Tag Archives: golden retrievers

Charlie & Murphy — What “Intention” Shows Us

Standard

So I took this photo today of Charlie, our rescue pooch. In it, he’s standing amidst the wreckage of a modest plastic laundry basket that I thought would make a nice dog toy bin, as it had survived in this house for several years before he arrived.

What?

What?

Charlie is about 15 months old now. I realize that makes me sound like a really screwed-up “dog parent” but I mention his age in months because while he’s over a year, physically, he’s still quite a puppy mentally. Or maybe this is who he is.

His adult teeth have been grown in for at least seven months, yet he is a chewer. He is such a chewer that he has shown Murphy, our 7-year-old golden retriever, how it’s done.

Murphy really could not care less about nylabones or rope toys or rubber tug toys or giant knot pulls or a moccasin or a scarf, a chair, a rug fringe, a beach towel, a fire log, a down jacket, a pair of leather boots, a piece of trim on a cabinet, a Jimmy Page DVD box, a remote control, a set of headphones, an uncashed birthday check for $100, an electric guitar cord, a garden hose, a wah-wah pedal, a text book, a yoga book, a set of crayons, a bottle of Murphy’s Oil Soap, shin guards, a candle, an LL Bean tote bag, flip flops, a few cleats, a BBQ glove, a newspaper, an empty cardboard box, an empty cereal bag, a broom handle, a snow shovel, a volley, soccer, basket, foot, playground -ball, a book by Roz Chast and so much more. Murphy doesn’t care. Murphy couldn’t be bothered.

As you can see, just today, here is Murphy simply not giving a damn about Charlie’s basket.

No. No. No. This is not interesting to me.

No. No. No. This is not interesting to me. I want to see what Mom is doing. Get your hand off my back. 

Why?

“WHY NOT MURPH?!? LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF! C’MONNNNNN!!!” Begs Charlie.

Because Murphy was intended. And Charlie was not.

Murphy’s whole being — from the mounting of his wild, long-haired, as-flaxen-as-wheat father “Kirby” onto his sainted dogly, calm, freckle-nosed, light blonde mother, “Bonnie” — Murphy was intended.

“We’d like a mellow golden. One that is beautiful of course, but that is not too crazy, like Zeus, over there bounding up and down along the gate… And not too dark, because then they start to look like Irish Setters, which are completely insane, and I won’t have that…” I remember thinking, if not actually saying to the breeder, almost seven and a half years ago.

Why? Why did we go to a breeder? Well, it’s simple: our youngest son was still quite little, just four, and every golden retriever rescue we tried didn’t work out.

We had to surrender our first one, “Skipper,” because he was massive, a ton of energy and knocked over my kids constantly. Skipper was gorgeous: he had the big blocky head, and flame-colored eyes. He came to me by way of my Creative Memories (remember those days?) consultant.

My consultants’s neighbor, a recent widower and retired Navy captain who had recently undergone a hip replacement, was given a dog, Skipper, by his children to keep him company. These people, who were clear across the country in California, knew NOTHING about goldens. My consultant friend knew I loved goldens and also knew I would be able to help find a home for Skipper. Our “Maggie” was about nine at the time and she was tender-hipped herself, so I thought a 70-pound puppy might be too much for her.

I was right.

Skipper was seldom walked, because the man had his hip surgery and he told me Skipper mostly lived in the garage when he wasn’t walked by a neighbor kid. He was gorgeous though. I told my friend, “Sure, I’ll meet him. I’m sure someone can help place him…”

The next thing I knew: Skipper and his owner were in my front yard with a crate, leashes, bowls, food, toys, and papers. I looked up to say hello to the man and he was gone. >Poof!< I called my friend / consultant and she was a bit shocked. I wasn’t about to turn over Skipper immediately, but I really didn’t know how to manage it all. My friend later spoke to him and said that he was desperate; I was young (a sucker) and loved dogs and well … yup.

I trained Skipper for about four months. He knocked over my kids, he knocked over poor Maggie, he was very smart, but too much. He had to go. So I contacted our local rescue group and the next day, Skipper was picked up around 10am and I cried my fool head off. The rescue group had a family in mind. They loved that he had been trained in the rudimentary drills and he was showing real promise. I love training dogs. So off he went, to befriend a teenage boy with autism. They were inseparable. I felt so good knowing he was going to be someone’s INSTANT best friend. Our kids were sad, for the most part. But we still had our girl Maggie.

