It was the last one. He studied it while the garden associate came over. He'd fallen in love with the three foot tree with the tropical red flowers. Why not, he thought. I can buy a plant for myself.
"This plant is so cool," he said to the associate.
"And it's marked down for our summer clearance," she replied.
"I'm buying it for myself, even though my wife will love it. She has about 50 houseplants," he exaggerated. "Well at least it feels that way," he laughed. "She has plants all over the house. What's one more?"
And with that he took his new friend, carefully placed it in the car to take it to it's new home.
For the past year she'd been contemplating an important decision. Every so often she would scan the memorial garden in the side yard and try to picture what she could plant. Her husband and her lost one of their pup from their litter, a little boy named Grumpy. The owners had chose to put him down rather than give him back to 24 Paws. And it still felt like an open wound. Grumpy was her husband's favorite puppy and he was still hurting that he'd lost his special boy. She wanted to plant something just as special. Something that said Grumpy. She always tried to plant something that bloomed around the the month of
their death. They didn't know exactly when Grumpy died, just a vague
guess of late summer to early fall.
She could only come up with two ideas for memorial plants for Grumpy. One she didn't care for, as she had enough burning bushes and the other she was hesitant on. It meant bringing the plant inside and the house was already full of large houseplants. She wouldn't know where to put it. So she was basically out of ideas.
As summer started to close so did her hopes on finding the right plant for Grumpy.
As her husband started to unpack the car, she noticed the red flower. "Oh my gosh, you bought a Hibiscus!" She exclaimed.
"Isn't it cool? I thought I'd buy me a plant." He grinned.
As she took it out and got the full sight of this exquisite plant, she felt a tingling at the top of her head.
"It's beautiful! I can't believe you bought it."
As she re-potted the exotic plant and watched blooms open every day it, the tingling came back to her. A Hibiscus. AredHibiscus. She never told her husband that exact plant was her first choice for Grumpy's memorial plant (who wouldn't have known a Hibiscus from any other plant). The plant that she would have to bring inside and make room for during the cold months that she didn't think was possible. And yet here it was in her home symbolizing everything that Grumpy was. Bold, beautiful and a pillar of strength.
The plant he bought for himself, was the one she wanted for Grumpy in the first place.
We are truly blessed that all of our dogs are in good health. Mentally and physically. And I don't say that to brag or boast, because I know many dogs are suffering with numerous conditions. What really brings me to count our blessings is that yesterday was Silver's "Gotcha Day." At ten years old, even with all her greying hair, Silver is still in her prime. She can still take on Brut in a chase and can still outrun Fiona who is the fastest out of the Back Dogs.
She pulled sled last year and I suspect she will do it again this winter. She is the most mentally fit she has been since having her spayed. And even though she is the alpha female, she is really just now finding her place in pack. We have found a food all the dogs like, but has done wonders for Silver. Giving her more energy and mental stability than anything I've tried, plus she doesn't get ear infections all the time.
If you met Silver, you'd never know that she was ten years old. Despite her greying muzzle, she doesn't portray her age in the least. She's just a big happy puppy, who found her way into our hearts and held on tight and ran away with it. Filling us with as much love and aggravation that only a dog like her could.
Fiona has a delicate, but strong soul. When you get her by herself, she reminds me of a butterfly that flutters with grace and joy.
We were heading off for a walk together and I used a regular walking harness, instead of her no-pull one that she doesn't like or really need and that made her feel even more special.
We start off down the road and I had already decided to let Fiona lead the way. Once we were up the road, she turns into the woods following her active nose. We turn this way and that way, stopping here and there and this whole time Fiona is just glowing. It's as if she's been waiting to show and share this adventure with me all along.
A chipmunk chirps and Fiona stops dead in her racks. Then we are off! Bouncing around in circles. Pausing to hear the little critter again. Through the thick brush we jump and dodge fallen logs. Taking sniffing breaks at the trees our prey might have been at.
And then the excitement quiets as we follow the deer trails with alert senses traipsing across the little woods.
"Chirp-Chirp-Chirp!" I swear Fiona's heart stopped. Then we dash through the thicket around in a circular fashion, trying to narrow in on the tiny rodent.
I can barely wipe the smile off of my face of the sheer awe and beauty I am enraptured in. This is a side of Fiona I've never seen before. Chasing squirrels with the boys in the backyard in one thing but watching her on her own is like watching a flowing angel. It feels sacred and personal, as if this precious time was just for me and her. I cherished our special time together as I watched Fiona come into their own and beautifully own it.
So she leaves me to go to visit those cats without even bothering to ask if I want to play with them too. The ones I'd love to chase in the yard and hold in my teeth! But I just want to play with them Mommy!
But what Mommy doesn't know is that I'm peeking under the door and I can hear and see the black and white one going crazy in the middle of the floor after a feather that jingles. I wanna play too!! So I start banging on the door and whining a little to get Mommy's attention. It works! She tells me "NO" Doesn't she know what fun the cats and I would have together if she would just let me in???
So I try the silent approach. Stalk mode. Waiting. Watching and waiting. Then here it comes, my big chance...the door cracks open, I dash in and grab the feathery toy and dash back out.
