Animals are awesome · Death · Dogs · Love · Photography · Poetry · Souls · Uncategorized

For the Love of Dog

In these times of serious uncertainty regarding the world due to the many threats facing us all, our very lives, and the USA (which is now under dismal leadership), my thoughts and emotions more and more turn to dogs. How wonderful they are, how our lives are made bearable by their dear, temporary presence.

For those of us who love them (and all animals as a result), all of the other, horribly unfortunate dogs’ (and all animals’) plights in this world are unbearably heartbreaking and soul crushing. Using words for it all seems meaningless…it goes so much deeper.

Another serious heartbreak comes with each and every one of our beloved dogs passing from this world. So sad and terrible a loss, so many memories, and it happens time and time again, since they only live about one-sixth as long as we do, and many of us have two or more dogs at a time. So in a modest tribute to dogs, who truly are a blessing, as opposed to so many people, I wanted to share a beautiful poem and some great photos. Hope you like them. (Photos are all courtesy of

This is for dog people of course, but for cat (or whichever) people, you only need to replace the word “dog” and I’m sure it hits home, also regarding any truly loved one.

Poem by Colleen Fitzsimmons
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Loss Of A Heart-Dog

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you so softly as you brushed away a tear,

“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea.

You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore.

I longed to take your parcels, I wished I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.

I want to reassure you that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, “It’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me to be so near you everyday.

To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…

In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over now … I smile and watch you yawning,

And say, “Goodnight, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

Be patient, live your journey out — then come home to be with me.

Cooking · Dealing with problem people · Food · Human behavior · Love · Personal memoirs · Thanksgiving · Things I love

Thanksgiving Thoughts

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Thanksgiving has always been a very special day to me. Once upon a time when I was very young, our still intact family would often host family gatherings at our house with my mom and dad and other relatives cooking up a great feast for everyone. It always included the obligatory dead turkey, of course, which I thought was fantastic back in the day, knowing nothing of animal farming and slaughter. All the trimmings were equally delicious and filling: the stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. All amazingly delicious and providing a walloping, huge number of calories for the day and a weight gain of several pounds over the week or so to follow, with the leftovers being gorged on almost as gluttonously as when they were fresh on the T-Day table.

Later on, when our dad left the family home to let his extramarital love life off its marital leash, my younger brother Tom and I would go along with our dad to his family’s T-Day gatherings, without our mom, which always was a great sadness to me and to her. I preferred, of course, to stay with her and help her out with the meal and eat her great cooking with just our little family, but minus dad, which was a sad point of its own. Still, the Autumn and its golds and brown and orange tones and the great aromas and food associated with it all are fond and nostalgic memories for me. But always associated with heartache and guilt, too.

There’s something about an obligatory day of feasting with loved ones that is bittersweet in its effects on people. Sometimes, in the infamous stereotypical scenarios, family members who only see each other on such holidays or at funerals get into bitter fights over being sort of forced into each others’ company. People who probably love, but do not like each other, and hold grudges or simply cannot tolerate watching the other party eating, how they dress, whatever, can explode with usually ignored emotions when feeling obligated to “be merry and enjoy required fun with loved ones.” And there’s boisterous cousin Floyd dressed like a peacock and double dipping his drooled-on chips, or whatever, and the bickering begins.

I don’t remember any such hate-filled brawls from T-Day or other holiday gatherings with my families, just the occasional small spat over the last turkey leg or last piece of pie or complaints of way too much of this or that ruining some dish or other. Perhaps a political argument on occasion. Nothing major. We loved eating too much to engage in any family brawls while downing tasty foods. Punching, kicking and wrestling, after screaming matches leave no other recourse…well, that interrupts eating time, and who needs that? We saved our fighting for more appropriate times, like when one unfortunate one got stuck washing a towering pile of dishes on regular nights. Nothing like a hoarse-voiced screaming rage fest while doing a sink ridiculously full of crusty, greasy dishes by hand. Ah, I remember those well. But I won’t say who the “guilty party” was, except to say it wasn’t me. (I didn’t wash dishes all that often, which probably explains some of the anger in those unmentioned.)

Anyhow, these days it’s just me and my brother who get together on Thanksgiving, since the rest of our close family has passed on to whatever comes after this life. I could go to vegan T-Day gatherings or other “showy” get-togethers, but I truly prefer to spend the day at my brother’s house with our dogs, to eat whatever we feel like, always delicious. No dead bird, of course, and no stuffing our guts to bursting and having to wear stretch clothes for weeks to come. Just enjoying tasty, mostly healthy foods, but more than usual, and going our for a long walk with the dogs later on. That’s my idea of a perfect Thanksgiving. Might seem sad or pathetic to “normal” people who cannot imagine being bereft of the big gatherings on these days, but it’s just right to me.

Someday if I have NO family left, I too will likely be attending vegan holiday gatherings…but only when it’s truly necessary. It’s possible I won’t feel bad at all about simply ignoring holidays and spending them without any human company, but time will tell.

This is probably boring reading for some, if read at all, but I just wrote this off the cuff because it needed writing, for my reasons alone. I hope it helps someone out there who feels pressured on holidays to get with the program, even if they have no way to do so. That is all.

Have a happy Thanksgiving in whatever way you choose to observe it…or not. Just be grateful for every good thing in your life, as those good things may not be yours for much longer, with the possible changeover in the running of our great nation in January. Now, with the “covid restrictions” being spouted by states’ democratic governors, we’re getting a taste of what they want our lives to be like. It’s not good. And that needs to be firmly rejected. Gather all you want, with whomever you want, and don’t ruin your nice times by obeying wanna-be tyrants with their bizarre lists of what you are to do and not to do. Jeez.

Animals are awesome · Dogs · Love · Pet Care · Souls · Things I love · Uncategorized

Dog Walking – What’s It All About?

We walk dogs, they walk us. It means everything to them. To us it means happily watching their boundless joy at the simple pleasure of being out and about, exploring the world.
Their noses are the height of it all; their amazingly acute sense of smell tells them things we might only dream of.
Dog walking also gets us off our behinds and out for some good exercise and fresh air (as fresh as we can find it anyways).
Even picking up their poop with those biodegradable bags makes us stoop and stretch a bit; ah yes, what a workout.
Before we know it we’ve already walked over a mile, and speedily.
If your dogs are anything like mine, they’re always in a rush, full speed ahead, except when it’s time to apply the brakes and stall, to savor some mystery odor, for several minutes if need be.
Ever watchful we must be, as dogs can be reckless and brash, overcome by excitement, so our perceptions and reactions get sharpened in the bargain, too.
Add sight-seeing to the mix and our harried senses are multitasking!
Preventing dog fights and/or coyote attacks is a special skill we enjoy honing; the old “holy crap, exit stage right!” routine.
If you’re one of those lucky people with calm, sensible, blood-pressure-lowering dogs, well, I’m intensely jealous of you, but love my dogs no less.
I dream of a day when such a level-headed dog may come my way and into my life, but for now it’s “all hands on deck, full alert!” while out for our daily jaunts.
It’s truly amazing how quickly dogs can scoop up some alarmingly crunchy tidbit from some viscous, reeking mess and chomp and gulp it down before you can grab it away.
At those times, hopefully never again, you only pray that whatever it was gets digested and eliminated without problems.
Being always grateful that your dog hasn’t gotten him/her self killed (or that you haven’t done so), dog walking also heightens our spirituality. Grateful to who? Well, to whoever’s in charge “out there.” God even!
Dogs teach us special things we cannot put into words, really. Something about appreciating the little things in life to the fullest.
Something about the spirit, and togetherness, and love.

[All images free from, click on them to enlarge.]