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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Sleep and Dreams

I often find myself in nature in my dreams. — Painting of Shone Falls by Thomas Moran, which was discovered at the Twin Falls, Idaho, Library when I lived there in the mid-1980s This would be a nice place to dream about. –

          “I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.” – Henry David Thoreau

Morning Chat

          I went ice skating last night. That’s amazing because in reality I never could do it. I played tennis, I hiked, I even roller skated. But I could never stand up on a slim blade of steel on ice.

But when I awoke this morning, the image of myself skimming around a frozen pond on skates was still vividly in my mind. I don’t remember anything else about the dream except the feeling of competently gliding across the ice.

It was wonderful, and I didn’t want to let it go. But go it went as soon as I opened my eyes to see my canine companion Scamp staring into them as his way of demanding his morning walk.

Scamp sitting on my bed watching me as I write this blog. He seems to be asking if I’m writing about him. — Photo by Pat Bean

I don’t sleep well these days, often waking frequently to shift into a more comfortable position or go to the bathroom, or to try and scoot Scamp over to his side of the bed. I think at least the first two awakenings are simply a side effect of being 80 years old, as I hear similar complaints from other oldsters among my acquaintances.

When I was younger, I fell asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, and I awoke rarely remembering my dreams. These days, some mornings arrive with me feeling I never truly slept. I don’t worry about it, however.

I once read that if you close your eyes and lay still it’s as good as sleep. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but since I usually wake refreshed, I suspect it might be. Or else I sleep more than I think.

I do know I dream more, or at least remember more, and seldom are my dreams anything but pleasant. When I do have a nightmare it usually involves me back once again as a reporter chasing a story and in danger of missing a deadline.

I usually wake myself up before that happens. Then I lay still so as not to wake Scamp, who is ready to go for a walk the second his eyes open – even if it’s 4:30 a.m., as it was this morning.

I took him for his walk, then crawled back in bed for a rare, solid three hours of sleep before waking to find myself skimming across the ice on those thin steel blades.

  Bean Pat: 1WriteWay https://1writeway.com/picking-up-after-others-makeamericabeautifulagain-leaveonlyfootprints/ This is a writer’s blog I follow, but she has a non-writing goal that tunes into my soul. Let’s all do it.

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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Smiles

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. – Leo Buscaglia

My canine companion Scamp — who is quite aptly named — makes me smile every day. I took this photo of him last night as he claimed the pillows I tossed off my bed before I crawled into it. He followed me onto the bed. Did I mention he is a bed hog? — Photo by Pat Bean

Morning Chat

As I was driving out of the library parking lot the other morning, a woman passed by with such a big smile on her face that I stopped the car, rolled down the window and told her she had a beautiful smile.

I often make art that makes me smile. What makes you smile?

She thanked me and indicated the load of books in her arms, and said it was because of the wonderful library we had.

Now I love this library, but it’s a small branch and not really grand at all. I suspected that this woman was one of those people who was always smiling. If so, she was a kindred spirit.

Back in the 1990s when I was a reporter covering Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, my newspaper’s publisher wanted a photo of me for a promo ad. One of the paper’s photographers took a dozen or more and gave them to the publisher to choose which to use.

The publisher rejected everyone, then called me into his office, and told me he wanted a picture of me looking serious and not smiling. So back I went for another photo session, in which I found it almost impossible not to smile.

I thought about this after reading a memoir in which the author said: Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to swagger into a room with a bad-ass attitude instead of a wide-mouthed smile.

An interesting idea, I thought, contemplating just such an action. And then I thought of how the smiling face of the woman at the library had cheered me. I could do with more smiling faces these days — and less bad-ass attitudes.

          Bean Pat: I just finished reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. I loved this book and highly recommend it. It’s a book about overcoming loss, facing reality and simply surviving and carrying on.

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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The Mystery of Disappearing Time

I can’t believe it is only five days until Christmas.

          “The trouble is, you think you have time.” Buddha

Only Five Days until Christmas

          Now that all but one of the packing boxes have been taken down to the recycling bin and things – including all that stuff I can’t understand where it came from — are mostly put in place, I took a deep breath this morning with my cream-laced coffee and realized Christmas is only five days away?

Scamp is a bewildered as I am about the disappearance of time, or so I imagine. This will be his first Christmas. I bought him a no-pull harness. But I think that is more of a Christmas gift for me than him. — Photo by Pat Bean

That’s just not possible, my confused brain said, despite the calendar’s confirmation. But then one of the most-used phrases in my journals, after a lapse of writing in them, is: Where in the heck has time disappeared?

          The big moving day to my new apartment was 16 days ago. I guess I just put everything on hold until I got resettled. Surely it didn’t take me over two weeks to do that?

As an old broad with more time behind her than ahead of her, the hours have become more precious with each passing day. I don’t want to lose a precious minute of them.

