Treats as Fairy Dust

When storms abound and you’re a hound what is a girl to do?
Tink begs for treats. She loves them sweet.
It cures those lousy blues.

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My little lieutenant

Over the years we’ve both shared the loss of two immediate family members, two corgis, a senior chihuahua, one cairn terrier and a hospice cat.

My boy Tuck’s definitely not a kid, but his exact age is unknown.

Thirteen maybe?

Perhaps older.

Tuck was found 11 years ago as a stray traveling country lanes in Missouri,
not too far from a puppy mill.

The pads on his little feet were worn down from his life on the road.

“Probably dumped because he was no longer useful as a breeding dog,” my kindly vet had speculated back then, shaking his head

I’m seeing more gray hairs now framing Tuck’s face with eyes increasingly cloudy as he sits next to me this morning.

Just where he’s chosen to be.

After all, Tuck’s always been my loyal little lieutenant.

He’s also been my anchor in an often stormy sea the last decade.

They’ll likely be a sunset before too long when I’ll have to lift that anchor and finally set Tucker free.

But in the meantime, I’ll be celebrating this courageous and constant companion and the great comfort he’s always given me.

It seems this senior pup finally found his purpose.

How lucky am I?

Three Pounds of Zen

“Once we have learned to look with equal joy upon the movements of a butterfly as we do upon travel to distant lands, we can forgive the world for those things it has withheld for us.” —Kent Nerburn.

My dog Junie B. is a wee one, but very wise.

She finds her bliss in the early morning hours on our back porch listening as the cardinals call her name.

And watching while the butterflies dance their figure eights.

There was a time when this former 3 pound stray was full of wanderlust.

Though Junie B. found excitement, she soon learned that living life as a stray in dark alleys of the big city offered little.

These days my girl is content to just live in the moment. And this moment she has propped herself up on her soft quilted pillow, waiting for a daily belly rub.

That may be her favorite moment of them all.

And I do believe it could be mine as well.

The Calling

Cape Cod was calling me one sub-zero morning last winter.

Or so I thought.

I’ve always loved the peaceful, beautiful beaches of Truro located on the tip of the Cape, but it’s been years since I’ve made a trip out to the coast.

I busily researched cozy cottages to rent and considered the logistics of getting there from the midwest for a short spring visit. It would make for a complicated itinerary, yet a Cape visit was still pretty tempting.

Yet something else was calling me as well.

It was the sweet simplicity and low cost of a trip to a lovely lake just an hour away. I’d been there as a child and years later with my late husband.

I found some photos of a charming little lake cottage on line and immediately booked it.

As I first walked through the door of the cottage last weekend, I knew I’d made the right decision.

It was built of stone, well over a hundred years ago, and was filled with personality and old world charm.

I saw well worn canoe paddles repurposed as book shelves next to the pictures of sail boats on the wall.

I felt the sea foam green soft throws ready to use for naps on the porch, and as lap blankets on the porch swing by the water.

And I tasted salt water taffy in the big candy jar.

Taking the steps down to the dock that evening with my camera, I smelled the promise of fresh walleye dinners also in that lake water.

I decided to sit for a while waiting for the sunset. I was hopeful the day’s heavy cloud cover would melt into a pool of warm colors just in time for sundown.

I watched what looked to be a loon swimming, then circling in the distance.

He appeared to be watching me.

About twenty minutes later, I bid adieu to the lone loon and started to climb the steps back up to the cottage.

But suddenly the loon abruptly called out to me.

I turned and finally took a picture of my sunset.

Nodding to the loon, I realized I’d found my calling after all.

A pup, persistence, and a port-a-potty

Little Miss Tinkerbell was all ears tonight when I explained the rules for a big fundraising event for the local shelter that we’re participating in this weekend.

She’s been pretty much camped out for it in the backyard undergoing basic training the last few weeks, yet hasn’t exactly been my faithful lieutenant.

In fact, Tink’s actually been pretty vocal about it.

The neighbors’ dogs have all been observing and commenting.

And it seems that Tink finds them a whole lot more interesting than me.

So instead of executing the heel command perfectly while in leash training, my girl’s been prone to just sitting down on my big toes while batting those lovely lashes up at the other canines.

Still Tink has mastered one tiny trick very well.

She just learned how to find a zen moment while resting securely in my left arm each time we enter the port-a-potty at the park around the corner.

Tink picked up the skill in spite of that big deep, scary black hole that goes down who knows where?

By the way, and fortunately for me, I’m right handed.

When it comes to taking care of business, Tink and I have always looked out for each other.

And that’s a good thing when it comes to big events like the one this weekend with plenty of people and plenty of dogs on hand.

I’m thinking that Tink may just deserve a couple of gold stars for her efforts after all.