Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 11: Room-inations

Mom's gone back to what she called 'hell' when she left this morning. (her word, not mine. Still not sure what happens to a boy for hoppin' on fur-niture around here, much less cursin'!) And by 'hell', ya'all, I'm guessin' she meant the factory...

So I find myself here, free to roam the rooms of this here bed-n-breakfast / four paw luxury vacation spot. And I'm likin' it!

Thinkin' many unleashed thoughts about freedom, security and comfort while tryin' to tie down my feelin's about the Mom. I mean...

Is she crazy? Is she testin' me? Is there some switch that I might eventually yet accidentally flip? Why is she doing and providing all of this? Does she REALLY love and trust me?

I want to believe her. I do. But I can't. I don't.

You can't blame me, because not one of you knows Chapter One. If you did, you'd understand. I survived many years by squashin' my will. My almost fatal error was when that will unleashed and went full throttle. Mighta been a big mistake, but I don't think so now. It just mighta been the best thing ever... Might shoulda done it sooner, but ain't gonna question timin'. Kinda like thinkin' I'm right where I'm meant to be!

Luke's Rating System

Zero Paws: World done you wrong. What you got is what you stole.

One Paw: You got some of the basics, like maybe square meals, but shelter is iffy (indoors... what's that?) and you long for 'family' but you ain't feelin' it.

Two Paws: You got the basics of square meals, shelter (indoors and outdoors), but you don't quite feel like you rank 'family' status. Whatcha call second class citizenship.

Three Paws: You got yummy square meals, snacks in between, indoor and outdoor shelter, peoples trying more to change than understand you, medical attention as required... and you rank 'family' but no better. A pretty good place to find yourself!

Four Paws: Meals, snacks, meds. almost full time personal assistant, doorman and valet (time off is by necessity and to keep you humble), freedom to be, understanding of how you be, leading and confidence building, Treated way better than family and living as well as you could ever hope. Just short of over the top!

Four Paw Belly Up!: Over the top conditions! A celebratory leap from your station in life, whatever that might be! Everyone needs over the top spoilin' from time to time. Speakin' only for myself, ain't never had any till these last few months. And Ole C.H. could get used to these momentary luxuries!

There are all sorts of subtleties to my rating system, but for now, I'm holding those really close to the flanks... I'll explain the rest later!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day Ten: Gold Chip

I'm a little bummed.
Mom and I did chores all day.
And then she told me I have a chip on my shoulder!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day Nine: Random Thoughts

Lots-o-activity around here:
  1. Guess we're 'spectin a storm, cause the Mom cancelled birfday plans with Aunt Dav, but she ran outta here like lightnin' bolt to get the trolley what she called 'spected.
  2. Mom's got a pair of noya, and I'm just now figurin' it out. Ya see, several days ago, she stuffed tennis shoes under every door. Thought she was nuts at the time, but after where I've been, I figured... 'to each his own'. Now she's stuffin' rubber wedgy things under all of our doors! She don't seem to like the fit though. Nuts and noya, I tell ya!
  3. Workers 'round here bangin' on thangs. Even dismantled the big ole redwood rathouse. Hate I had to watch from the inside!
  4. Ain't been at this fabulous summer camp long, but thought leash was for NORTH of camp, not south.
  5. Anyone with Aunt Melinda's contact info... please pass it along to me by leaving a comment here. Had no idea as to the implications of the car ride. Left my cell phone, day planner and wallet behind. I'm SURE she's trying to get in touch with me.
  6. One thing I need to ask her is... would she be willin' to take in the Mom, too? I mean... carry the two, that makes them sisters, right? It thunders a lot here, not today but most others, and I think if me and the Mom bunk together... we should be no trouble? Just a thought. Aunt Melinda?!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day Eight: Golden In A China Closet

No way I could lie to ya. My upbringin' is too well documented.

I ain't from around here. Not well travelled nor cultured. What I got I got by Divine nature. (God bless her).

And I ain't never been in any place remotely similar to
Briargrove Pharmacy, but Doc Banks and Leslie insisted that I would be welcome... so in the doors me and the somewhat hesitant Mom went. And it was great right from the start.

Greeted at the door by a nice young fellow who not only showered me with attention and compliments but also COOKIES... and I'm thinking, BIG CITY GOOD!

