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Posts Tagged ‘pets’

 “If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket then giving Fido only two of them.” Edward Jesse

Travels With Maggie

This is the look I get when Maggie wants something and expects me to know what it is. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Maggie, my black cocker spaniel traveling companion, wormed her way into the heart of my friend, Sherry, when we visited her in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, last week. So much so that Sherry turned up at my RV with treats for her.

Now we’re not talking your usually doggie bone, we’re talking a whole cheeseburger without any condiments one day, and a sausage and egg breakfast sandwich the next day. Admittedly she asked first if Maggie was allowed people food.

Now if you’ve ever read the ingredients in most dog food, which I carefully began doing after the dog-food fiasco a few years back that killed people’s pets, you’ll understand why I replied:

“Yes.”

I think this is Maggie's way of saying "Let's rest a bit before going on." -- Photo taken by Pat Bean at Clyde Holliday State Park in Southern Oregon.

In fact, Maggie always gets the last bite of anything I eat. It was the way Maggie, whom I rescued from an abusive first year of her life, and I bonded, As long as it isn’t junk food, I figure real food is as good or even better for her as dog food.

I didn’t know, however, that my answer would reap Maggie such a generous reward, although I must admit Maggie was on especially good behavior with Sherry, her teenage son and their cats.

Maggie, who is more cat-like than dog-like, has never had a problem with felines, just other dogs, which all of my children have. It’s not that she’s mean beyond growling a bit at the bigger ones, but just that she likes to mark her territory to let them know she considers herself the alpha dog.

And that means that although she will cross her legs all day to keep from peeing in our RV home, she’s not as considerate when she’s in another dog’s territory, even if that territory is indoors.

Maggie with her pet, me, at Lake Walcott State Park in Idaho

It was like going back to the days when my children were always doing something to embarrass me.

The reason I decided to tell you a bit about my spoiled dog this morning is that I think Sherry got Maggie thinking that cozying up to people might have its rewards. So she smoozed her way into the heart of my RV neighbor here at the Bordertown RV Park just outside Reno, where I spent the past two days. .

This morning the neighbor came over with two pieces of left-over chicken from her dinner last night.

“Can Maggie have some chicken,” she asked.

“Yes.”

She then patiently stood there and picked the meat off the bone and fed it to her.

Afterward, Maggie grinned up at me. I swear she did.

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Each sunset makes yet another mark on the calendar of our lives. I don't want to miss a single one. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not.” — Thomas Carlyle

Travels With Maggie

As I typed the date in my journal this morning, I wanted to scream. Where in Hades has two months of the year gone already?

Time, as someone who no longer has to spend a third of it making a living, is my friend. But time, as someone who has less of it ahead than behind, is my enemy. This latter is true for both me and my dog, Maggie, who sadly at 13 most likely has fewer days ahead of her than I do.

Just the thought of losing her brings tears to my eyes. But that’s the reality of loving something. Maggie won’t be the first pet I’ve lost. And if Father Time is kind to me might not even be the last.

One day bare twigs, the next day bursting with color. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The pain of loss, however, is outweighed by the richness my feline and canine companions have added to my life over the years. I truly believe Alfred Lord Tennyson’s words: “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I’m sure he was speaking about human relationships, but those count in my book, too.

I was thinking on this during this morning’s walk when I came upon a patch of purple. A lilac bush – which Maggie and I have passed daily while waiting for winter to end so we can get back on the road – appeared to have budded overnight.

It was another example of how time, which once moved slow as a snail when I was a child awaiting Christmas, is now going 200 miles-per-hour in a 20 miles-per-hour school zone.

I can’t slow Father Time. All I can do is go along for the ride. Getting off and standing still is not an option for Maggie and me.

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