Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Cat No. 3: The Covid Cat

          I moderate a writer’s chat group called Writer2Writer for Story Circle Network, an international writing support group for women. Each Wednesday, I provide a writer’s prompt.

          This week, wanting to inject a little silliness into the life of writers, who like all of us are living on Covid time, I asked them to have a conversation with an animal who could respond with words instead of just a nodding of the head.

          Below is what my oldest daughter, Deborah, who is a member of W2W, wrote. I laughed all the way through. So, to give a bit of time to dog lovers to go along with my promised 30 artful cats, I decided to share it. I hope reading it brings a smile to your face.

Nightcap with Whiskey and Kahlua

By Deborah Bean

Welcome to the world of a new senior citizen (me) and my two lovable dogs. Whiskey weighs in at 25 pounds and is a Schnauzer/Cocker Spaniel mix — a Schnocker that you have to imagine with a Scottish accent. Ten-pound Kahlua is an energetic, sometimes frenzied Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix – a JackChi. Ironically, re names, I’m a teetotaler.  

Me: (Nighttime, Take 395) Okay, Whiskey, bedtime.

Kahlua: (Scampers downstairs) I’m going, I’m going, I’m going.

Me: Whiskey, come on.

Whiskey: (Opening one eye) Harrrrumph. (Then he closes that eye)

Me: Whiskey, it’s time for bed.

Whiskey: Your bed be much morrrre comfortable. Just leave me be.

Me: Whiskey! Time for bed!

Kahlua: (Scampering back upstairs and starting to bark) Hey it’s bedtime. Time to go pee and then I get a treat! I like treats. Treats are good.

Whiskey: I be in a bed, ye frrrenzied Kahlueless. And it be comforrrtable. And Mistress, if ye please, get idget down tharrre to be quiet.

Me: Whiskey, it’s bedtime. Coooome ooon. (Grabbing his hind legs and pulling slowly, I work his body off the edge of the bed)

Whiskey: (Still not getting up) Hey! What be you doing? And keep yerrr bloody hands offin me prrrivates! (I gently slide him off the bed so his hind feet touch down before I pull him all the way off) And how, the now, did I get down herrre. Ye bloody well tricked me, ye wench.

Kahlua: (Racingdownstairs and back up a second time) C’mon, c’mon, c’mon! Time to go outside – then I get a treat! Treats are good. Don’t you want a treat Whiskey? And we’ve got a comfortable crate with pillows and blankies.

Me: Alright. Downstairs now.

Whiskey: I be strrrrretching. And yawning. And be ye sure ye don’t want me back in that tharrrre comfortable bed. I’d be keeping you warm all night.

Kahlua: (Racing up and down the stairs a third time) Time to go pee. I’m a good puppy. I know what to do.  Go outside, go pee, get my treat, and then off to bed in our crate.

Me: Whiskey, let’s go. It’s bedtime. Come on.

 Whiskey: (Grumbling all the way down to the kitchen door) And it’s a crrruel human ye be. Forcin’ me out of me comforrrtable spot. And now you sends me out into the darrrk to be a’peein.

Kahlua: (After making several circuits of the yard before stopping to go potty) I’m done. See, I went potty. I’m a good puppy. You love me because I know what to do. I’m loved, I’m loved. (Then races up the stairs to see the husband, barking all the way. He sends her back down as Whiskey saunters in from the yard. Kahlua is panting)

Me: Okay, into the crate, both of you.

Whiskey: (Giving me the evil eye, again) And, I be askin’, what will ye be givin’ me? Kahlueless over there may be willin’ but she be titched in the head.

Me: Of course. Here’s your treat. Now into the crate.

Kahlua: I got a treat. Treats are good. Now I’m in the crate. I’m a good puppy!

Whiskey: I’ll not be likin’ this a bit, but since thare be a treat, so shall it be.

Me: (Sighs) Why do I put up with this? It’s a good thing you’re such a snuggle bunny.

Whiskey: Hey! Who ye be besmirchin’ wit’ your bunny talk? It’s a fierce fighter I be — at least five minutes of the day. Hmph!

Me: Night puppies. Love you. See you in the morning.

Whiskey: Hmph! Well, at least there be comforrrtable blankets. Scootch over ye idget. Give me space.

Kahlua: (Snuggles between Whiskey’s legs) I did good! I said goodnight, peed, and went to bed with a treat. I’m a good puppy!

