Such a Good Boy

We didn’t know his name, this massive, chocolate-colored pit bull. He sat in the reception area of a veterinary clinic with two good Samaritans who’d encountered him on their morning walk. I’m leery of big dogs, but this handsome guy insisted on being friends. His tail wagged like a windshield wiper on full speed, and periodically he’d offer an enthusiastic bark to remind us he was part of the conversation going on around him.

I said, “He looks like a Roscoe to me.”

The female half of the Good Samaritan couple gasped. “That’s exactly what I said, isn’t it, Honey?”

He nodded. “Yep, but he doesn’t answer to that. He’s not Roscoe, but he’s been microchipped. We hope they can track down his owners, or at least provide us with a name.”

The four of us, including Not Roscoe, sat waiting—them for an answer and me for my cat, Gracie.

A young man entered the building with measured strides, and Not Roscoe went into observation mode. Where the dog had been clownish and friendly with me, he went quiet, almost respectful of the young man.

Two vet techs emerged from one of the exam rooms carrying a stretcher. They followed the young man to his truck. From my location I could see them opening the tailgate and then gently lifting a German Shepherd from the truck bed and onto the stretcher. I felt tears clogging my eyes as the young man held open the door for the stretcher bearers.

Not Roscoe laid his head on his paws as the stretcher passed by, and a mournful whimper rose from his throat. It was beautiful and chilling. One dog acknowledging the pain and fear of another.

When the young man, head bent, tears flowing unchecked, left the exam room after some time had passed, Not Roscoe ventured a question. But grief was too strong and the young man left without a word.

The Good Samaritan couple petted him and said what every dog longs to hear, “You’re such a good boy.”

He earned that.

Peace, people.

But No Elephants

When my children were small we subscribed to the Parents Magazine children’s book club. Outside of feeding, clothing, housing, and loving them, it was perhaps the best thing I ever did for my kids.

Once a month or so the club sent two books to our home. Book arrival day was always a BIG DEAL. Each and every book we received was celebrated and read many, many times. We were pretty destitute in those days, and there were times when we could barely afford the cost, but we always bought the books.

Two books stand out in my memory as being favorites. One was The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone.

This delightful tale never grew old. I enjoyed it because I could do my passable Grover impression while building the tension surrounding the appearance of the dreaded monster.

Spoiler Alert #1: Grover was the monster at the end of the book.

The other book that the children repeatedly clamored for was But No Elephants by Jerry Smith.

This sweet story featured Grandma Tildy, and the voice I used for her was remarkably similar to the one I used for Grover, just a couple of octaves higher and a bit shakier—my repertoire was pretty limited.

Grandma Tildy lived alone until a man came along peddling animals. She allowed him to coax her into buying one animal after another, but she drew the line at buying the elephant. The repetitive phrase, but no elephants, found on every third page or so, never failed to elicit giggles.

Spoiler Alert #2: Surprise! Grandma Tildy ends up adopting the elephant and they all live happily ever after.

I have no idea why these books were on my mind today. Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic for the days when my kids were little. Or maybe I miss impersonating lovable, furry old Grover. Maybe it’s a little of both.

Peace, people.

One Day at a Time

I’ve always been a worrier—the kind of person who worries if she doesn’t have anything to worry about. And now that my life has been turned upside down, I realize how useless my worries have been.

My daughter, who might be the strongest person I know, tells me she’s taking life one day at a time now that her oldest child, my oldest grandson, has been diagnosed with a persistent and stubborn neuroendocrine tumor.

I think that one day at a time thing is a mighty fine idea. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t think about what we might’ve done differently the day before or the day before that. Just live and be grateful for every day.

I’m working really hard at doing just that.

Peace, people.

Virtual Graduation

Our grandson, Garrett, graduated from Riverdale high school near Port Byron, Illinois, on Sunday afternoon. Studly Doright and I weren’t able to attend, but we watched the commencement exercises live on YouTube. It really was the next best thing to being there.

We’re so proud of Garrett. He’s headed to Bradley University in Peoria, IL, in the fall where he plans to study game design.

We’ll see Garrett and the rest of his family next weekend when we travel to the Quad Cities to attend a party in his honor. I’m ready to distribute hugs.

Peace, people!

Happy Birthday, Gracie!

On May 31, 2021, our beautiful Gracie celebrated her second birthday. Now, I hate to admit it, but I was totally unaware that it was the big day until my cat sitter texted me. I’m such an awful mom.

I must’ve included that critical information when we first contracted with the sitter; otherwise, it would’ve escaped me. I’m terrible with all that calendar stuff. (See awful mom note above).

I sang “Happy Birthday” to her, but she was totally unimpressed. Everyone’s a critic these days.

Yes, I’m two. Why do you ask?
Mom, can I have a slumber party? Huh?

They just grow up way too fast, don’t they?

Peace, people!

Shades of Easter Past

There was a time many years ago when Studly Doright and I found ourselves in dire financial straits. He’d been laid off from his job at a natural gas plant, and the small business we’d sunk all of his severance pay into wasn’t making enough money to support our little family.

We held things together, barely, thanks to Studly’s ability to juggle our finances, but there was never money for extras. And, heaven forbid that one of us get sick. Thank goodness we were all healthy and that Studly had the ability to handle just about any emergency.

One Easter things were particularly tough. The kids needed Easter clothes and there was no money for that. A local kids’ clothing shop had a drawing and I, who have never won a darned thing in my life, entered and then forgot all about it.

Lo and behold, I won that contest. I can’t remember the details, but the amount of the prize was exactly enough to buy two outfits, one for each of our kids. Looking back, I’m almost certain that one of the owners of the shop made sure that I won.

Weren’t they cute? I’m not sure whose backyard we were in, though.

Times are a great deal easier for us now, but that Easter holds a special place in my heart, thanks to the angel that made it possible.

Peace, people.

Act Naturally

Those of you who’ve read my first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will get a huge kick out of this gift my son designed for me.

Natural Jugglers of America. I don’t THINK the organization actually exists, but it’d be cool if it did.

I squealed when he gave me the shirt. I’m going to wear it the next time I drink from the Scout’s Honor logo mug my daughter commissioned to celebrate the publishing company name we coined for the book.

My cat, Scout, was the inspiration for the design.

Do I have the coolest kids, or what?

Peace, people.

Half a Cat: A Furry Tail

Gracie is upset that I won’t allow her to go outside on the screened-in porch this afternoon. It’s an 80° day and the sun is shining, but there’s a breeze blowing the pollen around, and my allergies just can handle it.

So Gracie is making do with the next best thing.

That tail starts flicking about now and again leading me to believe there might be a lizard teasing the cat from outside the window. This cat leads a really tough life.

Peace, people!

Love Your Pet Day

Apparently February 19 is the official Love Your Pet Day. Who knew? Here at Doright Manor, every day is Love Your Pet Day. Our Gracie can attest to that.

I’M not tired of playing. YOU’RE tired of playing.
That “come hither” look.
Our own children didn’t have as many toys as Gracie does.
Helping Studly Doright is her favorite activity.

She’s been such a balm to our hearts after the death of our beloved Scout kitty. I was so afraid we’d adopted her too soon after losing Scout, but Gracie had filled a hole in our lives, and we love her so much.

Peace, and love your pets, people.

Last Year’s Greatest Hits Countdown: Number One

2020 was an awful year. In addition to dealing with the pandemic we also had to say goodbye to our sweet cat Scout who’d been our loving companion for 17 years. Losing her was such a blow, and we still miss her so much it hurts.

But we found our crazy Gracie cat, and she’s the topic of my most liked post of the year, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/10/11/a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood/

Peace, people.