I felt the ties that bind tighten as we walked toward the back of this fine establishment, between shelves of interesting sights and smells. And here's how it went down:

M (Mom): We're here to pick up a prescription for Luke Wright.

PT (Pharmacy Tech) leans over counter to rub my head and ears and whisper shmoopy things to me.

PBW (Pharmacist behind wall): We're going to need more information on Mr. Wright.

PT: What do you need to know besides the fact that he's a golden retriever?

PBW: We still need his address and contact information.

PT (offering form and pen to me): Mr. Wright, we'll need you to fill this out.

M: He's only been at his present address for a week and is still learning his address and phone number, so I'll fill it out for him this time.

PT: snicker snicker snicker

Mom and I wait patiently. Other customers pet me. I sniff stuff. Mom gets nervous and mutters something about not not claiming territory. I don't. Geez. I may not be from the big city, but I know not to do that.

Kind, distinguished gentleman (who has been alternately checking people out and smiling at me... prescription in one hand, leans over with the other to rub my head): Mr. Wright, your prescription is ready. Will you be paying cash, using your credit card or writing us a check today?

Thank God Mom spoke up again. I didn't have my wallet on me!

As we left, we were flanked by shelves of fine breakables.

M: Keep your tail low, boy. Keep your tail low.

Day Eight: All About Luke!

Mom didn't go to the factory today! Or maybe it was closed on account of Aunt Dav's birthday! (Happy Birthday, Aunt Dav! WOOF!).

So we took the trolley out for a tour of this... wow... really huge town. Saw stuff ain't never seen. Tons and I mean tons of trolleys.

Swang by Doc Banks' place and visited her, Leslie and the gang... who in spite of their pokin', proddin' and weighin'... are really fine folk. Said I seemed to be in great shape and I returned the compliment. Wink.

Had some idle chit chat with other four leggers on the way out. Told em there's nothing to fear... no shots or nothin' like that. Why, Doc Banks mostly just loved on me and invited me back in September! Now that's a doc to love... no?

But I'm saving the best part to last... Doc called in a prescription against thunderstorms to the farm-I-see down the way from her place. Stay tuned... you don't want to miss this story! I'll give you a hint: GOLDEN IN A CHINA CLOSET!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day Seven: Not A Good Day

Bad day. Puked breakfast foods and I mean all of em. Upset Mom. Awful awful awful loud ear piercing panicky long storm ridden out on bed with Mom don't care what experts say. Had to eat dinner in small servings. Even a pleasant evening walk hasn't made this day better. Glad it's over. Nite nite. Check back tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Day Six: Shrink Me???

Lots-O-Chatter goin' on. Thunder this and that. Shrink talk.

What kind of new Mom thinks of taking her only begotten son to a shrink on Day Six?

Three things to say...

ONE: No, Mom. You are NOT doing everything wrong.

TWO: I ain't hoppin' on nobody's sofa. Not yet, anyway. Can you say TRAP?

And THREE (exceptions to ONE and TWO): Sofa hoppin' is a perfectly reasonable thing for me to do during a thunderstorm when the Mom is sitting on it! I don't care what anybody says.

Day Six: Needed Day Without T#un&er

My extended stay at summer camp has had it's moments... many of them good, several of them thunderous and not so much.

Today, however, was a glorious and rumble free day.

Mom came home early from the factory, in anticipation of Dog knows what... but it's been peaceful, and I've enjoyed a carefree afternoon of attention. Inside, outside. It's made no difference!

And I'll be honest with you... today is the first day I haven't thought (at least for the briefest of moments) about a cab, trolley or shuttle back to the thunder free zone of Aunt Melinda's.

Aunt Melinda's... It's great there. Everything I ever needed, I have there. It's a secure place to rest and think. There's no thunder. And she takes good care of me!

And then there's here... and I guess the difference between here and there, thunder aside, is that...


I'm needed here. By this woman. By this Mama. She needs me. And maybe for the first time in my life, I'm on the other side of this need. And it feels good. This need. For me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day Five: Counting Up Blessings

Lots of folks been calling and checking on me today. And I don't know why Mom never paws me the phone...

I know they're brainstorming my tribulations, but I like hearing Mom laughing when she talks to Aunt Karen. Two cards, they are. The proverbial pees.

Aunt Dav and Aunt Nelda have been good spirit keeper-uppers, too. Ever time the phone rings, I place a little bet with myself that it's one of them.