Whiskey: Quiet little beastie. I be tryin’ to sleep here.

          Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Updating My Profile

Scanp, right, and his best pal Dusty. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do.” – Ted Nelson

It’s All About the Buttons

          I have been a computer user since 1978, forced, as a reporter, to write my newspaper stories on one. Less than 10 years later, I bought my first home computer, one that operated on floppy disks because it didn’t even have a hard drive.

          My first word processing system involved a black screen with green text. I became determined not to be left stalled on the “information highway,” and forced myself to learn all about DOS, an acronym for Disk Operating System. I was, so to speak, hep, an old-fashioned term for groovy, with-it, trendy, hip, and up-to-date.

          But things changed overnight – and I never caught up. I bought myself updated computers over the years, but depended on the tech guys at my work to simply tell me what buttons to push to make the dang machines do what I wanted them to do.

Then along came smart phones. By this time, I was a retired old broad without tech experts at my beck and call. While I was on the road traveling the country in my RV, one of my sons bought me my first smart phone because it tracked my location – which he wanted to know at all times. He spent good money on that phone but all the time my brain was thinking: Dang caring, loving son!

I hated that phone, and never learned to use it for anything but calling and texting. And I went back to my old flip phone when I ended my life on the road in 2013, using the excuse that the cost of service was cheaper – which was actually true.

Most of the stuff others did on their phones, I did on my computer, whose bigger screen works better for older eyes, and whose eccentricities I was able to eventually figure out – despite the convoluted, operating explanations provided for users by people who clearly didn’t know how to go from A to B without inserting Gs and Zs between the two.

But the smart phones with their apps, I finally began realizing at this late date, were being used for things my stay-at-home lap top couldn’t do, like gain entrance to movies, serve as maps, and act as coupons at grocery stores, just to name three simple ones.

Without my tech guys, I’m not sure I will ever learn how to do all of them. But I’m proud to say that last night, I did finally learn how to use my new phone — finally a smart one — to take a picture of my canine companion Scamp and then send it to my granddaughter, who was sitting across from me, and who had shown me which buttons to push to do so.

Time to update my profile, I think.  

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Joy is taking pleasure in little things, especially in nature. — Photo by Pat Bean

Political foolery, political bullying, political lying, political egotism, political shenanigans and political partisanship favored over what’s in the best interest of this country make me want to scream. And scream, and scream! I feel this way partly because I feel helpless to change things for the better.

Joy is my canine companion Scamp. — Photo by Pat Bean

What this country needs is a political party that’s not so far right, and not so far left, and is devoted to truth and facts. I would call it the Common Sense Party. All in favor, please stand up and say AYE!

I’m assuming the idea passed, so now all someone has to do is create it.

Meanwhile, since I need to stay sane during these chaotic times, I’ve started a list of things that give me joy. I try to put something on it daily. Here are a few recent joys from my list.

Joy is my third-floor balconies that look out on the Catalina Mountains, proving me a daily show of their changing moods

Joy is the almost daily phone call from one of my sons who tries to keep up with his old-broad mom, and the daily email chat I have with a daughter-in-law who has taken on the responsibility of being my guardian angel.

Joy is a hot bath in a deep tub, hot enough to turn the skin pink and send warmth and ease all the way down to my bones.

Joy is a call from a 10-year-old grandson who is reading the Dr. Doolittle books I so loved as a child, and who is loving them, too.

Joy is me getting to hold my great-granddaughter Cora. — Photo by T.C. Ornelas

Joy is getting a snail-mail letter from a friend, or from one of my grandchildren.

Joy is playing a competitive game of Frustration with my oldest granddaughter and her wife, and cussing and laughing a lot as we play.

Joy is solving and fixing a computer glitch all by myself — after an unsuccessful hour on the phone with a computer expert.

          Joy is my dog Scamp, who is my companion, bedmate and exercise trainer. Having to walk him up and down three flights of stairs daily has become my foolproof exercise plan.

Joy is listening to the gurgling sound of coffee brewing, and smelling its toasty aroma while it is still dark outside.

Joy is sitting my butt in a chair and writing – or reading.

