Tag Archives: Frida

The Doggone Doggie Blues: dVerse Poets

The Doggone Doggie Blues

The naughty dogs who leave their marks when jumping up on me.
The naughty bruises that remain, spreading their stains on me.
I cannot stop this rudeness. I cannot find the means.
I cannot stop their tugging at my blouse sleeves and my jeans.

Unruly little denizens of my humble home,
they range wherever they may choose on terrace and on dome.
They jump up in the hammock when I choose to swing.
They jump up on my visitors to see what they might bring.

They dig into my planters and eat the tasty loam.
They even dig into my sleep to bring their mother home
from dreams where she evades them, living her own life
away from doggie pressures, away from doggie strife.

What pleasures might she find anew living all alone?
What pleasures might they miss for which her conscience would atone?
All in all, they make up for the problems that they bring.
All in all, their lonesome howls to sirens are the thing
that swell her heart and make her want to join along and sing.

I wrote this for the dVerse poets Anaphora/Epiphora prompt, but unfortunately missed the deadline. Been there before, will be there again, no doubt. At any rate, here it is for the world at large!

But, just had a brainstorm and posted it on the dVerse Poets Open Link Night, where we can post any poem on any topic. Tardy but still within the law!. Here is a link to others who published poems for Open Link Night.

Across the Street: Thursday Doors, Jan 30, 2020


This is the ornate front door of my across-the-street neighbors, Brad and David. I came over to admire my newly-installed memorial for my roof dog Frida, now two years gone. Her ashes are inside so she can regain her former favorite spot on the dome of my house, surveying the neighborhood.

For Norm’s Thursday DoorsPrompt.

Frida Resumes her Perch

Frida Resumes her Perch

If you have been around for awhile, you know about my dog Frida, who passed away in October, 27 months ago.  At that time, I published this poem in her memory: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2016/10/11/look-up-poem-for-a-good-good-girl/
which was about, among other things, her love of standing on the dome of my house and supervising the world about her. For two years, I fantasized about finding a dog similar to her and cementing it to the dome with her ashes inside so she could spend eternity in her favorite spot. Finally, I located what I thought was the right dog, and this is the story that followed:

Please click on photos to enlarge and read the captions.

Ironically, the day Gerardo and his brother were due to come permanently install Frida’s memorial, my cat of 18 years, Annie, finally grew so ill that I called the vet to come to the house to put her to sleep, and luckily Gerardo and brother didn’t make it, but came instead today. Somehow this reaching of the goal to memorialize Frida helped somewhat to dilute the sadness over Annie’s  departure. Plans are in the works for her memorial.  R.I.P. beloved friends.

Look Up! (Eulogy for a Good, Good Girl)


Look Up!

She used to chase the shadows of birds across the ground
and dig where they disappeared
and never once thought to look up,
no matter how many times I tried to tell her to.

Chasing light across the pool, she’d pace
back and forth, along its further edge.


Her first playmates the cats,
she could not follow them up into the trees,
but stood instead, barking at the bark they clung to.
Thinking herself a cat, perhaps,
or all of them some new species in between,
she followed wherever it was possible to go.
Up the broad steps to the second floor,
across the terraza and just a small leap
to the ledge of the high sloping dome of the roof.
Up to its top to lie or stand and bark at all who trudged up our mountain
to intrude into her world.


She could see for blocks,
turning like a sundial with the sun
to change her focus, but usually starting at the point,
southward, that most invaders came from.
Neighbors led by unwelcome dogs on leashes
passed below her on their morning walks,
or farmers carrying hoes or machetes
up to the fields above.

Lines of burros plodding beneath her, facing uphill,
small herds of cattle
flooding down to the lake for water—
none escaped the attention of this reina,
who would bark directions to be on their way, fast,
and not to loiter.


No creature had greater staying power than she.
The cats, bored with the high view,
moved to the bushes and trees to hunt possums, squirrels and salamanders.
Only she stayed true to her original position
as she looked ever down from that high dome,
only deserting it a year ago,
when I locked the gate that blocked her progress up—
not because I judged it unsafe for a dog grown arthritic and less sure of her step,
but because of the new puppy,
untrained by cats and with feet less experienced than hers.


Feeling punished, perhaps, she traded her high domain
for a place beneath the terrace table

from which she watched the two upstarts
speed by to cavort in the lower garden
where she once chased bird shadows in the grass.

Version 2
She exercised her staying power one last time
as, looking down on a world reduced to only me,
never once blinking, she stared into my eyes
as I crouched beside the vet’s high table,
and looked straight back up into them,
the closest I’d ever been to her.

That table’s surface, straight and gleaming stainless steel,
was where she lay with her front legs spread-eagled
for the long hour it took to finally climb up that high dome again.
I wonder if she heard me as,
“Good girl,” I told her a hundred times that final hour, and meant it.
“Good, good girl. Look up now. And go on.
You were always such a good, good girl, watching out for us.
But now, look up. Go on.”


