Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We Ain't No Turkeys, but We Wuz Plucked...

... and clipped and scissored and -- all in the name of handsome. Sure, Mom says it's important that we wirey guys (and gals) take good care of our furs to avoid health problems -- and we do like to look sharp -- but it's not something we -- especially me -- enjoy. That I can tell you.
Remember all that stuff a few days ago about gratitude??? Sure. Am I supposed to be grateful for being forced to have my jacket stripped and then the rest of me subjected to the clippers? And my paws? DON'T TOUCH MY PAWS!!! I don't think so. Even if it's true that Dogdad is kind and gentle and only plucks the parts that don't hurt (too much), I do not like it. Not one bit.
Accordingly, I have a carefully developed avoidance strategy. Ask Mom. She'll tell you.

Usually we groom Jakey first. He doesn't seem to mind -- even though his fur is woolier and takes longer to do. He's a much more stoic dog, But when JH sees any of the "instruments of torture," i.e., comb, furminator, brush, clippers, scissors -- he disappears. So when Jack was ready for JH and we called him in a normal voice, no answer. I added a usually irresistible "treats for dogs" to the call. Still no answer.
So I began to search: Pillows under the chair by the window in the breakfast room? Bed next to the red chair in the corner of the living room? Comfy pad under the coffee table by the couch? Middle stair? Jakey's crate under the stairs (which Jake never uses and JH has adopted as his private retreat)? No sign of errant terrier.
But then, one more possibility: Next to Jakey's crate is a second crate in which JH eats his meals. In desperation, I looked in there and saw him huddled as far back in the corner of the crate, behind his food bowl, as he could get! Poor baby.

We didn't want to trick him, so Jack let out his traditional "Calling all dogs, Please report to the East Gate for your evening walk." That truly is irresistible. Off he went with Jake and JH and when they came back, the jig was up for one young WFT. Once the grooming has begun, though, he accepts it without much fuss-- except for the paws part.
Well, I got through it -- and I have to admit, I don't miss all that curly stiff around my face and the long black fur down my back. Yesterday we had a photo shoot outside and as you can see, I have my polka dots back -- and my brother can see again.

He consoled me for all my fears and told me to be on the look out for anything unusual in the neighborhood .Not so bad, I guess.

After we satisfied the folks' thirst to record our striking looks, Jake let me sit on his bench for awhile to chill. (It's truly Jake's Bench. Often when we come back from a walk, Jakey will jump on the bench to sit for awhile, catching the smells on the air and observing what's going on. JH never does that
Later, I settled down with my red rooster to ponder a new strategy.
And since Jake was so cool with me, letting me share his bench and explaining how to deal with life's apparent inevitabilities, I let him settle with one of the other toys I choose to call my own. Not that I want him to get used to too much brotherly love or anything... but it is the start of the holiday season and all that!!
Just Harry

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


When Mom isn't working or taking care of us, what she likes to do best is read. And one of the authors she likes to read when she's feeling all the upset of this angry world is the Edinburgh author, Alexander McCall Smith. She first discovered him when he wrote the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which, by his own admission was just to be a short story and is now into the 12th book. Then she discovered two more of his series, both of which are set in Edinburgh: The Sunday Philosphy Club series and the 44 Scotland Street series. The latter features a character named Bertie, a precocious boy of six -- no relation to our Bertie who is indeed precocious but a WFT and not a Scottish lad. The former revolves around a fascinating lady, a moral philospher, named Isabel Dalhousie. It also features a fox, Brother Fox, who lives in her garden and appears at special moments. He's a cool character who makes us rethink the idea of what we fox terriers are supposed to be about!

In this latest novel, The Lost Art of Gratitude, several events happen where a simple thank you would be appropriate -- but is not proffered. And then, when someone actually does thank her for resolving an embarrassing situation, Isabel ponders (yes, Wilf, people often ponder too) that she has come to no longer expecting people to say thank you -- rather, they accept things, take them as their right, and have forgotten to give proper thanks. Thus the title of the book, a lovely book, especially if you've come to know the other characters and how they look at life. After reading one of these books, our Mom is much calmer, more given to idle musing, and a lot more fun to be with. So we approve her spending time with them.