And tonight, just as I came in from 'last call'.. Mom announced that Aunt Madison had left me a message. She called her back, while I paced back and forth... willing her to put me on the phone. I'm not long on the spoken word, but I would have liked to utter a 'wuh wuh' to my sweet Aunt... and I think Uncle Tom would have appreciated a burp of contentment!

And as I lay down to slumber, I can't help but smile.

All of these people are committed to helping me be the brave boy they think I am.

And just maybe they're right. I only hope I can be as brave as I am lucky... lucky to have a gaggle of peoples who love and support me!

Day Five: Digging Deep

"Be grateful for luck.
Pay the thunder no mind - listen for birds.
And don't hate nobody."
Eubie Blake
American Pianist and Composerof ragtime music and show tunes.

Sometimes the storms are so long and so loud that you have to dig deep (through the floor if necessary) to find your solace.

After all, how lucky I am... to have this Mama rush home to me at 1030am, so that I don't have to weather a storm alone... and then take me for a long walk in the storm cooled afternoon!

I'm definitely grateful for my luck today!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day Four: An Evening Constitutional

A few surprises around here this evening:
  1. Mom can actually tug walking shoes on those scabby feet.
  2. The look on the old gal's face when she grabbed my leash and I ran straight to the door, laid down and waited patiently and still for her to secure herself to me... like she thought my sit and shake was the only thing I learned in charm school...
  3. She hobbles quite gingerly down the sidewalks of this shady neighborhood, but she's stubborn about directions.
  4. Keeps up with me for the most part... not exactly like dragging a boulder, more like a an iron prison ball.
  5. Sure are a lot of barking dogs in this part of town. Guess their jealous of my handsome tail.
  6. You can feel the stress just slipping away as you wiggle your butt down the street and pmail a wisteria bush.
  7. Cool water never tasted so good! Looks good dribbled all over the kitchen floor, too.
  8. Sleep sure comes easy after a long evening walk. zzzzzzzzzzzzz.......zzz....zzzzzz..zz
*Special note for Aunt Dav: From your mouth to Mom's ears... Praise Dog! Thanks for convincing her that I took a run cause I wanted a walk!

Day Four: Mourning Over! Thunder Rolling!

For five whole hours, I was a good boy. Didn't do nothing wrong that I wasn't able to undo before Mom got home!

Can't wait to follow her around some. Hoping she'll sit still for a while and lay out the lovin'. A good brushin' might feel good, too!

(Uncle Alex said it looks like the frog is praying for his life, but he's actually praying for clear skies!).

Update... Froggy's prayer was not answered. The thunder rolled... and I found the best place yet to weather the storm! I hopped on the bed with the Mama! That crazy fool sang a song and read a book to me...

It was a nice gesture... but seriously... a sing-a-long and story time, in the face of impending doom??? Me and that frog were busy praying!

Day Four: Monday Mourning

What is this place called work?

Mom said she had to go there.

So all I have to do is sit here and wonder if she works in a milk bone factory or a plush toy mill...

Well, that and watch CBS.

Anyone out there know what time Oprah comes on? I'm hoping her guests are Gail and that dog that walks on two legs... and definitely NOT that Czar Mea(n)-lon. Pack leader snack leader!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day Three: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep...

And as my lids grow heavy, I'm etching names on my heart... of all to whom I owe my second life... to those who believed in me and to those who looked me in the eyes, reading the list of my hopes and dreams and determined themselves to make them come true:

"To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under Heaven.
A time to be born, and time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted".

To The Letter Writer of Chapter One: I know this has been hard on you, too. Thanks for doing what you could, and know in the end that you did what was best. My wish for you is the magnitude of love, hope and happiness that I've found... and none of the uncertainty, hurt and fear that I've felt along the way. All's well that ends well, they say... so go to bed tonight knowing that all's truly well.

"A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up".

To Fuzzy Friends Of Waco: Your many acts of kindness and nurturing, your hopes that were invested in me... are etched on my heart. I'll not let you down.

"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,
and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones,
and a time to gather stones together".

To Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston: Wow. Where do I begin? I guess, first... thanks for the lift! You know... from Waco to Houston, my spirits, etc. Uncle Tom, Aunt Madison, Aunt Karen and Aunt Melinda... you were a whirlwind of love, attention, devotion and promotion. And thank you, most of all, for seeing to it that my second life... Chapter Two, if you will... plays out well. Here's hoping that my writings here are just a brief respite from the joyous dance of your match-making!