But growing older has also given me the wisdom to appreciate the positive more than the negative. And so, as I slowly sipped my coffee, I looked around at my new, larger, brighter digs, and gave myself a pat on the back for a job well done.

While Christmas might only be five days away, there is still time to do a little decorating. So, where in the heck did I put my Christmas decorations?

Bean Pat: Raindrops https://mybeautfulthings.com/2019/12/19/raindrops-another-leaf-and-love/ I like this blog because it reinforces my thinking that the little things in life are the most important.

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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Early morning view of Mount Lemmon taken while walking Scamp. — Photo by Pat Bean

          “Everybody should have a shelter dog. It’s good for the soul.” – Paul Shaffer

Who Needs a Gym Membership?

          Scamp, my rowdy, half-trained canine companion, wakes me shortly before 6 a.m., impatiently eager for our morning walk. He snuggles next to me and kisses my face sweetly. He is always sweet in the morning. I scratch behind his ears, run my hands over his furry body, and rub the night boogers away from his eyes.

And then, to complete our morning ritual, I ask him if he’s ready for our walk. His reply is to wiggle all over, give me one last sloppy kiss, and then to hop down from the bed, but only after I have at least one foot on the floor. I don’t think he trusts that I really will get up.

Can’t you put your shoes on faster? I imagine Scamp asking as he waits for his morning walk. –Photo by Pat Bean 

Scamp then paces around me as I throw on some clothes, and lies in front of me as I sit in my living room recliner to put on my shoes and lace them up. This latter behavior is much appreciated. I adopted Scamp as an eight-month-old from a rescue shelter in May, and for the next two months, he kept attacking my feet as I tried to put on my shoes.

With a good grip on his leash, I open the door and tell him to wait before we walk down three flights of stairs. He is slowly learning to do that, but I always hang on to the railing as we go down. Sometimes he’s still too much of a puppy to go at my pace.

Once down, Scamp takes a long pee, and I praise him, thankful that he is now sleeping all through the night without a potty break. Then we take a meandering walk through my large apartment complex, with Scamp marking most trees as we pass them. He usually waits until we get to an upper courtyard level before doing his other business, which I dutifully pick up and dispose of at the pooper station.

Most mornings, it’s just the two of us out an about. It’s peaceful. I love the freshness of a morning with the sun peeking up from the horizons. We have resident great horned owls, and sometimes they are still up and, hooting from one of the tall trees. The morning view of Mount Lemmon, never quite the same, lifts my soul and prepares it for the day ahead.

If there are others up at this early hour, walking their dogs or heading off to work, Scamp wants to greet them. He’s become a favorite of many of the residents and mostly they stop and give him a pat or two.

Scamp, since I adopted him, has never met a human or a dog he doesn’t like. That makes up for a lot of his other faults, like pulling, chewing and demanding attention.

Once back in my apartment, I feed Scamp before brushing my teeth and making coffee for myself. Most mornings I drink my coffee on my third-floor balcony with a book in my hand and Scamp at my feet watching the world go by below.

I can’t think of a better way to start my day – which will include at least four more walks for Scamp and me. He and the stairs are this 80-year-old’s exercise plan – a rare one that can’t be skipped.

I count myself blessed.

Bean Pat: Writing myths https://ryanlanz.com/2019/10/05/6-myths-about-writing-2/ One of the writing blogs I follow.

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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Scamp: The Scamp

            “Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift.” – Mary Oliver

He’s a scamp, but he’s my Scamp. — Photo by Jean Gowen

Dynamite on Four Legs

            There is a saying about being careful what you ask for. While still grieving for the loss of my canine companion Pepper, I saw this picture of an adorable eight-month-old puppy, or so the shelter said. I suspect now, judging by his continuing puppy mannerisms and how much he has grown since May, that he might have been a bit younger.

Dang dog!!!! — Photo by Pat Bean

The important thing, however, is that the minute I saw what I thought was her face but turned out to be his face, my heart did a jazz dance. “I want this dog,” I wailed, knowing he was over 800 miles away from my home in Tucson.

The tears worked. With the help of a good friend, Scamp – who was Smidge at the shelter and Harley until I realized his true name was Scamp – now belongs to me. He weighed 18 pounds when I got him, and now, I’m guessing, weighs 30 pounds. I’m hoping he won’t get  much bigger.

The best thing about him is that he has never met a person or a dog, German shepherds and English bulldogs included, that he doesn’t like, and hasn’t got a mean bone in his furry body.

On the other hand, he wasn’t house broken when I got him. To get him to that stage, I walked him every hour for two weeks – and I live in a third-floor walk-up apartment. We’re now down to five or six walks a day, the first one at 5 a.m. He is this old-broad’s exercise plan, I should note.