Yesterday, as Mom discussed this idea of gratitude with us, Just Harry and I decided that
we hadn't said enough thank you's -- tomorrow is the big T-Day after all and we have a gazillion things to be thankful for. Most of them are the every day kind of things that we've come to expect as our right:

At least three walks a day -- two of which --- morning and evening -- Dogdad takes us on together around the golf course and into the sand traps and lets us run and chase each other -- and one of which, our mid-day "pee time," when Mom takes each of us on a slow walk with lots of sniffing.
Breakfast and dinner with as many in-between snacks as we can wheedle out of Mom.
More toys than we can ever destroy.
Beds and pillows everywhere for us to sprawl on or curl up on. Plus the couch, my bench near Mom's computer, the rocking chair by the big bed, and any other chair we choose.
A backyard to romp and sniff in -- even if it's not very big.
Daily scritching time. Sometimes full body rub downs before going downstairs to breakfast.
Infrequent baths and plucking. And Dogdad's switching from plucking to clipping at the point where it makes us uncomfortable.
The bedtime snacks that Dogdad gives us when Mom isn't looking.
And love, lots and lots and lots of love!
And then there are the big things:
Our friends, virtual and real, who have taught us so much about sharing joy and sorrow.
The Circle of Paws and the caring community we've come to know through both giggles and sobs.
The feeling of being connected across the globe!
For all these things and more, we are grateful and do bark a loud (very loud, says Mom) THANK YOU!!!
And one thing more:
Like those books which Mom says calm her in the face of the angry world, she says we -- yep, us, Jake and Just Harry -- are her antidote to all the nastiness out there.

Happy Thanksgiving every body!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Flanders Field, a Poem for Veterans/Armistice Day

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Canada Surprise

Life around here had been pretty boooooring. Mom " en derangement." Dogdad working and traveling. Booooooring.I try to keep up with the news. But a dog can just read so much and then it's same old same old..Ah, but suddenly, with an e-mail to Mom, life took on a new dimension. Remember when our humans went to Vancouver with our flat selves????? And they got to meet Sunshade and Jaffa Man while our fat selves stayed home? Remember? Well, thanks to this beautiful ship called the Oasis of the Seas - the largest cruise ship in the world -- which cruises to the Caribbean every Saturday from Port Everglades, just fifteen minutes from our house. WE GOT TO MEET SUNSHADE AND JAFFA MAN'S MOM AND D-GUY!!! Elaine e-mailed Mom when they would be debarking (BOL) from the ship after their cruise and wondered if Mom and Dogdad wanted to have lunch with them. SILLY QUESTION!

Our folks found them easily outside the cruise terminal and before lunch took them for a ride around Fort Lauderdale to see some of the sights.

They stopped at a market by the river and found a lady selling organic dog treats -- which we actually got to sample later in the day.

Lunch was something special: Stone crab claws! The Florida stone crab loses its limbs easily to escape from predators or tight spaces, but their limbs will grow back. So here in Florida, between October 15 and May 15, the claws can be taken for human consumption!!! (When a claw is broken in the right place, the wound will quickly heal itself and very little blood is lost. It only takes about one year for the claw to grow back to its normal size. Each time the crab molts, the new claw grows larger. )After lunch, for once thinking about us stuck at home and rarely getting to meet dog friends, Mom asked Elaine if they had time to stop by our house before they took off on their own. And the answer? YES!!!

And that's how we got to meet two of the coolest dog people on the planet. Elaine sat down with us and we had a long conversation about our pals Sunshade and Jaffa Man. She laughed at Jakey's jokes -- although he's not all that funny.
And then she let us both give her wirey kisses to take back home to Canada.

Not shown, by the way are pictures of how I licked D-Guy's face and made everybody laugh at my enthusiasm. Maybe they'll show up on Sunshade's blog. In any case, we had so much fun and we really liked them!!! Really really liked them!!! Please come back soon. Please!!!
Just Harry