"A time to to embrace... A time to get.. A time to keep...
A time to sew...A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love... and a time of peace".

To My New Mom and/or Summer Camp Counselor Extraordinaire: Your nuttiness is growing on me... I find your neuroses endearing. Really, I do. I like that you speak to me with kindness and that you like me way more than the things in your house. I even like that silly baby talk thing you do, the way you smooch my nose and just up and hug me for no apparent reason. I like that you sit with me outside, that you come in when I'm ready and sit with me inside. I like to follow you. You look spectacular from behind. I like that if I bolt, you'll chase me with bloody feet till you catch me. I like that you let me know that I've crossed the line of what's expected of me, but you don't hold a grudge. Thank you for your attention, your cool floors, soft beds, fresh waters and tasty foods. And thank you most of all for including me in so much that you do. Gulp. I think... I love you!

Day Three: Mom Left and Came Back Again!

Mother hurriedly printed photos from our shoot, gussied up and broke the news that she was going to leave for a short while... a 'lupper' of sorts with Aunt Dav and Uncle Benjy... more fine kin I'm happy to know I have!

These are good peoples who look after Mom. I'm to understand that they go way back.

Uncle Benjy was the first to tell her she needed a new love (puppy or dog, I think he said). And I hear tail that Aunt Dav played no small part in my visit here, as she proclaimed
"He's the one!"

At any rate, I took a short nap and next thing I know, Mom is coming back through the door... and she's pretty happy. Said something about having fresh guacamole and a rooster tail or two. I don't know nothing about rooster tails, but I hope there's plenty more where those came from... because she's in a FINE mood!

And then the real fun began. Shortly after she landed, I was hitched to my leash... and I finally got the chance to see Aunt Susan again, and to meet Uncle Mike! This guy is 'Luke' style all the way. He plopped down in the front yard... and we leaned into one another, Mike with his arm around me. There was a lot of talk going on, but the sound I heard was one of security.

I like it here. And I think I might want to stay put for a little while longer. I'm a bit conflicted... because I miss Aunt Melinda's. Here, though, I'm a solo act... a Headliner! And the attention feels kinda good... for now!

Day Three: Photo Ops

Minding my own business, and trying to scratch where it itches, Mom is suddenly a photographer.

Hey... a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do. At least I'm sitting relatively still, and you're not seeing the fan of my wagging tail as I sprint down the street!

Seriously, though, folks... Mom doesn't find that to be a funny joke.

So I stop scratching on command and provide the old gal with sweet moments of reflection and emotion. It IS awkward, though... to have someone stalking you through the yard.
This might just be the most "act normal" shot she catches! Too bad it's of the itchies.

Day Three: Again... Presence

'Mom' (I think that's what I'll call her) and I were sitting in the living room this morning after breakfast. She had that thing attached to her ear again, and was rubbing me lovingly with her foot... when I tired of hearing every story we've shared together thus far.

Curiosity might have killed the cat... but it's second nature for a golden retriever, such as myself. And there's curious and sweet and gentle smells under the table behind the sofa.

I ambled slowly, so as not to draw attention, and stretched my neck longingly over a big old paper sack... to retrieve the fruits of the scent.

Mom noticed. And while she welled up with tears, she removed the bag... and I was able to select toys from a basket, all laden with the spirit of that very special someone that created such a warm place in Mom's heart.

There's more to Mom than maybe I first thought. Pieces of the bedtime stories are beginning to fall into place.

Day Three: Alone For Fifteen Minutes

Mom tested me again with the door (the one with a secondary barrier),
muttering something about how a schedule
is a means of security and transition.
I'm not sure what that's all about, but I watched her go.
She came back fifteen minutes later with tasty breakfast foods.
Perhaps I should allow her to go more often.
When she comes back... it's worth the wait!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day Two: Keeping a Low Profile Until "It" Happened Again!

The 'Mama' was pretty quiet for the remainder of the afternoon... not out of anger it seemed, but just that the adventure had done in more than her paws.

It was a hot day out of doors, and a good day for her to read a book and rub my head while I nappinnapped under the a/c vent and ceiling fan.

And that was all good until BUNKER time. I swear (am I allowed to?)... does it THUNDER here every day??? And when does the next trolley leave???

