Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Enjoying a Day in May

A fox tail palm that was just a puppy when we planted it, now soars to the sky, enjoying the afternoon sun...
And, one sign of the subtle season changes in South Florida, our frangi pangi that blooms briefly in May. The rest of the year, it's just a trunk and bare limbs that defy imagining it will ever bloom again. It smells really good!But what smells even better? Burgers and corn on the grill.
The corn looks like a charred mess ... but the inside is delicious...
What's taking so long???

Hurry up!!!
Uh oh, noises outside.

Just Harry, you watch the grill. I'll keep an eye on the outside.

It's good to be the dog.

Very good.
And now it's time for a snooze inside...

Butt to butt...
Jake and Just Harry

Monday, May 24, 2010

To Every Thing There is a Season...

A while back, Maxdog's eloquent Mom included Ecclesiastes in her blog about Maxdog's illness:

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."

Yesterday was Max's time. He led a beautiful life, filled with love and laughter amidst an adoring family. And we've been the beneficiaries of his days with us in our heart-warming cyber circle of paws. So we sob for Max's departure and ache for his mom. But his passing was part of "every purpose under the heaven."

What I'm having so much trouble with is the contrast between the natural cycle of life -- the "to everything there is a season" -- and the egregious violation of that cycle with the seemingly endless spewing of oil into areas where animal life is meant to be nurtured, not destroyed. So while I mourn Max and other furry ones who have recently left us -- Digby, Jackson, Snickers, to name just a few -- what makes me so ill I can barely look at it are the miles of oil-filled marshes and the nameless and unborn birds, turtles, fish, and others losing their lives in this monstrosity.
You all know H.C. Bird, Jake and Just Harry's virtual heron-cam. Well, here is an all-too-real young heron dying in the marshes.

The irony, because of my work as a seaport consultant, I know that permits to do with anything relating to our marine environment -- seagrasses, wetlands, coral reefs, habitat, water quality -- can take years and years to be approved, lest sometimng miniscule be forgotten, lest all the i's not be dotted and all the t's not be crossed. It can take months to resolve issues of temporary turbidity during construction. More months to be sure no net loss of seagrasses occur. Huge debates as to whether the outlet for a cooling canal can be moved without disturbing a nursery for baby West Indian manatees. And now this. One has to ask -- has it all been for naught? When our environmental protection agencies and organizations have tried to be so careful, how could this have happened? Or have we all been fooling ourselves? Or being fooled?

There is no purpose under heaven that I can think of.

Run free, dear Max -- and if you find a new sanctuary for brown pelicans and terns and roseate spoonbills and gulls and herons across the Bridge-- tell them we miss them too.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Again

Mom tried to capture on video the moment of Dogdad's homecoming -- with extra loud woofs and wagging tails -- after what seemed like a really long week away, but she blew it. So we'll just have to let these stills say it all.

Jake and Just Harry

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flowers to Brighten Our Days while Dogdad's Away

Yesterday was hot and humid... but that didn't keep Dogdad from being silly as we sat on the back patio. We found that Mom's favorite mussenda seems to have shaken off the winter chill. Here is one of the two blooms she decided to grace us with.Our plumbago also decided to bloom (notice H.C. Bird parked until his next adventure).

The walking iris seem to be happy too -- even though they can't go very far in their pots.
And desert rose has been quite splendid. We learned yesterday that her formal name is adenium -- and that a local attorney has been cultivating new varieties, including one that is blue.

Ah, but Dogdad is off to Birmingham for a few days to discuss the project he won last month - and his three sad admirers sat on the stairs to watch him cram all his stuff into his computer bag before he left for the airport. (Note from Mom: Jakey was getting so nervous watching the process, that I sat with him and JH on the stairs , with lots of scritches to keep them calm. Sigh.
Even sadder than we three, however, is the breaking news that the oil in the Gulf may have been picked up by what is called the Loop Current and may now be making its way down and around the Florida Keys and up the Atlantic Coast. Add irreplaceable coral reefs to the sickening damage to fish, birds, wetlands, and other God-given natural resources -- and the livelihoods of those who have worked with these resources for generations.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Why Give Your Heart to a Dog to Tear..."