The prompt word today is “Original.”

The Blessing of Animals

The Blessing of Animals

Written at 9 a.m. this morning:

Every year, St. Andrews Church does a blessing of the animals on a day near his saint’s day of October 4.  It so happened this year that the night before the date of the blessing, Frida suffered a seizure.  We arrived home from our emergency trip into town to see the vet at some time around midnight, at which time Frida seemed to be doing fine, if not exactly chipper.  The vet had examined her and gave her some medicine, instructing me to bring her back the next day, and since the church was just around the corner, I decided perhaps Frida needed whatever help she could get and took her for a blessing.

As you can see from the photos, hundreds of animals were brought by their humans.  Dogs, cats and (as you will see from the photo) the longest white burro in the world all existed peacefully.  Not one tussle or bark or fight during the entire 1/2 hour I was there.  When I commented on this as we left, one of the congregation members standing at the door said, “Perhaps St. Francis had a hand in that.”

I thought you might like to see some of the photos. Frida, by the way, seems back to normal. I’m about to take her back into the vet and will perhaps take my computer and post the photos in the vet’s office while we wait to see him.

Written at 7:45 tonight:

The only dog there I didn’t get a photo of at the blessing was Frida.  Unbelievable.  Here is one of my favorite shots of her:


R.I.P Frida, 2004-2016

I was too busy all day taking Frida to the vet, waiting in the waiting room, then waiting for tests, then returning home only to have to make a return rush trip back to the vet. Frida went for her final walk an hour ago at 6:45 p.m.  My last words to her were never truer spoken to any other dog.  “You were a good, good girl.”  She never did one naughty thing (short of eating the cat’s food) that she could help. Good-bye good, good friend.

Her favorite activity was sitting on the dome of my house to survey the neighborhood and bark at intruders. Unfortunately, she was unable to do so for the past year because it was unsafe for Morrie to be up there so the gate remained closed.

daily life color118
This is a photo of Frida the day I found her trotting down the bike lane of the carretera.  She was about a block away, coming toward us, when Joe and I first spotted her and I thought she was a big rat at first.  Surreal that it was trotting straight toward us without veering off.  She trotted right up to me, I picked her up, and she was mine ever after.  R.I.P. dear friend.  We shared a lot of adventures over the past twelve years and even if you let Diego and Morrie think otherwise, you were always leader of our pack.


Two Circles

Two Circles

Two big problems were solved for me today with the construction of two circles.  First of all, the lovely installation created by Leonardo in my garage was removed today and reconstructed in a better spot so the garage is free again to park my car and load it up with supplies for my two month stay at the beach.  Eduardo, an artist friend who is also Leonardo’s father, is here for the next 6 weeks to build flower boxes around my flower plots in the garden, to build a brick sidewalk leading down to the pump for my irrigation system and to repair salitre damage and paint my house.  We have negotiated the terms and most of this work will go on while I am gone.  Here, then, is my first new circle.  It is just to hold the sand for construction, but I’m fond of it already.  perhaps a little pond here later?  No, probably not.

IMG_1163 (1)I love how he incorporated the flower pot into the design! Actually, a semicircle now, but we will imagine the other half of it, for purposes of maintaining my theme!

So, with one problem solved, I set about trying to figure out how to keep Frida from licking her “hot spot” wound.  The neck cone definitely didn’t work.  She was a crazy woman for the one night after I put it on her and that made me a crazy woman.  Also,  although she’s taking a course of antibiotics, they will do no good if she keeps licking the wound and reinfecting it and also it does no good to put Neosporin or other medicine on it because she licks it off. So, what to do?

A friend suggested colloidal silver for the wound.  She had tried this before and it had worked, so yes, I went to town and bought a big bottle of colloidal silver and put it in a spray bottle.  Another blogging friend suggested I tie a rolled up towel around Frida’s neck to keep her from bothering the wound on her hip.  I couldn’t think of how to keep this on her until I had a flash of inspiration.  When my nephew Craig and Jessica visited, they purchased an upscale neck pillow to aid with sleep on the plane.  When they left, they asked if they could leave it as they hadn’t used it and it was cumbersome to carry around.  Voilà!  I was even able to locate it–wonder of wonders.  I took off Frida’s collar, sewed the pillow to it with a huge needle and six strands of waxed linen and fastened it around Frida’s neck.  She didn’t even flinch.  Here she models my new invention which I should patent if it works!  Brilliant!!! (If it works.)

IMG_1170 (1)We will see how Frida’s new “necklace” looks after being outside for a day.

So that, my friends is how I resolved my two biggest problems and how circles came to save the day!!

Frida Now and Then

DSC07911                                                                     Frida Now and Then


Found this adorable picture of Frida that I took right after I found her trotting down the shoulder of the main road that runs lakeside. The other picture was taken right after the vet said I should put the cone on her. She hyperventilated for hours until I finally had to take it off. Anyone know of something I could put on the sore on her leg to make her stop licking it?  She gets infection after infection in it because she can’t leave it alone.