For about a year. Then she died. I won’t go into that here, but it was a very hard day.

I couldn’t really “be” without a dog. So about six months after Mags died, I found another golden. From another rescue group. Ironically, and I didn’t know this at the time, my act of surrendering a “found” dog to the previous rescue group prohibited me from acquiring a dog from them for three years… I didn’t understand it, and when I signed the papers at the time, I of course thought Maggie would live longer, so it wasn’t a big deal.

So I found another golden rescue group.

Why goldens? Because I grew up around them. Because they are wonderful with children. Because I wanted another one. Because.

When we went to meet “King” he was sooooooo very mellow. I thought he was drugged. We didn’t plan on adopting him that day. The rescue lady (INSANE WOMAN, read on) said it was a “site visit” (for us?). He was a sweet boy, about three years old. His story was sad: his original family moved around the world, they tried with a family friend, but that didn’t work out (I SHOULD HAVE ASKED MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT) and no one else could take him, so they gave him up.

He was so mellow, we ended up taking him home that day. Of course we did (I can see my husband rolling his eyes now). All the boys raced back to their seats in our minivan (yes, I did drive one for four years) and in piled King. I knew that name had to go. King belongs to a German Shepherd Dog or a mastiff. We decided to try “Riley.”

Riley worked, he adjusted to the name. But KING… King was still alive and well. You can take the dog out of West Virginia, but you can’t take the West Virginia out of the dog. Riley was calm, sweet and docile in the car. I knew he wasn’t drugged because his eyes were bright and alert, but man, it was like he was in a Zen state.

Until the moment we opened our doors after we pulled into our driveway.

Riley took off. Booked. Bolted. Flew. Freakin’ hauled ass. Tore it up. Burnt rubber. Burnt asphalt. Left us in the dust. Ran. Laughing, if dogs could laugh, Riley was freakin’ howling has ass off.

Riley ran. and ran. and ran. and ran.

Our street is very quiet. But it is an appendage off a side street to a major traffic artery. We’re talking a four-lane-separated-by-a-median-strip artery. A 40mph zone. Riley went for the artery. West. More West. To the sunset.

It was like a scene from a mad-cap Disney pic from the 1970s …

Forget “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World!” Everyone is on a zany foot chase after Riley, the new dog, who simply can’t be caught! Don’t miss out on this great, fun, family adventure, where Riley shows everyone, even people he’ll never meet, that he wants to find his original family somewhere halfway around the world…. in ‘Riley Hates the Suburbs’… starring Elizabeth Montgomery as ‘Molly’ and Gavin McLeod as ‘Dan,’ King as ‘Riley’ and Joan Crawford as ‘The Rescue Lady.’

Riley fooled us all. After a 30-minute death-defying jaunt along our parkway and being caught by a really hot guy who looked like Ricky Martin, Riley came home back to our house on a collar and a leash. When Riley had a leash on, or was behind the gate (which he never tried to dig beneath or jump above) he was your man. He was calm, loyal, patient and sweet. The problem was our kids. Keep the dog, get rid of the kids? My youngest was still quite little, maybe three then, and he needed the doors held open a long time as he exited and entered our house. When Thing 3 had to go outside, Riley was waiting. And off went the older boys to catch him. The final bout was when one of the neighborhood boys almost got hit by a car, in hot pursuit. Everyone in our neighborhood knew that if a deep-red golden retriever was running like an idiot through the yards, it was Riley Field. One of the kids is now a track star at the high school. We’d like to think that we had something to do with his training.

So after about nine months, it was determined, quite easily I might add, that Riley/King had to go back to his original rescuer.