Day Two: Mom Left Me Alone for the First Time

She left.
I did not protest.
For five long minutes, I was alone.
She had to take the man's rope back.

Day Two: 'See Luke Run', 'Good Boys Do Bad Things'... and Other Tails of Horror

It all started with the little door incident yesterday. And now for some reason today, 'Mama' is hell bent on my demonstration of restraint when she opens a door. We worked on all three doors, and eager to redeem myself... I sat patiently.

Thus commenced Test #8: She decided to take the garbage out the front door.

Enough was enough, and I nearly knocked her to the floor, butted the door and then the garbage bag clean across the yard... and I was on my way!

First, I went to Aunt Susan's front door, but with the hurried footsteps of 'Mom' and her urgent calls... 'Luke, Luke, Luke... come, come, come'... Well, I decided to spice up life and treat the old gal to an adventure. I was OFF!

I was sniffing as much as I could sniff as I hurried along my way, weaving around from fence to front of house to fence to front of house... I looked back from time to time, to see 'Mom' running barefoot behind me. I sensed the restrained urgency in her voice... and I wagged my tail happily, to let her know, it's ok! It's an adventure!

We rounded the block and started up the other street. Mom made up for lost ground when I was momentarily distracted by a cat that I sent straight up a tree (poor thing, she's probably still up there). We both were panting heavily and eyed each other from opposite sides of that tree. Heck. I even grinned at her... to let her know what a joyous time I was having.

But then I dived under a boat and was on to the next yard. I looked back at Mom hopping over the hitch, and that's when I knew... it's time to go back home. So I doubled back. I couldn't resist checking on the cat one last time, and then I followed her scent up to her front door.

And that's where 'Mama' nabbed me, cornering me on the porch. I was wagging my tail still, but she was NOT pleased. She tightened up my new collar, and bent over... began to walk me slowly to the other side of the street, where a man was watching television in his driveway. (I thought... now I've seen everything... television in a driveway).

She asked the man if he had a rope or a leash that she could borrow. The kind man produced a rope that he tied in fine fashion around my collar, and told her it won't come loose cause that's how he ties up his boat. As we tried to gather our breaths, he also randomly pointed out both the white hairs on my face... and Mama's very bloody paws.

We slowly put out the embers as we retraced the steps of my blazing trail. And while it wasn't nearly as fun (the hobbling of the 'Mom', the tears and the utterances of sad stories, bad mamas and fears, and all), I wagged my tail the entire way.

Once home, though, she told me that my Aunts Karen and Madison and my Uncle Tom would be in their cars on their way over to take me back, if they knew this incident.

The old gal is really taking this hard, and I knew it was best if I found a mischief free zone to cool off and allow 'Mom' to clean, medicate and bandage her bloody paws. And I did just that.

Day Two: Presence

Phones are ringing off the hook again today.

It's the darnedest thing ever, but thank dog they get good reception in the out of doors, cause I like the yard... and I ain't goin' alone.

I've been thinking. There's some pretty good things about this 'Mama'. Among them... opposable thumbs and a willing to use them to open the door for me. And she's patient. She'll sit and watch me while I sniff out all the perfect places. I'd like to give her a present, to show my preciation and all.

So while she was on the phone with Uncle Alex, who she later explained had called to check on me, I began to sniff out the perfect gift. And I found it!

The look on her face was not as I expected, when I presented her with the rarest of delicacies... a petrified squirrel!

In fact, the phone was thrown down... I was commanded to "DROP IT", and I did (something about the change in her tone told me she meant business)... and I was promptly ushered into the house.

There were tears in her eyes when she went out alone to dispose of her gift. And once we were settled again in the in of doors, she told me a story of passing the guard. I gather that
someone pretty special must have left that carcass for me to find and present to the 'Mama'.

Day Two: Four Paw Summer Camp

Sound sleep yields a happy rising. And boy-o-boy am I happy this morning!

The day vacation trolley does not seem to be boarding passengers today, so this must be one of those Dog Spaws or Summer Camps I've read about. It's missing some of the perks of my stay at
Pet Paradise... no big wide open spaces and no cement pond, bone shaped or otherwise. But there's a lot of head and ear rubbing here, and the service is good. Ain't bad, overall. I give it four paws.

Breakfast in my belly, I trotted around the yard, smelling what I smelt. Can't hide my interest in wildlife! Morning brought the intense activity of the resident squirrels, and I gave em a run up the tree and across the power line!