Bean Pat: Watching birds is one of the things that always give me joy, like watching these West Texas humming bird feeders on one of Cornell University’s live bird cams. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/west-texas-hummingbirds/

Available on Amazon.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining


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Scott’s Oriole — Wikimedia photo

A Colorful Walk

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

Walking my canine companion Scamp early every morning is both a chore and a pleasure. Living in a third-floor apartment with no yard means it’s something that must be daily done – and at the first glimpse of dawn when I’m awakened by a dog sticking his cold nose in my face. If that doesn’t work, Scamp drapes his 40-pound body on top of mine and begins to whine.

You can read more about Maggie and her adventures with her mistress in Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon.

I have no choice but to get up, throw on some clothes and get his leash. Every morning I do this, I think of my former dog Maggie. She, as anyone who knew her would tell you, was a spoiled brat, but she liked to sleep in and so I got to wake up at my leisure not hers.

But by the time Scamp and I are going down the stairs, often with the moon still visible in the morning sky, the pleasure of being out and about so early, with rarely another soul in sight, takes hold of me.

After Scamp waters a tree, he begins a slow exploratory stop-and-go trot to the dog park where he likes to do his more serious business. We live at the top of the apartment complex and it’s at the bottom, leaving me with plenty of time to observe the sights around me.

The first thing that caught my attention this morning were eight white-winged doves sitting on a utility line. Mostly all I could see were dark profiles, emphasizing their individual shapes. Six looked exactly alike while one appeared skinnier and one fatter, the latter with a tail a bit longer than the others. Seven of the doves were facing away from me, but the one at the farthest edge faced toward me. I wondered what they were all thinking.

As we turned a corner, my eye was then caught by three large round bushes that were covered in bright purple flowers. The bushes had been trimmed a few days earlier by the apartment’s gardeners, and it seemed to me as if they had simply bloomed overnight. Or had I simply not seen them the day before?

The color purple always stops me for a better look when I see it in nature. Pictured here is a Rose of Sharon blossom.

Finally, Scamp — whom I let lead during his morning walks because once the day warms his walks are quick and short because this old broad doesn’t do well in the heat – headed back to our apartment for his breakfast. My own mind at this point was focused on the cup of cream-laced coffee that awaited me.

But as we began walking up the stairs, I got distracted by some movement in a nearby tree. I stopped to look more closely and was rewarded with a flash of yellow and black before a bird flew directly in front of me. It was a Scott’s oriole. While common in Southeast Arizona, one doesn’t see this oriole species often. As an avid birder I was thrilled at the sight – and immediately forgave Scamp for waking me so early.

Bean Pat: As one who wants to identify all the plants I see on my walks, I love this blog. Perhaps you will, too. https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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This display of metal flowers reminded me of the colors of my tye-dye T-shirts, which I wore during the 1960s — and still wear today. — Photo by Pat Bean

I was walking my canine companion Scamp through my apartment complex parking lot this morning when a bumper sticker caught my eye – and sent my mind reeling back to the 1960s.

Make Love Not War, it read.

I watched those hippy-flowerchild years from the sidelines, changing diapers the first half of the decade, and being a naïve reporter thrown into the midst of the Vietnam War protests the last three years.

Having three young sons, whom I never wanted to have to go to war, I thought the slogan was a good one.

A sign for the 1960s is still pertinent today.

The ‘60s also marked the beginning of the battle to approve the Equal Rights Amendment. As a working woman earning less than my male colleagues, I also thought it was a good idea. Not all women back then did, however, and one asked me: “Do you want your daughter to go to war?”

“Of course not,” I replied. “But then I don’t want my sons to go to war either.”

It’s been over half a century since I first heard those four words,  “Make Love Not War.” Three of my five children joined the military. One son spent 10 years in the Army, one daughter spent 10 years in the Navy, and one son make the Army his career, serving over 35 years for this country.

I’m proud of them – but sad that war is still ongoing on this planet. And probably always will be according a book I recently read: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.

Still, that Make Love Not War bumper sticker comforted me this morning, letting me know I wasn’t aloe in wanting everyone to just get along. It also set my brain to recalling the words to a song written in 1955 for the International Children’s Choir. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me…

At this point, Scamp noticed a mourning dove on the ground and attempted to give chase, forcing me to pull back hard on his leash. The action forced my brain back to my present surroundings, where the sun was just coming up, birds were chittering, a slight breeze was blowing through my hair – and someone had dropped a coronavirus protective mask on the ground by their car.

