Working through change

A 1:00 a.m. ear shattering shriek jolted me awake. It was coming from the kitchen where chi doxie Grandma Greta had been sleeping in her crate next to her corgi sister Maddie.

I brought Greta outside where she hopped around like a bunny for 30 seconds, ignoring ‘her business’, then demanding to return to the warmth of my tiny kitchen.

She’s been waking in the middle of the night ever since I moved at the end of September.

Maddie’s had issues as well. The normally quiet girl’s been grumbling overnight if she wakes and doesn’t see me.

Even my old terrier Tuck has been furious at being fenced off from the living room in his new home.

The sellers of my house installed white carpeting, perfect for attracting muddy paw prints and wet leaves.

Frustrated with my pack, I complained to the crew this morning over kibble.

“Hey guys, I’ve done well with the change, why can’t you? You’ve fallen in love with your great back yard, so I don’t understand the problem.”

But then I stopped my lecturing.

I thought about how I almost drove back to my old house last night after work.

And how I still have a stack of unpacked boxes I’ve been ignoring.

Yup, change is no dog treat.

Looking over at Grandma Greta, I suddenly remembered her old blue blanket went missing in the move.

She used to pull it over her head with those tiny paws to tune out the world as she slept.

I’ll pick up a new cozy one at the thrift store.

Looking next at Maddie, I remembered my sweet matron was used to sleeping at the foot of my old oversized mattress that I’d just tossed in the move.

She probably misses having me nearby. I’ll pick up an extra dog bed for the bedroom.

I then glanced over at Tuck. He was eyeing his favorite leather couch, just beyond the locked gate in the living room.

“Tuck, carpets, like dogs can always be washed clean. Right?”

He looked back at me.

And I detected a grin.

Taking it as a sign, I’m confident we’re going to be just fine after all.

Greta goes Gospel

Grandma Greta’s had a very busy summer.

Yet she’s managed to faithfully attend each Wednesday night concert at the church in town.

I thought at first it was all about the grilled hot dogs we’ve been sharing.

Or maybe the pail of dog biscuits the ushers have been showering her with.

“Hey, church lady. Ready to go?” I asked my gal last Wednesday after work.

I do think Greta looks like the Dana Carvey ‘prim and proper’ church lady character from Saturday Night Live episodes a few years back. (All she really needs is a string of pearls).

Anyway, Greta immediately responded with that happy nail tapping dance.

As if almost to say, “Well, isn’t that special!”

And it was.

After all, it was acoustic guitar night.

Greta seemed to relish the music and a few inspirational words on hope.

And I know Greta was putting that hope to work by wishing for seconds on vanilla ice cream.

But I’m thinking she deserved it.

This little 16 year old has blossomed at each event, showing more patience than normal with the three year olds who see her as a puppy.

And she’s also shown a gentleness with the older special needs kids who’ve approached her more abrubtly than she’s used to.

Maybe she’s just been absorbing the collective calm in these celebratory nights of reggae, rock, and folk music.

Or perhaps it’s the joy from several of the musicians who have survived transplants, cancer, and other tough battles through the years.

It seems every Wednesday the weather has been a gift.

And it will be again this week for the last concert of the summer, performed by an Emmy award winning gospel group.

I know Greta will be excited, moving and shaking like the rest of the canines in the crowd.

“They’re even having a blessing of the animals,” I told her after the last concert.

“Talk about hope, Greta! I know you’re also really hoping for your very own mustard slathered hot dog next

I then thought I saw a smile on my five pound church lady’s face.

And a mumble sounding like, “Isn’t that special!”

Or maybe, it was just her stomach growling in anticipation?

Bat woman

Grandma Greta’s been cranky the last few days.

Normally she doesn’t yip much, except when it’s time to eat.

But our girl’s been sharing some ear shattering shrieks, and she won’t tell me why.

Though I think I’ve figured it out.

Greta lost her best friend Sunshine this week.

And just like Sunshine, Greta is fifteen and also has a heart murmur.

So I asked her tonight, “Greta, are you sad?”

She slowly nodded.

“And a little scared?”

She nodded again.

I knew I needed to take some fast action.

Pulling my pumpkins lights out for the season, I also flipped the calendar over to ‘Miss October’, another darling of a doxie.

But Greta still looked down.

“Hey Greta, I have a great idea!

“How about you dress as a black bat this year for Halloween? Those beautiful ears would be just perfect!

I saw her grin return.

She immediately jumped down, and twirled into her happy dance once again.

Only stopping long enough to beg me for little black boots for her costume.

Blue to pink

Grandma Greta’s been grouchy lately.

And more than a little blue.

It all started when I told her we were skipping the annual dachsund races in town this year due to her weak knees.

“So what if I’m over 100 in dog years?” the aging diva queried.

She wasn’t satisfied at all with my answer.

And to make it worse, the list for the best costume contest was already full.

Then this morning, due to thinning hair loss, I told Greta she better wear her parka for her morning walk.

Grandma Greta growled.

She just hates cold weather.

In an attempt to appease the girl, I suggested she add her beloved pink garage sale tutu to her morning ensemble.

She reluctantly agreed, peeking at herself in the hallway mirror as she sashayed out the door.

But a rosy glow started slowly to return to our glam girl and I thought I even detected a smile.

“You go girl,” I told her as she happily trotted down the street in search of her Great Dane beau.

And go she did, twirling away in that tutu.

“Dogs” for sale

It was a trying afternoon for Grandma Greta.

She may have even picked up some new gray hairs.

My chihuahua/dachshund mix was terrified as she read the new sign at the food stand in the park.

The little diva ran off towards the beach where I finally found her shaking and hiding under a pink Cinderella beach towel.

“What’s this business about selling chihuahuas?” she barked.

“And for only $7.00! What’s up with that!!!”

I attempted to explain.


“What? You NOW mean to tell me those people in line are going to eat the chihuahuas and the pups?”

I caught her right before she took off again to hide in the nearby sandcastle.

I realized I definitely needed some help.

I carried her over to the friendly food stand owner who did a better job explaining just what they were selling than I did.

He then gave her tomatillos.

And a vanilla ice cream cone.

Greta was all smiles once again.

She’s snoring away right now, tired from her big day.

I doubt they’ll be nightmares this night.

But maybe sweet dreams.

Probably of more ice cream.