Friday, September 16, 2011

Fridays are Golden

We try to take the Golden Girls to places where they can run, uninhibited by leashes or forest.  One of their favorite places is around a lake and over the dam.  Several times during these off-leash frolics, we call them back to us.  We hold both hands in the air as a visual cue.  Often we have little treats for them; other times the treat is only praise.  The purpose of doing the recalls at unexpected intervals is to reinforce to the dogs that coming when they are called is a good and necessary thing.

Here you see the laughing girls in the shadow of my huband.  He is holding two little treats and they are waiting patiently, not yet sure but hoping there is a treat involved.

The girls really do get excited about these tiny treats.  We use them for practicing commands and during grooming because they are small with few calories.

We take water and a collapsing bowl for the girls.  One water dish is fine when we are traveling since they would both use the same one even if we had two.

Tuesday morning we put the girls in the car.  They thought we were going for a fun outing.  Well, we were indeed going for an outing.  But not the outing the girls expected.  Lucy, our drama queen, always whines in delight as we go down to the main road.  She suddenly became silent.  I know she was thinking, "That's where we are supposed to turn!  Dad!  Pay Attention.  You forgot to turn.  Oh dear, this may not be good."  There was not a sound from either dog for quite a while.  Then Lucy started to whine again; not the happy whining like before, but mournful whining as if she were heading to her doom.

Close, but in reality it was simply a trip to their veterinarian for their annual physical exams and innoculations.  We select our veterinarian with the same care with which we selected pediatricians when the children were small.  Dr. B is wonderful, kind and patient with our dogs and we are so lucky to have him.  He pronounced both dogs very healthy.

Dr. B has a dog of his own.  He trained the dog to respond to the word "dead" by dropping down on the ground, all four feet stuck straight up in the air.  He selects a sports team (for my husband he would choose "Carolina Tarheels.")  He would then ask the dog, "Would you rather be a Carolina Tarheel fan or would you rather be dead?"  You can figure out how the game works.

Whether from the excitement of the exam, or a side effect from the injections, both dogs were rather lethargic that afternoon and into the evening.  I practically had to prod them to get them to come for their bedtime business duty outside.

This is Ellie's pitiful look, guaranteed to get someone down on the floor with her.

This is Lucy's zombie, ready-to-sleep-don't-bother-me look.

Fortunately both girls were in fine shape the next morning.  All of us, human and canine, are enjoying some cooler weather with new signs of autumn appearing every day.

We are trying to rise above the constant, often stupid political rhetoric we cannot seem to avoid.  North Carolina, like many (if not most) other states is having huge problems with the state's budget.  We have heavy unemployment.  More than 15% of our population go to bed hungry every night and awaken to hunger during the day.  The numbers of people visiting the food pantries are at an all-time high.  Neglected repairs of aging infrastructure are certain to cause problems in the near as well as distant future.  Simply put, we are in a crisis mode.

So what does our first-time-in-150-years-Republican-majority-in-both-houses government tackle as its most pressing agenda item?  It goes something like this: "It threatens the sanctity of marriage. 
What are we going to do with those gay and lesbian couples who think they should be treated like everyone else?  It's already against the law for them to marry, but we must amend our State Constitution to make it harder to change."

[NOTE:  I apologize for lumping all Republicans together.  There are many Republicans who do support the same civil rights to all citizens.  But I can tell you that the previous Democrat-led State Congress struck down this proposal each time its ugly head reared.]

So this week, the words "tolerance" and "courage" are running through my mind.  I cannot recall who said it, but I think it rings true:

The true test of courage comes when we are in the minority.  The true test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.



Elora said...

What an absolutely delightful and thoughtful post, Carolyn! Wonderful!

Yes, we, too, are enjoying the cool. Our pups, too.

Thanks again for your speaking out.

BTW, the community assoc. we are hoping to form has as its mission statement:

To work together to collectively ensure the health, food, shelter, safety and belonging of all residents living within the Community area.(16/+% unemployment in WV.

Wish us luck! Again, thanks for your posts!

KB said...

Funny how "Fridays are Golden" always sticks in my head and I have to come visit. Your girls look SO happy on their outing. Your vet's dog trick is very funny!

Tolerance, acceptance of differences, even celebration of differences... I'm completely in agreement with you. I want to cry for my gay friends whenever I read about these hard-hearted efforts to marginalize their relationships.

Ms. A said...

I swear my dogs could read my mind when it was time to go to the vet. They knew! (and they were probably laying a guilt trip on you afterward)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Courage and tolerance. I like that.
I love the vets 'dead' trick...he is a funny one.
Our dogs are usually exhausted after the vet visit much anxiety and then they realize they have 'survived' is almost too much for them.
Have a lovely weekend!

Arkansas Patti said...

I loved this post. Your girls are so sweet.
Got a good giggle out of the vet dog trick. Mighty does no tricks except looking like an orphan when he wants something.
Our country is in deep do do as the welfare of the people is an after thought of the politicians. Winning seems to be the only thought. So sorry about that 150 year change. Same thing happened in Florida and now Arkansas is weakening. Yikes.

Jill said...

Our dogs do the same thing when going to the vet. They somehow know where we are going even before we leave the house. How can you resist that pitiful look. Might have to teach Smudge that trick!

Rudee said...

I love reading about your girls. They lighten my heart.

As for the politics in your state, I can only sigh. Aren't there more pressing things that need attention?

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I also love reading about your girls! Each time I feel like I know them a bit better and have grown so fond of their lovely personalities! I also love when any dog can do a great trick, because mine can't! :-)

Vicki Lane said...

Really, to have made this anti gay marriage thing their priority is appalling. And at the same time to say they're against government meddling.

Years ago we had friends who'd taught their dog that trick. In their case the prompt was 'Would you rather be George Wallace's dog or would you rather be dead?'

Carolina Linthead said...

Beautiful, thoughtful post, my friend. I weep hot tears for my native state of NC, even as I do my part to help out in my adopted state of Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I love that "dead" trick. I'd like to see it some time.

You know how I feel about the direction our country is going. These are tough times, and I am worried. Here is a link to an article that I think you might want to read.

The Bug said...

I feel the EXACT SAME WAY about going to the doctor - traumatized & exhausted :)

You know, I think they're attacking gay marriage because they don't know how to fix the other problems. Not without cooperating across the aisle & who wants to do that? Not them!

Molly the Airedale said...

Thank you for stopping by our blog! Your Golden girls are just beautiful!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

I read that the quote is from Ralph W. Sockman ( It's good.

Our politics at all levels have gotten way out of hand. Lincoln's "of the people, by the people, and for the people" no longer seems to apply. The people seem to be united in their disgust, but every election we seem to elect the same turkeys. I don't understand.

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Hi Carolyn,
My Bambi was allergic to the rabies shot. Every year it got worse until one year she almost died. No more rabies shots for her!!!!!!!!!
A lovely post and so true!!
Our poor house needs so much help and no money to fix it
xx, Tinker & Fern