As Forest Gump’s mom said: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon.

    Bean Pat: Take a break from coronavirus news and look for moose on Michigan’s Isle Royale. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/27/travel/moose-michigan-isle-royale.html?campaign.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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While it’s exciting to hike new trails, it’s just as satisfying to see the blossoms of a saguaro grow and blossom with the passing days. — Photo by Pat Bean

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

These days, my pre-dawn walks with my canine companion Scamp, who wakes me and won’t consider letting me go back to sleep, are mostly limited to short treks around my Catalina Foothills apartment complex here in Tucson.

Even so, I enjoy the walks and usually find something new and interesting to see on them, like the toad Scamp

Resident juvenile great horned owls from a couple years past sitting on the top of one of the apartment buildings. — Photo by Pat Bean

scared out of the bushes last week. “You don’t want to mess with that,” I told him as I pulled him away.

For the past couple of months, I’ve also been frequently sighting two juvenile great horned owls, that are the offspring of our resident great horns. As they’ve matured, the sightings have become less frequent. They’re learning that we homo sapiens aren’t always safe to be around.

But I suspect there will be more unafraid young owls to watch next year. Of the eight years, I’ve lived in the complex, I’ve seen baby owls six of them.

This year’s young owls, meanwhile, have taken an interest in my downstairs neighbor’s chihuahua Ginger, who weighs just about nothing. “I stand over her while she does her business,” my neighbor says, “and keep an eye out for those dang owls.”

I don’t have to worry about Scamp as he weighs about 40 pounds and is quite rambunctious besides. So, when I do see the owls, I simply go into bird-watching mode, a hobby I took up 20 years ago. While the owls didn’t show up during this morning’s walk, I did get to watch a gila woodpecker, sitting atop a saguaro, the one whose blossoms I have been daily tracking for the past two weeks.

And it’s a rare day when I don’t see doves, both mourning and white-winged species. The smaller mourning doves

A white-winged dove keeping an eye on Scamp and me as we walk past. — Photo by Pat Bean

sleep on the ground and Scamp is always trying to sneak up on them. He enjoys chasing after the doves, well until the leash pulls him up short.

While my morning walks aren’t as exciting as they were when I was traveling around the country in a small RV, and every few days would have new territory to explore, I’m fortunate to live next door to a bit of undeveloped desert full of wildlife, including javelinas, roadrunners, coyotes, quail, and even a bobcat or two.

Such encounters, at a safe distance from some of them of course, almost make me glad that Scamp insists on getting me out of bed at o’dark-hundred.

Bean Pat: To Caroline Randall Williams for her eye-opening essay in the New York Times on why the southern monuments are a slap in the face to Blacks. It offered this southern white girl, who has never considered herself racist, a better understanding of the inequities of the past and the present. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/26/opinion/confederate-monuments-racism.html

Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon.


Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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To be outdoors and walking during Arizona sunrises and sunsets makes one feel good to be alive. — Photo by Pat Bean

          ‘The wisdom of age: Don’t stop walking.” – Mason Cooley

A Daily Ritual

            After retiring in 2004, selling my home, and taking to the road in a small motor home, I began a daily ritual that continues to this day. I walk my dog,

Mourning doves are almost a daily sight as Scamp and I take our morning walks. — Photo by Pat Bean

First, there was Maggie, a spoiled cocker spaniel who didn’t wake up until 9 a.m. and who didn’t like to get her feet wet. She was my home-on-wheels companion for eight of the nine years I lived in it.

Pepper, a sweet, gently Scottie-mix who never wanted to get out of my sight, came next and traveled with me for my final unrooted year before we began life in a third-floor walkup apartment, a choice I made because I like being on top and having a view. Six a.m. was Pepper’s wake-up time but she could be persuaded to sleep in for another hour before I had to get up and walk her.

Scamp, a Siberian Husky-Shih Tzu mix who is perfectly named and who has now been with me for a year, demands a 5 a.m. walk, and bullies me until I get up and take him for it. Thankfully I’m a morning person and am usually just as eager for the walk as he. But occasionally, especially when I get to bed late or spend most of the night reading, I get a bit grumpy about the early start to my day.

Living in a third-floor apartment without a yard of my own means these early walks are not optional. I call them my fool-proof exercise program. This is especially true since four more walks are required during the day as well.