Inside now and wanting to take a nap, but Mom's been busy reading email and talking to Aunts Melinda and Karen. Relatives sure talk a lot, don't they? "Luke this and Luke that", "thunder", "Uncle Tom and Aunt Madison said in their email", "bad timing", "Luke's blog"...

What??? They know about my blog? And I don't hear a hint of anger, only pride and laughter! I've been unleashed!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day One: Sleep Over

The rumble stopped and I emerged from the bunker.

I made quick work of some dinners and tentatively agreed to go back to the out of doors.

I say 'tentatively' because I made sure this 'Mama' person sat down in a patio chair and left the door open... before venturing over the threshold. I did quick business, keeping one eye on her and the other on the door.

Back on the inside, the old gal plunked down on the floor with me. I was a bit reluctant to be close, and it seemed to bother her, but she respected it. It didn't stop her, however, from waxing a poetic bedtime story of the hopes, dreams and promises of her heart.

As my eyelids grew heavy, I had three thoughts... first, her hopes might just exceed mine. Second, there's something about her... that I can't quite put my paw on.

And last... in promise, there is hope. (I'll expound on that if I ever get back to Aunt Melinda's).

Day One: Make the Noise Stop

I urged the self proclaimed 'Mama' to seek refuge in of doors for good reason. As soon as she heeded my request, the reason became apparent. In my defense, I was trying to save the nutty woman as much as myself.


I could write a book on it. And maybe I will one day. But for now, all I can think about is why I didn't pack a business card or day planner with Aunt Melinda's telephone number. Dumb dumb dumb.

No money for a cab, I pace a bit and then do the only other thing I can think of... bunker. Discouraged by digging on the tile floor with no result, I laid down with my head in the corner of the tiny half bathroom.

The so oblivious 'Mama' went about business I can only assume as usual, doing things and talking to me... as if I've not got my head behind a toilet. Half of me thought... why isn't she taking shelter in here with me? And the other half of me thought... she's just plain nuts!

And with that last thought, I heard her keys... rattling my ticket back to Aunt Melinda's! I hopped up straight away, thunder be damned (don't know if I can curse in this place, but hopefully I'll be back in the old place before I find out), and threw myself against the opening door. A struggle ensued, and I'm pretty sure I remember a stern reprimand... but there was not one single way I would be left here in Thunder Alley alone.

So... a leash was produced. I was attached to it. We approached the single day vacation trolley. The driver's door opened... and in a flash, I slipped out of my new collar and hopped onto the floor board under the stearing wheel with no place to go. Picture in your mind... another struggle, panic, and a few curse words that I'm pretty sure didn't come from me!

Once we'd finally negotiated our positions and were into our respective seats, I heaved a deep sigh and began to sing "Aunt Melinda, here I come... right back where I started from..." when I realized that we were pulling forward, not backward.

I watched in awe, as this 'Mama' crammed the vacation trolley into a single car garage. I don't understand eactly what's going on (since a lot of very confusing things are), but I figure things out pretty quickly.

And my theory is... it's almost a geometric impossibilty to get out of the back seat of a CRV in a single car garage built in 1952. Where there's a willing 'Mama', though... there's a way. And it defeats all logic. Maybe, just maybe... this is why she wanted to go out in the storm alone (something else to ponder at Aunt Melinda's).

In of doors once more, I resumed my position in the bunker and 'Mama' assumed hers, oblivious to the need for further panic. Listening intently for more rumblings, what I heard was her in here... on this very computer, typing an email.

Sometimes I hate when my first impressions are true. The woman is nuts. And I'm gonna tell.

Day One: Welcome Wagon!

I've spent the afternoon exploring this new place, pawsing only to sit for a snack (though that has been abruptly ended by some misfortunate and what I can only assume are unmannerly gases), sip a few fresh waters and meet the locals!

First I met this really nice woman I found out is my Aunt Susan. I liked her right away, and felt comforted and reassured. She seems to know this 'Mama' person pretty good and says she's really happy for both of us... whatever that means.

I know she said "meant to be" a few times, and I'll have to ponder that when I get back to Aunt Melinda's. That house of hers is a great place to ponder things... safe, comfortable and relaxing.

I feel like I'm really racking up on blessings, because they both told me about an Uncle Mike I have, and how he'll really want to meet me. Another thing I've learned... just like friends, you can't never have too many Aunts and Uncles. Them is good folks, they are.

