“Frankly?” by Finn

So this weekend, Muma told me we’re going away, just the two of us!  Not even annoying, ankle biting  Rose could come.  It was just us.  I love to ride, so the 2-hour trip was a breeze.  We arrived at this wonderful Bed & Breakfast in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Dog-friendly

But when Muma knocked on the door, no one answered!  I didn’t care, because there was a lovely yard and Mum threw the ball for me until the Innkeepers showed up.  Initially, Mum was huffy:  “I made arrangements!  They knew we were coming!”  However, when they arrived to let us in, they were very nice and made a big fuss over me.  I liked that… a lot!

We got situated in our room and then we went for a wonderful walk along a bike path that was near a river so I got to go swimming.  I met a little dog with only one eye- he was very nice.  I met Gypsy- who started to be snarky, but when she realized I was only interested in my tennis ball, swimming, and my muma, she was fine.

When we got back to the Inn, Chef P was making alfredo fresco for dinner.  Muma loves alfredo.  She said it was “to die for”…   I got my regular dinner and a marrow bone.  All was well… until:  I spied a CAT!  Underneath the end table!   What kind of Inn is this?!

This is MY Inn damn-it. What the hell is he doing here?

There was some hissing, swearing, and some other rude comments I didn’t quite catch, but the bottom line was that Miss Z wasn’t happy that I was there!  Can you imagine??  No, neither could I.

Bed time was hard for me.  Where was my bed?  Muma tried to get me to sleep with her, but I didn’t like how her bed felt.  It was too high up.  I need to be down at floor level so I could scope out the place… If there was one kitty lurking, there might be more!  Special ops and all… I finally settled down, but when I heard the neighborhood dogs barking, it was necessary that I reply.  Muma was not pleased.

The next morning, Muma was getting ready for yogurt and this happened:

I am a nasty, lurking Wolf spider… I bite.

Muma threw things in the air,  hollered and ran out of the room.  The Innkeeper arrived, took one look, and said, “I’m going to need another paper towel.”  Yep.  It was that big.  Muma wanted her money back for the room, but the Innkeepers accused her of bringing that nasty spider with her!  Can you imagine?  Muma hates spiders- she would never!

I went to the park with the Innkeeper while Muma was at yogurt.  He threw the ball for me and all was well, until we got back to the Inn and Muma wasn’t there.  I got a little anxious, so he took me outside and he read in the hammock and I lay down on the grass.  Where was Muma?  Did she leave me?

Where is my mum?

All things considered?  give that Inn 5 stars.  Even though they had a cat who sweared at me, the Innkeepers were fabulous.  Muma says only 4 stars on account of that spider.  But frankly?  It’s one of the nicest weekends we’ve had in a long time.

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So Many Blessings

I have a LOT to be thankful for this week.  Mother’s Day is looming, and my mother is still alive to share it with – we are going to the Quilted Threads to sign Mom up for the Mystery Quilt session.  I’m already signed up and thought, My mom would love doing this with me.  I called, she was thrilled.  Done deal.  Then, we’re heading off to lunch.

My fabulous kids.  The 2-legged variety.  They make me laugh, send me funny emails, text me, and keep abreast of all that is new, wonderful, or even, not-so-wonderful… in their lives. Meet Lady GaGa:

Yes.  Yes, that is a spaghetti strainer on her head.  As a baby, she wore bonnets and hats and anything feminine I put on her head.  As an adult- no hats, please.  Unless of course it’s 20 below and one is called for.  Then, fine.  But I’ll knit my own, thank-you-very-much.

The Warriors:

Freshly hosed down after a muddy 5K Warrior Dash

The two of them, along with his Dad just finished a 68-mile IronMan bike ride.  She loves to be physically challenged.  He loves her.  Together, they are indomitable.

Patch:

Chicken tenders? Can I have one?

Clever and well-read, with an irreverent view of life, he is Lady Gaga’s partner in life, reading, cooking, and biking, but he draws the line at Yoga.  He also spoils Ming-Ming.  Case-in-point and caught on film.

Gracie Lou Freebush:

Going for a ride in my Dad’s new truck

My very first grandpuppy.  A beautiful boxer, five years young, she lives with the Warriors. They rescued her and all are smitten.  I love her.  The 4-legged kids and I can’t wait to meet her.

A pit bull and a dog walker

So there’s this:

Finn & Rose

He’s my brother and he looks after me…

My chocolate chunk and my vanilla snack.  (What with their weight ratio being 86:45, she’s nearly half of him so that’s a snack.)  An aside:  Finn has had a dog walker since he was 9 weeks old.  Why am I telling you this?  Well, I thought if you were a dog walker, you liked dogs.  All dogs.  Fat dogs, skinny dogs, big dogs, little dogs, fussy dogs, happy dogs, snarky dogs:  “I LIKE DOGS!”

Hi!  Are you walking with us today?

Hi! Are you walking us today?