But since its summer, and Scamp and I live in the desert where it’s currently hot as heck, our morning walks are the

Cactus is plentiful around my apartment complex, and one or another is usually in bloom. — Photo by Pat Bean

only ones of much duration. And these have been shortened in recent years because of the physical limitations that come with becoming an old broad. The long walks I used to have with my other canines is one of the few things I truly miss.

Even so, I find that if I’m observant, each shorter walk these days contains a special moment. Perhaps it’s the sight of a Cheshire moon grinning back at me between the trees as I walk down the steps. This morning, it was one of our resident great horned owls sitting on the pool fence and screeching a hiss at us as we passed it by.

Scamp was intrigued and stopped to watch until I finally pulled him forward. At 40 pounds, Scamp doesn’t much interest the owl, but my downstairs neighbor picks up her four-pound chihuahua whenever she knows this bird of prey is around.

Right now, the saguaros are beginning to bloom, and I have two large ones picked out to watch their day by day progress. Where I live is half city landscape and half undeveloped desert ridges and washes. Morning sights have included a bobcat, roadrunners, Gambel’s quail, and javelinas

Most months, it’s still dark at 5 a.m., but currently, the sun is just beginning to makes its appearance at this hour. Today was a bit overcast but the sky was full of lavender-tinted clouds. Scamp led us to the small dog park here in the apartment complex, and while he ran free for a few minutes, I watched a pair of mourning doves as they sat side-by-side on a high utility wire.

A cool breeze, like a gentle lover’s touch, ruffled my hair. It felt good to be alive – and have a dog that must be walked.

You can read more about Maggie and our morning walks in Travels with Maggie, available on Amazon.

Bean Pat: Listen to a great horned owl hoot, coo, screech and hiss. https://www.birdnote.org/show/voices-and-vocabularies-great-horned-owls

            Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.


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Morning Chat

Technology: Aaaccchhh!

While I might not be able to live without my internet, getting out among nature’s wonders and birdwatching are what keep me sane. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.”—Thomas Sowell

Internet Service

          Never mind that our family didn’t get a television until I was 14 years old, and today I don’t even own one, I can’t live without the internet. I go a bit crazy when it doesn’t work, which is exactly what happened about a month ago.

Can I have a bone? I’ll sit in your lap to chew it — and petting me will calm you down. Translation by Pat Bean

It started with interruptions to my service and a message that no internet service was available. About five minutes later, my internet would magically be working again,

After a couple of days of this annoyance, I decided to report the problem, which turned out to be a difficult task that took almost two hours. I waited, I talked to people on the phone, I chatted online and was transferred back and forth between staffers numerous times before someone finally said the problem was most likely my modem and a new one would be sent to me, and that when it arrived, I should return the old one.

After three more days of intermittent internet service the new one, or so I thought, arrived via UPS. I immediately switched the two modems out – and found myself with NO internet service.

So it was that I found myself back on the phone for another two-hour session of waiting and trying to communicate with idiots who kept transferring me around from one to another before I was finally told the problem evidently wasn’t a modem issue and a repairman would have to be sent out to investigate.

Here I got a break. While I was envisioning several days more without internet service before that could happen, I was told a repairman was available that afternoon. About four hours later a congenial guy with a modem in hand knocked on my door.

“I checked all the lines so it has to be your modem,” he said. On investigation, he discovered, and told me, that the “old” modem, which I had originally been sent in February of this year, was out of date, and the “new” modem sent me was even older than that.

          He then hooked up the truly new modem and within a few minutes I had perfect, fast-speed internet service. He then took both the old modems with him.

You think that would be the end of it. Oh! No!

Yesterday I got an email informing me that if I didn’t mail back my old modem, I would be charged $150, My patience, if I ever actually had any, was at an end. I looked down at my canine companion Scamp, who was getting concerned about my state of mind and yelled. They want me to pay $150 for a modem that doesn’t work!  I translated his response as Can I have a bone?

Finally, I settled down and called them once again, but never got through to anyone. I then went to online chat and wasted another hour before the idiot chatting with me said I would have to wait until the charge was actually billed until they could remove it.

As I said: Aaaccchhh!

          Bean Pat: To the repairmen, all of them, who continue to work through the coronavirus crisis, to keep technology working for those of us who can’t live without it. Thank you.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.