Poor little Frida. She has a place on her haunch she has been chewing and chewing at.  It has become infected and when a course of antibiotics didn’t heal it because she kept chewing on it, the doctor’s  decree was that she has to wear this cone around her head for two weeks and go through another ten day round of antibiotics.  Can you see by her worried expression and turned down ears how much she hates it, is puzzled by it, wonders if she’s being punished?

When I first put it on she went charging around the house knocking against everything, tipping over pots and little tables, ricocheting off the edges of furniture, even running into me!.  When I took her to her bed, she just put the cone down on the floor with her nose to the floor, curled her tail down between her legs, compressed her body  to the point where I feared she would implode, and just stood there as if made of stone.  She wouldn’t respond to treats, my voice, pats, hugs.  She was mortified  and so she insisted on also being ossified!

Finally, I had to remove the cone because she refused to eat even a dog biscuit, let alone her dinner.  After dinner I heard her chewing on it again, so I had to put the collar on again. Poor little girl.

Bedtime in the Bodoga

 Bedtime in the Bodoga

Frida and Morrie both got new beds today, thanks to Morrie who ate Frida’s old one and has eaten two of his own as well as one of the cat’s beds.  He  leaves only his idol Diego’s bed alone and sleeps in it whenever he can get away with it, so I bought him one just like Diego’s. (It’s upside down for now with the plastic side up just in case he decides to have an “accident.”  (That’s not unknown to happen!) Once he’s a big boy, we’ll put the hot pink cloth side up. (Although it isn’t obvious in this picture, he does still have ears!)


Frida got a big pillow that isn’t even tacky.  First one I’ve found that isn’t obnoxious colors or plaid or some other horrid print. At first Frida was suspicious and wouldn’t sleep on or even put one paw on her bed, but as you can see, she is now giving it a chance:


Since Morrie is still being mean to her, Frida gets to continue sleeping in the main house.  She should have a few privileges of age.  We all should!  She now likes her new bed and I think it will be more hair-resistant than her old bed that seemed more like a hair-receiver than a bed.

Here’s Diego, in his same old bed that has made it through six months with Morrie:


The carpenter came today to measure for the shelves and storage bins for kibbles.  They’ll have aluminum liners so the mice can’t get in–or the dogs!!! And, they have their own tiny fridge for opened tins of wet dog food and fresh bones, which the vet tells me I have to freeze for two weeks before giving them to them.  Do you think the Taj Mahal got this much press when it was being built????

I tried removing the cages and just had their beds in the room, but they were so restless and that was when Morrie ate Frida’s bed, so I’ve put their beds back in cages and they seem much happier.  I haven’t been shutting Diego’s door and he hasn’t reminded me to do so.  He used to want it shut and locked.  Morrie has learned how to open his cage door.  Smart little trouble-maker!!! He’s even opened the side that has two locks instead of one.

I think I mentioned before that my friend Dan of Dan and Rhonda fame has dubbed the Doggie Domain with a new name:  The Bodoga.  (A bodega is a storage room so the bodoga is of course a storage spot for dogs!)

Let me know when you are sick of Doggie Domain (Bodoga) news.  I don’t seem to be able to stop myself.  I have a cool slide series showing the entire construction process but can’t figure out how to have the last pictures I want to add go on at the end and also I don’t know how to post a video or slides on WordPress.  I just now learned how to find the Shortlink and how to post on Thursday Doors! Does the learning curve ever flatten out?????

Different Thanks: JNW’s Prompt Generator

 Different Thanks


                                                      Family Thanks Giving

Three dogs, paws up on the gate to the garage whenever I get home. The little one leaps up and down like some ballerina at the bar, the biggest with his irritating barks–loud and harsh and insistent—for whatever reason, be it mom’s arrival home or a dog who dares to pass by in the street. All of them escorting me to the door, attempting to help me with my bags and bundles.

The big dog sneaking into my room at night when she thinks I haven’t noticed. Wanting to be even closer than within eye-shot down the hall, she sleeps on the cold floor in lieu of her warm padded bed, perhaps because she wants to remind me that although the second dog is cleverer and handsomer and the newest dog is the littlest and most pleasant to have jump up on the bed with me, she was the very first and has known me for the longest. She has put up with intruders—both these two canine upstarts and the one human one who entered my house and stole my house guest’s laptop years ago when she was my one and only!

And although I am allergic to them, I wash off the licks of thanks that Morrie gives for a few cuddles on the bed before he sinks down to the foot to curl at a more hypoallergenic distance. Wash off my hands and arms after I’ve pulled off clumps of Frida’s thick undercoat. Dress the wounds that Diego’s claws have left on my legs and arms when he just can’t resist jumping up for closer contact. All of these wounds and welts and sneezes and wheezes just the aftermath of the constant thanks these kids adopted from the streets offer every day, as often as I will allow them.