Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dog on a Chain 2001

Currently, we are in possession of three dogs:  Cash, a large, 8 year old brindle mastiff on loan for the summer from our youngest daughter Teal; Sophie, our 11 month old Dachshund, Min-pin cross added to the family last December after Junior, our autistic Dalmatian crossed over on the Rainbow Bridge; and Niko, our 5 year old Rat Terrier.

I'd never owned a terrier before we got Niko.  He was one or two years old (the go-to vet age when no one really knows for sure except that they aren't puppies and they aren't old)when I found him on Craig's list and added him to the family.  He's a very handsome guy, and incredibly athletic.  He is sweet, even tempered, and, for the most part, pretty easy going.  He weighs in at 16 pounds. However, he is a killer.  The breed was bred to go after vermin(hence the moniker), so that anything that moves means that his entire focus is on that thing.  That also means that he is constantly alert to movement and noise, and, with incredible speed, will take off after anything moving.  He's so fast, and so intense, that in a moment he can be out of my sight, headed straight for some kind of big trouble.

When I really think about it, I feel terrible for the constraints I place on him.  He has to put up with the indignity of a leash, a fenced yard, and when he is free and running I'm always calling him back, pulling him away from the incredibly wonderful sights, sounds and smells of his Rat Terrier world.  Not only did I have him castrated, but, to add insult to injury, I bath him after each time he finds the most wonderful things to roll in--usually shit or a dead carp--completely nullifying the magic of the back deep in the ground, digging deep roll. He gets scolded for just being himself, for discovering and eating great great things(I don't even want to know). I watch him, I admire him, I love him and even with all the care I take, I  worry that one day, that Rat Terrier nature will take him too far away for him to come back.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

SS. Kindness 1998

When my daughter Teal was born, we found that we were in for the ride of our lives.  Emotion, power, and determination were all trapped in the body of a small female child who could out scream anything, and who could tantrum for hours on end if opposed in any way.  We often felt helpless beside her forceful strength. It was like having a tornado or a hurricane in our lives on a daily basis.  She grew, we grew.  She changed, we changed.  What saved us was kindness.  It was learning to have compassion for this small force of nature who couldn't help herself.  It was learning to love and appreciate not just the cute, sweet baby, but the small human being with the huge amounts of energy and will power.

Today she is driving from Kansas City to New Mexico to stay with us for a few days before heading on to a summer internship in Colorado.  She would have come yesterday, but weather maps showed the possibility of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms most of the way through Kansas, directly in her line of  travel.  I think she would have been fine--one force of nature to another--meeting the twisters and driving rains head-on, but, this way, her arrival ends up being on Mother's Day, and that's perfect for me.