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Home with a Scamp

Scamp taking in the morning sun as it came in through my bedroom balcony this morning. — Photo by Pat Bean

“No one appreciates the very special genius of our conversation as the dog does.” – Christopher Morley

At Least I Can Hug My Dog

The shelter ad said she was eight months old, a schnauzer mix, and it called the dog Smidge.

Wrong, wrong and wrong. She was a he, and probably a couple of months younger than claimed, and there is not a smidgen of schnauzer in him– at least according to the DNA results I received yesterday, a gift from my youngest daughter who did the swabbing.

Scamp taking a snooze after a lengthy session of ball throwing and retrieving in the house. — Photo by Pat Bean.

I immediately knew the dog’s name was not Smidge, and thought it might be Harley. But two weeks later, I knew without a doubt that his name was Scamp. For one thing, he resembles the Disney animated dog Scamp, and he definitely is one.

His puppy ways and how he kept growing and growing out of the 20-pound lapdog I was expecting convinced me that he was quite a bit younger than eight months when I took him home last May. He finally stopped growing in January, weighing in today at about 35 pounds.

His DNA results show he is 50 percent Siberian husky, 37 percent Shih Tzu, with some cocker spaniel, Maltese and miniature poodle thrown into the mix, which may be why he is convinced he is the lapdog I wanted.

Whenever I sit in my living room recliner, he shares it with me, lays at my feet when I am at my desk, and is a bed hog when he sleeps with me at night. We do have lots of conversations these days, as he is my only isolation companion.

He’s a better listener than most of my other friends, cocking his head to one side as if he truly understands what I’m nattering on about.

Both of us are extroverts who like people and animals. So, this isolation is not the easiest to endure. Thankfully we have each other.

available on Amazon

Bean Pat: Zimmy https://lithub.com/meet-zimmy-the-quarantine-dog-or-an-insane-response-to-an-insane-time/ This post was my inspiration for today’s blog. It’s cleverly written and funny.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.


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These are times when I need the calming influence of nature to calm my thoughts. This photo is of Maggie at Andrew Jackson State Park in South Carolina, which I describe better in my book, Travels with Maggie. — Photo by Pat Bean

“What is history? An echo of the past in the future, a reflex from the future on the past.” – Victor Hugo

History in the Making

          I share a birth year with Lily Tomlin and Tina Turner. The three of us were all born in 1939. I discovered this fact while doing research for my memoir, which if it ever gets written will be called Between Wars.

The most significant events of 1939 were the official ending of the Great Depression and the official beginning of World War II. I was raised by a mother who had been influenced by the Depression and could make a penny stretch to the moon. While I’m not nearly as thrifty, it pains me to see things go to waste.

As for the war, I would only be six years old when it ended, and thus have few personal memories about it. The one thing I do recall, probably because I was severely scolded, was finding and childishly destroying the family’s stash of ration coupons. As I vaguely remember, it meant that I ate my cereal without sugar for the month. According to the history books I studied in school, items rationed during the war included sugar, meat, coffee, and automobile fuel.

I overheard a conversation once that left me believing my dad had illegally acquired gasoline to take my brother to the doctor. Knowing my dad, that’s quite possibly true, but he probably had to do so because he earlier wasted gas gadding about for his own purposes, Gas, by the way, cost about 17 cents a gallon in 1939

I compared rationing in my early years with what is going on in the world today because of the coronavirus pandemic. Stores here in Tucson, and elsewhere I’m sure, are limiting how much toilet paper, and other items considered essential to life as we know it, can be purchased to halt hoarding.

Meanwhile, on a much lighter note, there were some other interesting firsts for 1939.

Batman was introduced in Detective Comics No. 27 and Superman got his own comic book. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was published and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlow character was introduced in The Big Sleep.

Premiering on the big screen were Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, while Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood gossip show made its radio debut. Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time and Harvard University students swallowed goldfish.

In New York, both the Baseball Hall of Fame and LaGuardia Airport opened.

Judy Garland’s Over the Rainbow topped the music charts, with Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade coming in second, Kate Smith’s God Bless America third and Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit fourth. It was Holiday’s first civil rights song.

I wonder if future 80-year-olds will look back on their own birth years – and discover that the coronavirus pandemic tops the list of significant events?

Bean Pat: A Slice of Life https://lindahoye.com/and-yet/ A reflective post for today’s times.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.



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