Once Mommy's color came back to her face, she laughed and laughed. No, I didn't want the cats Mommy...didn't she know I was going crazy for that feathery bell? And since she wasn't going to let me in, then I had to grab it for myself! Humph!
And what did Boxer have to say about that crazy cat dog? Go HERE to find out!
I've had six dogs in my face All. Day. Long. Zappa was barking up a storm today and just wouldn't be quiet. Then that gets the Howling Choir going. Bark! Bark! Bark! and Repeat! If that wasn't bad enough Brut was barking to come in and then would turn and run in hopes of me taking him for a walk. This is pretty common, but today he wouldn't stop doing it. Again, All. Day. Long. Fiona was somewhat snarly today too. Not sure what was up with her, but she didn't want anyone in her space. And because it was cold out today, EVERYBODY wanted to play outside. My hands were froze from the North winds in minutes flat. I didn't last long after having 80 temperatures the day before and sweating from dog walks. Give me some time to adjust Mother Nature! Geez!! Today's dog walks were in winter gear. Hats and winter coats. Yes, it was cold.
So I'm taking this mommy minute because it's been a rough day and I needed to vent and breathe again. :)
Some of the neat things that happened was I got to cuddle and play with Fiona, Zappa and Silver inside without Brut. Fiona and I had some quiet playtime, which is really rare and so very precious. We are still learning to play with each other since she grew up playing with Zappa all the time. She so adorable.
Zappa has learned to sit and wiggle his butt back into a lay position for a treat. Today he is learning how to stay and wait for treat.
Chance and I played his "fishing pole" game. ( A toy on the end of a springy line hooked to a fishing pole) He won't play with anything else. He does all these flips and twist and jumps that are so amazing. Today I dragged in on the ground more, running with it while he chased it like prey. He just loved it.
I had fresh lima beans from the garden, as well as tomatoes, green beans and cucumbers. A favorite treat for Chance and Blaze. (except the tomatoes of course) They had no problem helping me eat my veggies. :)
It is suppose to be colder tomorrow and frost is expected. I have a tarp to cover the garden, I just hope it survives the cold.
I've been working hard on a larger scale project and I hope to unveil in the coming months. It's taken a good chunk of my time, and sometimes cuts into my blog reading time. So forgive me if it doesn't look like I'm around much, I am reading.
And I think mommy's minute is over as it's late and time for bed. Thanks for joining me.
Brut wasn't the only one who passed with flying colors when our company came this past weekend.
Chance and Blaze, the two that were hurt by children with their previous owners, haven't been around children since. They wasted no time running up to the little girl to say hello, as well as the rest of our guest. You'd have thought they'd been greeting people all of their lives.
Shy Fiona was right in with the attention that was being handed out. Normally she holds back and takes her time getting used to the person before she ready to let herself be touched. Not this time, she was right in the middle of everything and soaking in all the lovin.
Zappa the social butterfly was in his glory. People! People! People! All the more for petting, belly rubs and ear scratches!
Then there was Silver, who at one point had the room to herself and her puppy, playful antics were popping out all over the place. For those moments she was the star of the show and she lapped up all the attention she could get.
Even Boxer who has never been around children was showered in the attention of the little girl who had fallen in love with him instantly, was cuddly and friendly.
All in all our visit was more of a success than I could've thought of, especially with Brut being the highlight of the weekend. I'm so proud of all of them and glad to see how hard work and lots and lots of baby steps have brought us this far. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. :)
If you've read for a while, you'll know that Mark (hubby) isn't much of a dog trainer, he sucks at discipline, and he's really just a big kid around dogs. But there is one thing he is superior at and that is handling Brut with strangers. We had company this weekend and hubby had the chance to prove me wrong, again and I was proud of it.
It is rare for us to have company around here. With the house being overrun by dogs and Brut being so territorial and protective we aren't able to put anyone up for the night. So our visitors stayed in a rented cabin just a short walk from here.
Hubby with his magic touch put a leash on Brut to meet these folks that were new to him. I'd practically had an anxiety attack the night before when Mark told me his plan. But I choked down my fears, said a few prayers and left the morning walk in the hands of my husband.
Since I would be a nervous wreck and would be trying to control the whole situation I stayed home. Here's the story I got: Three adults and a six year old girl. Brut took treats from all of them and was on his friendliest behavior. No barking, no lounging, no nothing. He was the best dog ever. He was completely out of his territory and you would have thought he did this all the time. Mark was so proud.
Since Brut considers the entire neighborhood and the local park his turf, I have never had the pleasure of witnessing this awesome display of what happens when Brut meets someone. Brut has done this several times with Mark on different occasions when they'd go for rides together. They make an awesome team.
And what did Mark say when he got home? "I wish I could have recorded it for you. You wouldn't believe it! Brut was an angel!"
And that's why it's worth letting the discipline slide.
Thanks for all the support with our computer meltdown. Our monitor just died all of the sudden and then my old one did too. We were finally able to get a new one. So the 24 Paws of Love is back in business. :)