And speaking of friends! I've got a new one... might just have saved the best for last, because I met this fellow through the see-thru fence!

Seems his name is Sam. I like that, suits him in that "he am Sam" sort of way.

We ran the fence a bit. Sam had a lot to say... me, not so much, but this 'Mama' seemed to celebrate the 'wuh wuh' that I added to the conversation. (Another thing to ponder when I get back to Aunt Melinda's... strange woman, this 'Mama').

And lo and behold, next thing I know... my new Aunt Susan appears on his side of the fence! Who knew! Well... she and 'Mama' started exchanging greetings again over the fence top, just as Sam and I had, only much quieter and with less intensity. And Sam and I slipped to the other end of the yard to sniff noses. I got a good sense about him... and we exchanged pmail addresses.

All good things gotta come to an end, though, I've sadly come to learn. And it happened then, as the skies began to darken in the middle of the afternoon. I urgently persuaded the 'Mama' to let's go to the in of doors as my love of the out is over for today.

Day One: Thoughts On Telephonic Communication

Side Notes :
  1. Ring ring ring: Two telephones here. And they both ring a lot.
  2. Single topic of conversation: Luke. Me. Suddenly I find my life as the center of some alien universe.
  3. Words heard: yes, Luke, home, fine, sweet, happy, handsome.
  4. Multiple conversations: Never knew anyone who was so willing to talk to me while being also on the phone.
  5. Multi-tasking: Woman holds the phone with one hand and rubs me with the other.
  6. Repitition: Conversants all seem determined to check back later or tomorrow. I'm slightly alarmed by what new developments they might fear...

Day One: A Bed is Laid Out

Not sure whose bed this, or what is to be done with these toys.

No interesting smells.

For now, I'll just look at them.

Day One: First Thoughts & Smells

Ever have one of those days when you wake up thinking life will be one way... and then it ends up another? I've had a lot of those days lately... today, included.

Morning dawned just like the others these last two weeks, but late morning, I was treated to a car ride! I was as pleased with 'Academy' as the destination as I was to greet the attentive and shmoopy woman I first met two days ago.

She introduced herself this second time as 'Mama', seeming captivated with me, yet again... and before I knew it, I had a new necklace with new jewelry and was in her car, snacking on Buddies Biscuits,sipping spring water from a cup and listening distractedly to her many 'babblings'.

We reached this new place some twenty minutes later and deboarded. Guided on my new leash, I quickly explored both the indoor and outdoor environment.

It seems like not a bad place. There's a comforting and homey smell about it, and there's fresh waters, treats, gifts and a new bed laid out for me.

It might be a trap... ain't quite sure. My history is built on a shaky foundation; I've been uprooted and abandoned. The kindnesses, comforts and securities shown me by my angels has been TOO incredible to trust in full just yet.

And while everything seems to be on the up and up here, if I've learned anything, it's to be wary. This 'Mama' seems over the top shmoopy, so I can probably take her if I have to... but I might need to just 'hear' her out.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day Minus One: Trees, Squirrels & Tangles

Inspired by a new discovery, and while Aunt Melinda has her back turned ever so briefly, I thought I would quickly tell you about a new interest of mine.

You see, how it came about was that this butt plopping woman in PetsMart yesterday... she whispered in my ear something about a yard full of squirrels... like it was a good thing!

That being on my mind and all, I began to kind of take notice around here... and you know, it IS kind of fun to chase those boogers. They run right up the tree... and you know, maybe, if I put my mind to it, so can I!

Oops! Gotta go! Aunt Melinda's obsessed with a tangle in my hind side. Gotta run, sit and/or lie down. She doesn't understand that it's CLEANLINESS that's next to Godliness... not GROOMlienss! Don't matter now, she's an Aunt on a mission!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day Minus Two: Buzz

I'm quite enjoying life here at Aunt Melinda's... well, I've come to think of her as my mother... but I still call her "Aunt Melinda' for reasons I'm not entirely certain... maybe because I don't want to rock the boat with her two kids or maybe because I like the special treatment extended kin receive.

There's been a buzz in the air these last couple of days about "Aunt Karen said"..., "eyes"... "captivated" ... "making up for lost time"... "no cats in the household"... and I might be dreaming, but I'm pretty sure I heard "soft heart who's been through as much as Luke has... and needs rescuing, too".

