My son recently had surgery. He is recovering well. That is not the story. Bud and I came to spend a few days to stay with him at the hospital and help my daughter-in-law with their two Akitas. Akitas are huge furry dogs who shed copiously. Every day, there is enough hair on the floor to cover a whole new dog. The kids just moved and still have boxes to unpack. They have an aging vacuum cleaner that struggles with dog hair and has to be unstopped every few minutes to empty. Sadly, the vacuum cleaner implements are still packed in a moving box. I am the primary housekeeper since John is in the hospital and my daughter-in-law spends time with him and tries to keep their lives going. That being said, I need a fully functional vacuum cleaner with implements. “I am going to buy a vacuum cleaner as soon as I can get to a store. I cant’t keep up with the dog hair with this old vacuum cleaner and a dust cloth.”
Bud thought I could. “It vacuums just fine. You just need to unstop it when it plugs up.”
”It does not work fine. Take me to the store.”
“I don’t have time right now. I have to………” He mumbled as he walked off. He clearly intended to avoid the store.
The next day, I went to pick my daughter-in-law up after her hospital visit. She took me to the store and I got a nice vacuum cleaner. All the comings and goings have been hard on the dog’s nerves. The next morning, DIL left me at the hospital and picked Bud up, after he’d spent the night. When they got in the house, a horrible mess greeted them at the door. Trash was scattered all over the kitchen. One of the dogs had dragged a box of grits off the counter and stomped them all into the rug. There was liquid dog poop smeared in the bathroom rug. The dogs made enough mess between them to keep that new vacuum cleaner busy for a couple of hours.
After the storm, Bud remarked to DIL. “I told Linda y’all probably need a new vacuum cleaner.”
How did it get to be his idea?
I got up yesterday with two major goals: get a rose bush planted and get meat marinated that I’d be cooking Sunday, but first, I dropped a jar of blackberry jam when I opened the fridge. Scooping up the jam and glass in a dustpan, I set to work, annoyed at the delay in getting to my planting. The dogs were rabid to investigate the broken jam. Croc is fascinated by any type of tool, so he was determined to help mop. I had to keep running him off while he made a concerted effort to cut his feet. It took three tries before I felt like the floor was clean.
I headed outside to plant that rose. On the way, I remembered I wanted to pull up a few weeds growing around my favorite yard piece, Wireman. I love him so much. I remembered some large springs I’d seen in Bud’s shed and realized Mr. Wireman needed them. He also needed an old watering can and a staff. I thought he looked pretty good for a character with a caged man on his belly when I finished. He also got a few more flowers.
My sister Phyllis about then to let me know her dog Lily wanted to come visit her Cousin Buzzy. Of course, I was delighted. Cousin Lily hadn’t yet met her new Cousin Croc, so that was something to look forward to. I made tea and snacks. All the dogs got along beautifully. Croc is huge and gets so wild he’d break furniture and take out walls if we didn’t put a little damper on it. Phyllis invited Buzzy to go home with her for the night, so he was ecstatic. Left at home without his buddy, Croc was a little down in he mouth.
Marinating the meat for the barbecue took a while, especially since I had to empty the fridge to accommodate it. Again, Croc wanted to help. Not good. I was whipped by the time I had everything restocked. I headed out again to plant my rose and noticed my seven flower beds were screaming for water. The rose could wait, but wilting flowers couldn’t. They got their water.
Bud was across the yard taking out a dead ligustrum. It had never thrived after the neighbor barbecued too close to it. I confiscated it, trimmed it, and buried it up in my flowerbed to train vines over. By the time I gave up, it 92 degrees. I was whipped. It’s murder having ADD as you age. I can never do all I want to. The rose would be first on my list the next day. I slipped from my yard shoes, rinsed my feet under the hose, dried them in the laundry room, and stepped into the kitchen. My feet stuck to the floor. Obviously, three moppings weren’t enough. Before I could start dinner, I had to give the kitchen floor another cleaning. I never knew a pint of jam could go so far.
I don’t know how people get by without dogs. We have two, Buzzy, an American Eskimo Dog, and Croc, a mastiff mix. They shoulder a lot of responsibility around here. Below, they are pictured helping Bud in the shop.
Buzzy is on weed patrol.
Croc valiantly keeps the Fed Ex man at bay.
They are both checking to see whether this pillow should be on the floor.
Serving as area rugs. Notice the white fluff about halfway to the TV. Croc thoughtfully pulled it out of Buzzy’s tail and left it there for me, just in case I was looking for some.
They also keep the floors free of snacks at all times.