This morning we learned that two of the bravest dogs we know have left this earth. Digby, below with his brother Wilf, has succumbed to the nasty brown tick bite he received a few weeks ago. And our beloved wire fox terrier leader, Jackson, died peacefully in his sleep after fighting so many serious ailments for so long with the help of his dear J1 and J2.
To say we are heart-broken would be an understatement.
Among the many heartfelt comments on Wilf and Digby's blog these past weeks was a poem by Rudyard Kipling that expresses our feelings better than we ever could.
God speed, Jackson. God speed, Digby. And to our dear human friends who loved you so, we hope you take comfort in the words of Digby's dad: "There will be laughter and mischief in heaven tonight!"
Joan and Jake and Just Harry
THE POWER OF THE DOG (Rudyard Kipling)
There is sorrow enough in the natural way From men and women to fill our day; But when we are certain of sorrow in store, Why do we always arrange for more? Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie-- Perfect passion and worship fed By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits, And the vet's unspoken prescription runs To lethal chambers or loaded guns, Then you will find--it's your own affair But . . . you've given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will When the whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!) When the spirit that answered your every mood Is gone wherever it goes--for good, You will discover how much you care, And will give your heart to a dog to tear!
We've sorrow enough in the natural way, When it comes to burying Christian clay. Our loves are not given, but only lent, At compound interest of cent per cent. Though it is not always the case, I believe, That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve: For, when debts are payable, right or wrong, A short-time loan is as bad as a long So why in Heaven (before we are there!) Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dad's Little Helpers....

So there we were outside on the back patio on this hot steamy Saturday afternoon, when Dogdad started to water the plants. "Can I help, huh? Huh? " I (Jakey) asked.

Biting water is one of my favorite things to do. But when I started to bite the water, my doofus brother decided that he wanted to bite the water too at exactly the same time -- and before we knew it, we were both tangled up, and snarling at each other as to whose water it was.

So what did Dogdad do? Unbelievable. He turned and spritzed each of us in the face -- and left us looking like -- what else -- two bedraggled wet dogs.

Shocked and insulted, we retreated inside, where we found Mom engrossed in reading a book until she realized someone was staring at her. She looked down and, when she saw what I looked like, she asked me what happened. "Well, you see, it was like this....."


Monday, May 3, 2010

For Martha, Just Martha

Our hearts heve been so heavy, nestled far away in Southwest France with two fluffy Boyz -- Wilf and Digby -- as Digby fights the horrendous aftermath of a brown tick bite. Concerns for his plight have spread across our canine cyber world and, we hope, are helping his family during this sad roller coaster of emotions. We weren't certain whether we should write about anything else. But then we thought -- what do we wirey guys do best? We make our humans smile, even when their hearts are breaking for another doggie so far away.

So here's some nostalgia that might bring a smile or two to our pals who remember past adventures. This morning I checked in with the basset sisters, only to see the lovely Martha rolling in some exotic perfume. As her scent wafted across the waters to my sensitive terrier nose, I thought of Just Martha, the amazing runway star with whom I had shared a brief but dazzling career as a high-fashion model.

I told her of this -- and she responded that she too remembered. My muzzle started to quiver at the memory -- as it always does when anything exciting is about to happen -- a walk, a treat, a new branch to whizz on... So Martha, lovely Just Martha, I thought you'd enjoy a glimpse of my brave, if somewhat limited, attempts to perfume myself with nature's best smells in your honor (honour).
Yesterday afternoon, to enjoy the waning hours of the weekend, we all went out on the patio. Mom asked Charles Aznavour to sing. Dogdad opened a nice zinfandel. Cool breezes fanned us through the palms.

And I took off on my explorations.

I was having so much fun!! But, as I went from bush to bush, plant to plant, looking for lizards and toads and bugs, my brother watched sadly from the doorway.

The folks think he is still pained by his poodly paw -- and doesn't like to be where people might giggle. But I think he's just not as much of a true wire-haired fox terrier as I am. (Or could he be thinking of his eloozive Gabbi?)

That's OK. He knows how to organize things and keep the folks on their toes. And he is the one who gets them to feed us

So Martha, lovely Martha, just remember your pal Just Harry -- and let's hope that one-day our respective secretaries wil master the art of photoshopping so we can renew our collaboration wherever it may take us.

Your friend forever,

Just Harry