Buzz come and buzz go... but the next thing I know, I'm on my way to PetsMart for a meet-n-greet! I'm all good with that, after all, it's some alone time with Aunt Melinda, and there's good smells in that store.

Well, we walk in and are immediately greeted by this woman who... well, if I seem like a sponge for hopes and dreams and good things to come my way... is my perfect match.

I try to play it 'Cool Hand Luke', Chapter One behind but not yet forgotten and all... But I tend to lean into my desires and comforts... and I leaned into this somewhat nutty woman, who plopped her big butt down in the middle of the main aquarium aisle. And she shmuggled with me. She asked me big questions that I tried hard not to answer. And she leaned into me, in a manner I couldn't resist.

Others came round and showered their attention. And I was grateful when Aunt Melinda broke the at-tension with my 'sit-shake' routine. A treat was well in order, and while I quite enjoyed the visit, I was anxious and a bit overwhelmed with the implications of this 'gathering' and quite relieved to board the same back seat home.

More 'buzz' ensewed... but I long ago vowed to take things one day at a time. And for now, Aunt Melinda's is my good home! Ain't never lived this good!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Four (Paw) Word: Breaking the Bonds of Writer's Block

Writer's Block. There's nothing quite like a long car ride with cheerful and hopeful spirits to break it.

Somewhere between Waco and Houston, I managed to put this little letter of introduction together:

I prefer Luke - my full name is "Cool Hand Luke."

While most say beware of the "Ides of March," I think it is a great date - I was born 3/15/99.

Most say I am your typical golden. I love people, attention and pleasing you. My only real hang-up is a fear of thunderstorms when I really want to be calm and quiet indoors.

I understand GRRH is careful to find happy homes that include the golden inside. That will be a welcome first for me. I was mostly an outside dog in my previous life and have been in a Waco kennel since last September. As much as I love to be outdoors and play, I really think I would blossom in the comforts of your home.

I am healthy, wise and low maintenance, unless you want a whole lot of love. I can really "dish it out," yet I have never been described as needy. I can run circles around pups half my age and would really like to take you for a walk sometime soon.


I didn't want to give too much of myself in the letter, but I didn't want to hold too much back, either. After all, this is my chance for a second life... my Chapter Two.

I thought of adding... "seeking stability and long term relationship, first and foremost... with doting mother, kisses galore, doors opened at my will, tasty treats, soft beds, cool temperatures, plush toys, evening walks and bedtime stories"... but I didn't want to sound overly hopeful or anxious.

I feel good about these people who've given me a lift. I think they read the full content of my eyes and between the lines of my letter. And I know they're looking out for me.

At Long Last...Freedom of Speech: From Chronicler to Blogger!

In my synopsis of Chapter One, I exposed myself as a former chronicler of history as the king commanded.

Times change and so have I! Allow me to introduce myself now... as Luke the Blogger!

Blogger: One who produces blogs.

Blog (an abridgment of the term web log):> A website, usuallly maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, description of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, others function more as personal online diaries.

Personal blog: The personal blog, an on-going diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog. Personal bloggers usually take pride in their blog posts, even if their blog is never read by anyone but them. Blogs often become more than a way to just communicate; they become a way to reflect on life or works of art. Blogging can have a sentimental quality. Few personal blogs rise to fame and the mainstream, but some personal blogs quickly garner an extensive following.

Special thanks to my Aunts and Uncle for brokering my freedom to blog, and especially to Aunt Melinda for leaving her computer on and unattended! Many woofs and tail wags, too, to Peter Steiner for the terrific cartoon, page 61 of the 5 July 1993 Issue of The New Yorker magazine!

Chapter One: Abridged Content Because I'm Content Now!

Chronicler: A noun. A student or writer of history <chroniclers who gave often conflicting accounts of what the king did or commanded>.

Look in my eyes.

I'm Luke. And in my first life, I was a chronicler... of good times and sad. I figured, life is what you make of it. And I made the most of what I had. I was good and patient and loving.

I gave what I had to give, but then there were times when I needed. And sometimes you just need what you need really badly. And that's the look you see in my eyes.

In a fit of hope, I've shed the content of Chapter One. I'd like to say those memories have been swept away... but not quite yet, maybe never. That might not be a bad thing, because our histories build our characters... and "to everything there is a season".