Vintage Picture of Logging Operation
For a time, Daddy had an old time logging operation. Mr. Bill was old when Daddy was just a kid so he was probably at least eighty at the time he ran Daddy’s brought his horses and came to work. He set up camp in a shack on skids he hauled in on his old truck. A mess of barking dogs piled out when he opened the truck door, quieting at his word. A truck pulled in behind him hauling in his two enormous logging horses. At Uncle Bill’s command, the horses backed out of the trailer and moved into position behind his truck. He harnessed them to chains attached to the shack. In seconds it was unloaded and skidded into place. He quickly set to work sawing and positioning a few saplings to make a shelter for the horses, topping it was a few pieces of tin he pulled from the back of his truck. Two bucket for feed and a water bucket later, he and the horses were snug at home. The intelligent horses needed no reins, following Bill’s verbal commands as they slid the big logs out of the thickets, positioning them in perfect loading position next to the skids of the log wagon. There they waited until unchained from their load, only to walk around the wagon to assume their position on the opposite side of the wagon. As soon as they heard the chain hooked to their harness, they worked in tandem to pull the huge logs onto the wagon, halting at the sound of the logs settling into place. Had they only had opposable thumbs and been able to manage the chains, they wouldn’t have needed the help of the man at all. It was amazing to see the skill and respect Bill and his giants shared in the job they did.
Dear Auntie Linda, My husband and I are just barely squeaking by. We have three children under four. I would love to be a stay-at-home mother, but it’s out of the question. We need every penny to put food on the table. My parents are retired and babysit for us, but I have to pay them fifty dollars a week, fifty dollars we desperately need. Since they are both home anyway, it looks like they could do it for free, knowing how we are struggling just to keep food on the table and pay the rent. I have had to pay them late a time or two and Mom asked me about the money. Doesn’t this seem kind of cold? Broke and worried
Dear Broke, It is amazing that you pay fifty dollars a week for your parents to babysit three children under four. Maybe you should look around for a better deal, then come back and kiss the ground your parents walk on. That fifty dollars a week probably doesn’t cover what the children eat or the ibuprofen or aspirin your folks take at the end of the day. Auntie Linda
Dear Auntie Linda, I hate my mother’s mean little dog. She won’t come to visit without bringing that darn beast. It snaps and snarls at the children. We’ve never had a dog in the house. It rankles me that she favors it over the children. It drags its bottom on the carpet and I have to clean the carpet before I can let the baby down. This angers and disgusts both me and my husband. It is a real issue. What in the world do I do? Love Mama, Not the Dog
Dear Love Mama, Surely Mama has noticed that her little dog is less than welcome. Perhaps she can confine it to her room. That bottom dragging indicates the dog likely has impacted anal glands, an unpleasant and uncomfortable situation for Fido and the carpet owner, not to mention, dragging even a healthy bottom on the carpet where a baby will be crawling is disgusting. Unless Mama is demented, she ought to be able to understand the dog doesn’t need the run of your house or the freedom to terrorize children. What if the children hurt the dog? She needs to protect it. However, dementia is always a possibility. Auntie Linda
These are some pictures of my grand dogs. The sleeping giant in the bathtub is Watson, a five month old Akita. He has to barred from the bathroom for anyone to have any hope of privacy. In the second picture, he is with his partner in crime, Hime.(pronounced He-May) Though he pesters her incessantly, she can’t bear to be separated from him. You can also see Watson cooling off in his pool and relaxing with his bone.
Life according to Buzzy:
Dog poop is precious. Crazy people run behind dogs to collect it in small blue bags.
Pizza delivery people come to steal our pizza. The house must be defended at all costs. Continue reading
Bubba, the second in our series of four American Eskimo Dogs, now respectfully referrered to as the late Uncle Bubba, was a great and fearsome dog. We’d been plagued by moles in our yard, which we’d been unsuccessfully battling. Bubba was extremely interested in the beasts, as any fine hunting dog would have been, but had never actually spotted one. He’d continually dirtied up his beautiful white coat in attempting to dig out the wily Star-Nosed Mole, courageously enduring bath after bath. Unbelievably, his heroism eventually paid off! Finally digging one out, he presented his prize gallantly! Each of us bragged over his trophy in turn, praising him highly!
He kept his trophy handy all afternoon, bringing it forward from time to time when his ego needed a little boost. Sadly, for Bubba, a passing crow also admired his catch, swooped down, and snatched it from him. Devastated, Bubba loped behind him, barking in fury. “Hey, come back here! That’s my mole.”
You might want to go back and read this before reading Part 2
“When me an’ my brother Jim was boys, we heard they was gonna be having a camp-meeting at one of them snake-handlin’ churches up in the hills. Now we didn’ want nothin’ to do with snakes, but we thought it might be interestin’ to stir them church folks up a little. We slipped out with the Rascoe boys an’ caught us up some cats an’ a dog or two an’ had’em in tow sacks. We slipped up on the back side of the church an’ climbed up, pullin’ them bags behind us. With all that singin’ and testafyin’, and speakin’ in tongues, them church folks couldna’ heard the devil comin’ up the river in a sawmill, so we didn’ have a bit o’trouble once they got started. Them folks was naturally doin’ some carryin’ on!
Well, we give’em time enough to get to really git serious about their religion before we turned them dogs and cats loose on ‘em. Them cats tore outa’ them sacks, like their tails was on fire, screechin’ and spittin’, with them dogs right behind ‘em. Some of ‘em ended up bustin’ right up in the middle of them snake-handlers. I mean to tell you, they threw them snakes down an’ they all run outside screamin’ an’ carryin’ on about the rapture. You wouldn’a thought anybody that messed with snakes would’a got so stirred up about a few dogs and cats!