, gave Mag her dosage of Lasix and then she came back in and stood next to my bed. Everything was completely normal. I got her up on the bed, and then I crawled in next to her. At that point, she hadn’t yet laid down and was just still standing on the bed. She looked down at me and I chuckled and said “where do you want to go Mag?” She turned and just plopped down. Her one leg was folded underneath her and I said, “Well, that can’t be comfortable” and straightened her leg out for her and then, as usual, I just laid there with her, stroking and rubbing on her. And we were watching the morning news. Just like every other typical morning. Then she started to pant. Her heart condition caused her to pant sometimes but she was panting harder than usual. I continued to stroke her and was soothing her when all of the sudden, she had a big spasm. She spasmed and her legs kicked, then tensed and tightened. I jumped out of bed and ran around to the other side. I grabbed her snout and started blowing into her nostrils, doing mouth to nose resuscitation, screaming “breathe Maggie, breathe!”  But she was limp. And she was gone. In a matter of seconds she was just gone.

I was devastated beyond consolation. But later that day I thought, ‘What a way to go out!” She was completely fine one minute and gone the next. Literally. And she was where she most loved to be, up on my bed, getting stroked and loved on by her mama. I guess you can’t ask for a better way to go than that. We should all be so lucky.

She was my precious princess, my Magarooni, my Magger-Doodle, my sweet angel girl. It’s been five years and I still miss her like I lost her yesterday. She was the one who started this all, my life with dogs, and for that I will be forever grateful. And I will always be thankful for all the love she showered me with and all the lessons she taught me.

I’ve always believed that Maggie was intended for me. After all, she had been bounced out of two homes, two families, and it never made any sense to me because I couldn’t fathom why anyone would ever give up this dog! She was so good and so loving and so well-behaved. After a while, I realized that it was her path and her inevitable journey to get to me…and that a Higher Power intended us to be together. And maybe not just because I could give her a wonderful life in a loving home but so that I could learn from her what I needed to learn.

I learned so much about myself from Maggie. She was fiercely independent, like me, and very much had a mind of her own. Although independent, she was equally dependent and coveted lots of affection and attention. It never failed: when I’d stop rubbing on her after a lengthy cuddle session, she’d lift her head up, turn back and look at me with pleading eyes then let out a pathetic whimper to tell me that she hadn’t yet had enough. So I’d relent and give her what she most wanted: more loving. Then the minute I’d stop rubbing or stroking, again she’d raise that head, look at me and whimper – a soulful cry that would beckon my hand back to her belly. This would go on for hours…usually while we were watching TV in the evenings.  And it would happen regularly, almost constantly. She never could get enough rubs and tickles.

One day I looked at her and realized how much of myself I saw in her. I too can never get enough rubs and tickles. Like me, Maggie was demanding. Like me, she was persistent. Like me, she was selfish. Like me, she was never satisfied. For Maggie, as with me, it was never enough. She opened my eyes to not only a whole new world of living life with dogs but she opened my eyes to myself.

I love you sweet Maggie. You will always be in my heart. Missing you today…and every day.

                                                 Maggie Truhlik                                                    June 1996 – April 1, 2009

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Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

A is for Apology

 A Letter of Apology to My Rainbow Bridge Pack

AIn case I didn’t tell you when we were together, although I’m sure I said it a hundred times, I want to apologize for what you had to endure in the first part of your life. I’m sorry that you saw that worst in mankind. I’m sorry that you weren’t appreciated for the amazing beings that you are. I’m sorry that you weren’t shown love or kindness. I’m sorry that you were viewed only as a way to make money at the racetrack. I’m sorry that they tossed you aside when you didn’t “grade” into the racing life. I’m sorry that, after you ran your little hearts out in all those races and did the very best you could, they got rid of you because you didn’t bring in the money to line their greedy pockets. I’m sorry that, when you did win time and time again, they pushed you even harder and made you run and run and run until you were sick with exhaustion. I’m sorry that when you were injured, they left you to suffer in pain, unattended and without vet care for days. I’m sorry that when they were done with you, they didn’t care enough to send you to an adoption group. I’m sorry that they passed you off to some mean stranger who threw you into the back of a hot trailer to be transported to an underground racing ring run by cold-hearted criminals who treated you even worse than you were treated when you were with your trainer. I’m sorry that they fed you little, if at all, almost to the point of starvation, and used a live rabbit as prey to entice you to run while they cheered and placed bets. I’m sorry that they left you to fend for yourselves when they were done for the weekend, leaving you with hardly any food and just one bowl of water. I’m sorry that when the police found you, you were so weak you could barely stand and had to be carried to safety. I’m sorry that until that time the only thing you knew of humans is that they were a species that uses and abuses.

I hope that when you finally found your way to me that living became an exciting experience that you looked forward to every day. I hope that I made you feel safe and secure. Instead of feeling used, I hope that you felt special. I hope that you enjoyed the little excursions we used to take…the walks through the neighborhood, the playdates with other greyhounds just like you, the long rides in my truck where you stuck your heads out the window the entire time, and the occasional trip through the drive-thru where you got some surprise delectable treat. I hope that you enjoyed the time we shared snuggling on the couch, watching guilty-pleasure dramas and action movies. I hope you liked all the stuffies and rope-toys and the tennis balls that you chased in the yard. I hope that you liked all the lazy days you spent laying around, anyplace you chose, basking in the sunshine that came through the windows. I hope you liked that every night you got the majority of the king-size bed and were able to stretch your long lean legs out as far as they could stretch.

More than anything, I hope that you felt loved…because you were so very, very loved. I hope that you realize how grateful I am to you for loving me, for loving me every single day, without conditions. I hope that you know how incredibly lucky I feel to have shared my days and nights and months and years with you. I hope you know what a blessing you were to me. I hope you know how often I thank God for bringing you into my life. I hope you know how much I miss looking into your soulful eyes. I hope you know how deeply I miss you each and every day. And I hope you know that I know you are still with me in spirit and that I can feel you every time a breeze brushes against my face.

I hope you also know that I know you are waiting for me up there and that we will all be together as a family again someday. For now, my dearest friends and loves of my life, please continue to visit me in my dreams. Until we meet again, know that I love you with all of my heart and soul. Forever and always, your mama.

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Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

A Greyhound Party

WordPress’s Daily Post provides daily prompts for bloggers to encourage creative posts with photo and writing challenges. I’m participating in today’s prompt which is to SHOW NUMBERS. These pictures depict a number of greyhounds (and one or two other breeds) enjoying cake at my Dodgy’s 12th birthday party.

There are plenty of numbers in these shots: 10 dogs, 40 paws, 10 stuffie toys and, I just noticed today, a number of Pocket Dragons in my curio collection, which happened to be captured in some of the shots. 🙂

That was a great day. I miss my Dodgy…