When I knew Rose was going to become a part of our family, I told my dog walker what I was doing.  I printed out Rose’s data sheet from Pet Finder and left it for her to read.  She knew Rose was deaf.  She knew Rose was a pit bull mix.  She knew Rose had come from a less than desirable place and wasn’t trained.

I knew Rose would  require special treatment, but since J had been fantastic when I was training Finn, following all my requests, I felt confident that she would do the same with Rose. Consistency is key when you are training a dog.

J appeared to be fine with all this new information, very positive and upbeat.  Then, she began leaving notes:

Rose was all over Finn today, jumping him, humping him, she wouldn’t leave him alone.  (How do I respond to that?)

Walking Finn was wonderful.  However, Rose yanked me all over the place.  My shoulder is sore because she pulls constantly on the leash.  (Response?  I will let Pet Finder know that from now on, all their dogs need to be loose-leash trained before advertising them for adoption- will that help?)

This is my all-time favorite:  Walked the dogs today, Finn was most enjoyable.  Rose, however, slipped her collar and I had to chase her down the road, throw myself on her, in order to get the collar back on her.  She didn’t bite me.

At first, I laughed.  Long and hard.  I could just picture J running down the road, arms waving, yelling… and then, “capturing” Rose.  And Rose’s surprise:  “Uh, Hello?”  But then I got mad.  Seriously?  Did you really expect her to bite you?  (Where the hell did that come from?)  I felt like a parent with a kid who had a bad report card.

Basically, Rose sucks.

My husband wanted to fire our dog walker.  He loves Rose, and knows she’s a good girl.  But, uhhh, there’s not a lot of dog walkers available in rural districts with dirt roads.  I did a cost/ratio analysis.  And this is what my math revealed:

Rose:  crated:  7 am to 4 pm

Finn: loose in house, always

Crate:  large 33 x 21 inch:  but still a box, she’s confined

Dog walker:  2 times per week on the days I have meetings, cost $40

Peace of mind?  Priceless.

So I refused to fire our dog walker, but came up with a compromise:  You don’t have to walk Rose anymore, just let her loose in our big, fenced-in backyard, hang out, play ball, have some kiddie pool time… but you’re still staying for half an hour.

J seemed, (I thought) cool with that. Then, I discovered that she was walking around the yard with my spray gun for ironing clothes, squirting Rose with water whenever she got near her.

I fired her.  It was painless- for me.  But I live in a small town, and don’t want to make waves.  So I used a lame excuse about my meetings being canceled and that I could work from home on my computer.  However, I am heart-broken that Rose endured that… and, for how long?

I keep trying to figure it out.  Why didn’t J tell me she was afraid? annoyed? disliked?  Rose.  She simply adored Finn.  In one of her notes, she called him the “all American dog that every kid dreams of having”…  I was thrilled, as I’d worked methodically to train him.  I simply assumed she would be that way with all dogs.

Look at this sweetie:

I always sleep with my deaf ears to the ground…

Rose will never be squirted again.  Ever.

Thoughtful Thursdays… even though it’s almost Friday

Here’s my top 5 things for this week, not listed in order of importance, random, that I’m thoroughly thankful for and have thought a lot about:

1.)  Hawaii.  Nope, not the state, although it is lovely and I pray to G-d I get to back there at least one more time before I die.  This Hawaii:

Hanging out in my bowl

He’s a gorgeous, the-picture-doesn’t-do-him-justice Beta fish.  He originally worked as a center piece at my daughter’s wedding reception.  I’m not sure who came up with the idea, but we had 5 Beta fish placed at ‘premium’ tables for decor.  At the end of that simply fabulous wedding, anyone who passed the 52 question test/slash/ adoption interview was allowed to take one home.  (kidding kidding)  I got Hawaii.  My mom got Maui.  (Hmmmm… guess where my daughter and her fantastic hubby went on their honeymoon?).  Hawaii is a great ‘pet’- he doesn’t ask for much, is easily maintained, and is a constant reminder of the love, joy, and happiness experienced on September 18, 2011.

2.)  Rose.  In one year, she has come so very far.  I was able to walk her ‘around the block’ today: no pulling, no chasing cars, no annihilating Finn.  It was a milestone.

I have scuffed this Bean bed into proper format. I will lay here now.

3.)  Quilting.  It’s my therapy.  I love to take gorgeous fabric, cut it up, and contrast/compliment it with other stunning fabric to create a collage of shapes, textures, and- hopefully?  Art.  This is a piece from my eldest daughter’s wedding quilt:

and sew it begins…

and sew it ends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.)  LIDOFF.  She’s my toy.  She’s my jeep.  I think I love her… (and yes, that’s Moses hanging out on the roll bar…)

 

Catching some rays

5.)  Finn.  He’s my boy, and I love him a LOT.  He is amazing with Rose- and, after what he’s been through, he’s still a happy guy and he still believes every body/dog is a ‘good’ guy.  (The history behind that my friends, is another post.)

Mum loves me best

Enjoy.  Shalom.