Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gracie Speaks

Dear Friends, family and world-wide fans and admirers:

Julie Ann (Momma to me) wrote a very touching blog entry where she spoke of dogs and printed a story about the life of a dog. Because I am so pretty (well, I am down right beautiful), she inserted pictures of me and of my sister, Lucy Lou. Momma included pictures of Lucy Lou in fairness because as we all know one must not show favorites between siblings even though I know Momma loves me best.

My dear Phil responded with some very unfair comments about me.

I am a very misunderstood dog. Sigh. This comes with being beautiful, a diva and the most kind and loving of all dogs. While the good Lord knows I do my best to remain humble at all times, it is difficult being in my position of rapture. Believe me, sitting pretty on a pedestal all day isn't easy!
But, one does as one must. I take my job of diva of all dogs very seriously!

Let me address a few of Phil's issues:

First, let me say that I have a full time job. My job has several important functions. First, and most important, I must keep up my appearances of queen of the diva dogs. This is very easy for me to do as just taking one look at me everyone knows that I am THE DOG. And even though being petted and adored all day long is the first point on my job description, it can be tiring. Belly rubs are very soothing and tend to put me into a snooze. But, it is a price I must pay.

Second, I must protect Momma 24/7. As you might be aware, I have a very prestigious pedigree. Being half Lhasa Apsa and half poodle is the very best of the dog world. Lhasa's were originally bred to be imperial guard dogs in China. It is in my genes to take care of those I love and since the two people I love the most are myself and Momma, this is a very serious issue. Also, as we all know , poodles are the smartest of all dogs. This trait is very apparent in me and goes without saying. However, I will admit to being a genius, but only this once. So, there!

I do not nap all day. However, I need my beauty rest! Plus, it take a lot of energy to protect Momma and Lucy Lou from all of the squirrels in the world. Lucy Lou, being much, much older, sleeps far more than I do. Plus, the poor old girl snores. While I know it is not kind to speak ill of others, Lucy Lou is rather hard of hearing (can't hear a damn thing to be exact). During the day while she snores away, it is I who bark at passing cars, loud noises from the street and other sounds that might bring evil to Momma's house. This is part of my job. Pretending to be sleeping all the time is just a ploy to keep people and squirrels out of Momma's house while she is not there.

I might also point out that treats are a part of life. Momma likes her chocolate (which dogs can't have), I love my treats. Phil happens to bring the best treats in town. He brings Momma her chocolate, he brings me my treats. Being the thoughtful dog that I am, I share them equally with Lucy Lou.

I'm tired now. All this thinking has made me sleepy. I hope I brought enlightenment and joy to my admirers. Maybe the world would be a better place if humans lived like dogs. I know I have a great life!

Gracie, the diva dog

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Live like a dog

I hate receiving chain emails about the supposed plight of a sick child, urban myths, pleas for help, cutesy pictures or stupid jokes. I beg my friends NOT to send them to me. However, Terri, knowing my love of dogs and how much I love my own two doggie girls, sent me this. Yes, it's sappy and the story is probably not true, but the traits listed at the end are something we "two legged creatures" need to think about.

Gracie and Lucy Lou enjoyed posing for the pictures although Lucy Lou is a very shy girl. They are beautiful and bring me joy, love and laughter every day. Even when Lucy Lou snores, Gracie yips and they both fight for my attention. I just can't imagine my life without them (they will be the only dogs to live forever) or without a dog in my house.

Here's the story. Don't know the author.

Dog's Purpose, (from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The six-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

* When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
* Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

*Take naps

* Stretch before rising.
* Run, romp, and play daily.
* Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
* Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
* On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
* On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
* When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
* Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
* Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
* Stop when you have had enough.
* Be loyal.
* Never pretend to be something you're not.
* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
* Be always grateful for each new day.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007


You can pick your friends, but not your family!

Or so the saying goes. Fortunately, I love and have been blessed by a great family and wouldn't want to change them (well . . . maybe a little!). I am lucky to have 2 great sisters.

I have also been blessed with wonderful women friends, many of whom I consider my "chosen sisters." Beth is one of them.

When I was six, new people moved into the house next door. Mom told me she thought they had a little girl about my age. I went over, knocked on the door and Beth's dad answered. I asked, "Can the little girl who lives here come out and play?" The rest is history and a beautiful friendship.

Beth is one year older than me and we went to different grade and middle schools. However, we ended up in the same high school. We share a lot of fun memories from childhood through the present time - kick and can, red light, green light, swimming (and swimming and more swimming), dances, prom, parties weddings, births and deaths. I introduced Beth to her first husband, Jim. I was with her when she found she was pregnant with her first son, Jamie (now almost 30) and was with her shortly after she learned Jim had died. She stuck by me through my wild 20's. We have cried together over broken relationships. We share a love of the water, of beaches, of laughter, and good food. Now we talk about our elderly parents always looking for laughter in the sometimes grim subject. In fact, there isn't much I can't talk to Beth about, or haven't! We are chosen sisters.

Beth has lived in Florida for many years. I haven't been down there in a couple years, but today she stopped over for a little while during a yearly visit to Wisconsin. We talked about meeting in Florida this winter. Sit on the beach, talk away all of our problems and watch the young guys prance by. Sounds good to me.

Beth is the woman who sent one of my dogs to me, Lucy Lou. Today Bethy arrived with Jamie (she also has another son, Tim, currently in the Air Force) and her new dog, Sally. We got a kick out of Gracie and Sally and the contrast between the two dogs. We think Lucy Lou remembers her. Beth laughed at the 3 of them together and said, "Yours, mine and ours!"

Even through we don't live close to each other and can go months without talking, I am not quite sure what I would do without Bethy in my life. I hope I don't have to find out for a long time. There is just too much fun to have and laughter to share.