Tag Archives: Good dogs



Dogs following their masters, close upon their heels.
Dogs waiting under tables, patiently, for meals.
Dogs sitting at attention, or looking for their balls.
Dogs patiently waiting for their masters’ calls.
Dogs upon the sofa, singly or in pairs.
Dogs listening for a certain car, on the carport stairs.
Some dogs travel as luggage. Others stay at home.
When masters get their leashes out, that’s when they get to roam.
Sitting on the rooftop or waiting on the stairs,
some dogs live as singles. Others roam in pairs.
Strolling ‘round the pool or sunning at the beach,
one dog or another is rarely out of reach.
Some dogs simply have to finish what they start.
First it’s just a little tug, but soon things fall apart.
Then they get in trouble for what was meant as fun
That’s why they look so innocent after they are done!
Why were they given teeth at all If they weren’t meant to use them?
It wasn’t their intention, when they started, to abuse them!
Their collars and their leashes incite their excitation
as  harbingers of their favorite form of recreation.
But other types of collars are labelled cones of shame.
Hard for dogs to understand that they are not to blame.
Dogs are made for leaping. Some even look like goats.
Some roam the world au naturel whereas others wear coats.
So many different types of dogs and different types of masters.
But all agree their good points atone for their disasters.

(Click on any photo to enlarge all.)


For Ragtag’s prompt, “Dog“.


The way this works is, I sneak up on them when they are already lying down and preferably asleep.  Then, very quietly, so as not to disturb them, I whisper, “Play dead!” It works every time. If you click on any photo, they will all enlarge.

For the Halloween Challenge prompt “trick.”

Morrie Gets Cut

Morrie had surgery for a very fast-growing tumor today. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get it all because it was attached to his ribs. He wanted me to share these photos of him being such a good patient.  (Once he got home, that is.  When I got to the clinic to pick him up I could hear his barks from the parking lot!) We’ll have the results of the biopsy in ten days. Neat sewing and clipping job, don’t you think?

(Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.  You do want to hear the whole story, don’t you?)

The Couch Potato’s Creed


The Couch Potato’s Creed

Though he who hesitates is lost,
impetuosity has its cost.
You should look before you leap,
because still waters might run deep.
Though early birds might get the worm,
rash actions trip up the infirm.

So all-in-all I think it’s better
if you aren’t a go-getter.
I guess the moral to this tale
is lest you lose or lest you flail,
you’re up against the proverbial wall.
It’s best you do nothing at all!

I’ve discovered an interesting fact about Morrie.  He frequently sleeps with his eyes wide open!  In the above photo, he’s on the sofa, but I snapped the below photos one morning when he had usurped my bed as well:


The boy knows how to make himself comfortable.

The prompt today was “hesitate.”

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.



The Prompt: Tell us about a time you should have stopped and helped someone but didn’t.


When I rise at seven to let her out,
she’s in a hurry, without a doubt,
for I see only a streaking blur––
a tip of tail and whirr of fur.
As she rushes out to pee,
the shame is not on her, but me.
I heard her bark an hour ago,
but it was only seven and so
I thought I’d just go back to sleep
and she made no further peep.

Now I see the pile upon the floor
just inside the open door
held as long as she was able,
then hidden underneath the table.
Not the first time in twelve years
that she’s caught me in arrears
in opening doors to let her out,
yet it is true without a doubt
that she has never erred before
and made a mess upon the floor.

I know that she is feeling shame,
even though she’s not to blame.
For once she is not under feet
as I prepare something to eat;
and when I call, she does not come.
She’s in the garden, feeling glum.
She feels she’s done a shameful act
devoid of training, breeding, tact.
She does not know that I’m the one
standing here with smoking gun.

Every bit of blame is mine,
for Frida’s former record is fine.
For twelve long years, she never peed
upon the roof in time of need
even when we didn’t know
she was locked up there and so
there is no need to hang her head
in shame of what she’s done, and dread
of being scolded or being blamed.
I am the one who should be shamed!