Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dogs, Dogs, and more Dogs

I've introduced you to only two of our five dogs, so here are the other three, each one with a unique story and completely different personality. The first in order of seniority, not to mention in our affection, is Arjun, the dog waiting for our daughter Corinna after her cocker spaniel Honey died suddenly nearly ten years ago. We were in a state of shock afterward, and so I suggested we go to ARF adoption day, just for the heck of it. There under the tent was a larger version of Honey, looking lonely and lost, as well he might. He had been rescued just days before from an incarceration that included around 40 dogs, all in cages, and in various stages of neglect. The owner had died of a heart attack, and the poor dogs had gone several days without care. Only a few of them could be saved, and this sweet dog waiting under the tent was one of them. Our daughter sat down by him, and he climbed into her lap.
Of course we claimed him! We took him home, and because our daughter was at that point considering graduate school in South Asian Studies, with Hindi concentration, she named him Arjun, from Indian mythology. He is an old guy now, hard of hearing, nearly blind, but he still has his lustrous eyes and coat, and his appetite remains as robust as ever!



After our old dog Copper died, a few years following Arjun's arrival, we wanted a puppy. So, again we visited ARF where our friend Mary Adams awaited us with a litter of pups she had saved from the shelter. One of them was a stubby legged little bear cub of a dog. Mottled coat. Female and fuzzy. We took her home and named her Pooja, another Indian name, but she has become Poo, our strange breed of dog, part cub, part coyote, who knows what else. Her legs are still stubby, suggesting she's part Corgi. But I wouldn't lay any bets on that. She loves to be stroked by my husband, especially when we are under our poplar tree, he drinking a beer, and I often holding a glass of red wine. (I think she likes beer drinkers better than anyone else!)



Mary Adams figures in all of our dogs' stories. About five years ago, she invited me over to see another litter of pups she had saved from the pound, these obviously close to being pure-bred, maybe spitz, or Samoyed. All of them were fat, fluffy white little polar bears. Dangerously cute, as a friend described them. I took home two of them, a male and female, and named them Bro and Sistah. They thrived. They dug holes, they trampled the garden, they grew into large 60 pound teenagers. It was time for one of them to go, alas. I had early on fallen for Bro, so Sistah had to leave us for a home up in Little Canada. Bro became my boy, the big, furry sled dog I'd always said I wanted. I'm convinced he's mostly Samoyed. Although we don't have any reindeer for him to guard, he keeps a watchful eye out for us and alerts us to any intruders, like the meter reader. In this photo of a few days ago, he looks a bit unkempt. He's been shedding. In his full winter glory, he is magnificent.



Our dogs make our lives a lot more complicated, a lot more entertaining, and much, much more interesting to talk about. We have many dog stories. I know you are looking forward to hearing more of them! Aren't you?

8 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Definitely! I love the fact that they're all rescued dogs. And all look so very happy.

Pat in TN said...

I always enjoy hearing about other folks dogs. I now have a rescue Boxer mix, 8 months old today, and quite the guy with a personality as big as the universe!!! This is the first time in 40+ years though that I have only 1 dog ... quite a change that I'm still 'trying' to adjust to.

Susan M. Bell said...

I love rescued animal stories. Too many dogs, cats and whatevers are out there looking for loving homes. Bravo, Kay, to you and everyone else who take the time to be one of the rescuers.

I don't have a dog, but my neighbor had two that used to hang out on my porch. They both passed away recently, and I think I miss them even more than he does.

Jessie Carty said...

I keep setting a limit for how many cats we will rescue. And of course the number keeps changing :)

We are holding at 4 for now!

Glenda (Writerlady) said...

Your lovely Samoyed mix reminds me of my Kodi who was the most beautiful dog I've ever seen. He loved to run when he was young and when we walked down the farm road, he'd be way ahead of me until I called. Then he would turn and head toward me like a white locomotive, his long coat streaming flat against his sides and his black nose pointed toward me like an arrow. I held my breath waiting to see if he would smash into me at full speed, but he always turned aside at the last minute. Just enough to let me know he could have flattened me if he had wanted. Thanks for the pictures of your dogs.
Glenda

Raike said...

Lovely pet photos…. they all are nice.

sleevesrolled said...

This is way overdue, but I was nosing around in your blog this evening, Kay, and I can't help contributing to this particular thread. We took in Jackie, our first rescued dog, a noise-phobic, arthritic Labrador, in September 2002: she had been found a few months earlier wandering in the woods with a bullet in her side. She turned out to be the dog of my heart, a great soul who kept me grounded and helped raise the kids. Here's a little poem I wrote when we lost her in April, 2009:

Let the Angels Be Old Dogs
-- A prayer for Jackie

If there is Heaven, let it be
a field of dandelions tufted

white with seed, their stalks
stirring like daydreams on breeze
off Lake Michigan. Let pale May sun

shed rays like grace, gilding
the grass, inviting your heart

to chase cool diamonds spilled
across the water. Let the angels
be old dogs and let them run

with no pain after golden balls,
their heavenly choir of barking

rising to the skies. Then come
when shadows stretch as long
as memory to rest

beneath a loving hand.
Together we’ll walk home.

sleevesrolled said...
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