Photo taken this morning of Scamp and his best friend, Dusty, sitting nicely — for treats. — Photo by Pat Bean

Scamp is sassy and wants his way, and pulls when he wants to go in the opposite direction than I do on our walks. I’m working on that. He comes about 50 percent of the time when called, but is good at sitting – for a treat. The word NO is still a foreign language to him, but I have this loud YEECCK sound when I am really exasperated that he seems to understand.

The second I sit down in a chair, he hops in my lap and proceeds to push the book away, or else try to chew on it. He is seriously cutting into my reading time. He doesn’t like me talking on the phone either, or being on my computer. He thinks he should have all my attention.

I’ve kept track, and so far, he has torn up 10 rolls of toilet paper — make that 11. Between the time I started writing this and now, he got another roll that I forgot to put back on a HIGH shelf when the phone rang and interrupted my brain,

He’s chewed up two plastic dog dishes, a plastic plate, one pen, one leash, and I now have chew marks on one of my dining room chairs. A cardboard box is his favorite toy. He tears it into penny-size pieces for me to pick up.

But he’s mine, and I love him. He’s a damn lucky dog!

Bean Pat: Nature up Close https://tom8pie.com/2019/08/26/global-dragonfly/#like-13543 global dragonfly.

Check out Travels with Maggie on Amazon.

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

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Battle Mountain, Nevada — Wikimedia photo 

            “Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” – Matsuo Basho

Cruising I-80 in Nevada and Utah

            Day 7: The next morning found us back on Interstate 80 for a scenic, peaceful day’s drive to Battle Mountain, Nevada, 350 miles away.

The Bonneville Salt Flats as viewed near the Nevada-Utah border. Wikimedia photo

            In my research to discover what battle had been fought here, I learned there hadn’t been any battle, but I did learn that in December 2001, the Washington Post published an article that called the town the “Armpit of America.”  And that Battle Mountain then used the title as a publicity opportunity, hosting an annual “Armpit Festival” from 2002–2005. The event was sponsored by Old Spice.

I saw Battle Mountain as just one of America’s small towns past its prime after a  familiar history of copper, silver and gold mining and accessibility to a railroad to bring miners to the area and transport the ores elsewhere. The city’s economy today is gold mining, gambling and a plethora of motels because it sits in the middle of nowhere.

It was simply a convenient place for Jean, me and our doggies to spend the night, order take out from a nearby steak house, and then start the next day at the town’s excellent dog park before continuing our journey. The pleasant dog park made me discount the armpit title.

Day 8: Back on Interstate 80, our goal for the day was Ogden, Utah, where I had lived and worked as a reporter, columnist and

Utah Tree of Life, a cement structure that sits beside Insterdate 80 between Wendover, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah.

editor for 25 years. I was eager to once again be in sight of its magnificent Wasatch Mountain backdrop. I was also eager to see friends I had left behind when I retired in 2004 and took to the roaming RV life for eight years before nesting in Tucson seven years ago.

But before that could happen, there were 350 miles ahead of us, the first 300 continuing on Interstate 80 through a mostly unsettled landscape that was sometimes awesome and-sometimes barren. The most interesting sight along the way – one that Jean, a former chef and now a high school culinary arts teacher was eager to see for the first time – came just after we crossed into Utah after passing through Wendover, Nevada, where Northern Utahns come to gamble.

It was the Bonneville Salt Flats, a remnant of Lake Bonneville that once stretched across portions of Utah, Nevada and Idaho until it broke through Red Rock Pass in Idaho about 15,000 years ago.  I knew the area’s history well because during my days as an environmental reporter I often wrote about the flats and the Great Salt Lake, which I had watched go from a historic low in 1963 to a historic high in 1983. Today, the ever-fluctuating lake is once again reaching historic low levels.  

We stopped for a short break at a viewing tower overlooking the salt flats shortly after crossing over the border into Utah. Jean, curious about its texture, walked out onto the salt.

 As we drove on, I noted that the area we were passing through was called the West Desert and that in addition to containing the salt flats, it also contained an Air Force bombing range and was home to Dugway Proving Grounds, where chemical weapons are tested. In addition, I said, there are several landfills, including one for hazardous waste, which I had also visited and wrote about as a reporter.

This portion of the day’s drive was full of memories for me and new territory for Jean.

To be continued:

Bean Pat: Worth reading for writers is today’s Jane Friedman’s column. Check it out at https://www.janefriedman.com/metaphor-and-imagery/   

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

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“When the man walked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.” — Barbara Kingsolver.

I knew it had gotten too quiet. — Photo by Pat Bean

It’s morning. My coffee is brewing. I am sitting at my computer checking email while waiting for it to be ready. It is quiet. I look down.

The scene is easily described in two words: New Puppy.

And now you know why I renamed him Scamp.

*Available on Amazon, 

Bean Pat: Reading with a dog. http://lindahoye.com/readingunwanted/

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, enthusiastic birder and is always searching for life’s silver lining. She can be reached at patbean@msn.com

 

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