MAAAAAAAN did I get my ass handed to me by that madwoman rescuer. When we got him, he was about 10# underweight. His coat was a mess: it was dry, breaking off, and his skin was scaly but not diseased. He’d clearly been malnourished and under attended. He didn’t know any commands, especially not “stay” (obviously). The woman accused me of all sorts of things when I told her he needed to be returned: of breech of contract, of lying, of trying to look good, of being “fancy.” (Ouch.) Of NEGLECT (even though she’d never seen him) and she said that my vet said that I was a horrible owner and that I should be reported. Well, she never called my vet, because if she had she would have seen that Riley put on all his weight, that his muscle tone was restored, that his coat was lustrous and shiny and that he ran like hell. When we returned Riley, we provided a 50-pound bag of high-end food, his coat luster additives, leashes, a bed, a crate, toys and a $100 donation to her rescue league… JUST BECAUSE.

So that’s why I went back to breeders after two rescues. I feared at this point that my name was mud (because I figured these organizations were like interpol cross-referencing owners and all that) and I just couldn’t let that stop me from getting a dog. I love dogs. Desperately YET responsibly.

So last winter, when the chance to get Murphy a pal presented itself, I had to say yes. A puppy. I knew I could handle a puppy. I could train it. I could imprint it (as much as possible) and I could get it to understand that we are the home base. We are the team. Plus, Murphy was so mellow and huge, I figured any new puppy to him would be in good paws because he’s so patient and sweet. (Right now, Murphy is chewing on his rawhide and Charlie is hovering over him –Charlie finished his– and Murphy is ignoring him, but lowly growling, as Charlie gets terribly close to Murphy’s jaw, pressuring him to give up the goods.)

And we were right. To a threshold.

When we acquired Charlie, the vet estimated him to be about 8-10 weeks old. That’s about two weeks longer than most puppies are with their mothers. With a responsible and ethical breeder, 8-10 weeks is not a huge deal because the dog would have been socialized with other humans and other pups. With a dog like Charlie, who was bred near a salt marsh somewhere in South Carolina, whose mother was a stray, whose father was either dead or just clearly uninvolved, and who was likely whelped in a torn-down abandoned house in not the best of neighborhoods, you need to be careful.

Charlie has strange behaviors, whereas Murphy does not. Murphy does not scrape at the wooden floor or decking before lying down. Nor does he try to lick that flooring or bite the planks out of their position. He is interested in the trash, from the concept that it smells like something he’d consider if there were no food, ever, to be had or if the trash fell over and no one was home and he could get away with it… (he’s no angel).

But what I’ve noticed is the subtle distinction between their behaviors: Charlie came from chance and squalor so he’s scrappy and cheerful and game and so very charming, like a vacuum salesman. Murphy came from certainty and plenty so he’s patient, kind, interested in playing but not to the point of chasing you around the house with a sock to tug on it and he’s very loyal and assured; there is no “desperation” with Murphy whereas there is a definite sense of urgency with Charlie. Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re both on the make and totally full of shit and just want my hamburger, but it’s a very clear case of nurture versus nature between them.

When Charlie came to us he was wild, insofar that he was not a “dog” as I have come to know them, intentionally. He cried like a crazed hyena in his crate. He ate like a fiend and growled when we came near him while eating. I knew that had to stop immediately. As a babe, and as recently as this morning, Charlie goes to Murphy’s mouth to lick it to get Murphy to regurgitate his own food. Well, anyone who knows Murphy knows that ain’t happening, so what that did was also establish Murphy’s “alpha” position in their pack, which is constantly being challenged with little fanfare by Murphy.

What this tells me, watching all of it, is that Murphy knows in some way, because his mother was not in a panic, that he is safe and that all his needs will be met; and that Charlie has been conditioned to be more aware (despite their breed differences; goldens are NOT watch dogs) and needy or resourceful. Murphy has confidence, where Charlie simply has gratitude. I know that if I’m ever with Charlie and I feel unsafe around a person, he will go for the throat of whatever is approaching in a hostile way. He’s a sweet boy, but don’t cross him. Whereas Murphy, he’ll offer the person my coat and jewelry and ask for a ride.

At 5:35 every night, I can tell without the clock that it’s time for their dinner because Charlie goes to Murphy’s mouth to see if anything is there.

You couldn't PAY Murphy to sniff this.

You couldn’t PAY Murphy to sniff this.

When people come to the house to visit, Charlie is beyond thrilled. He can’t wait to sniff them, to kiss them, to inspect their bags or pockets. Charlie does play bows, and wags his tail and smiles. Murphy is, on the other hand, just glad they’re here. He saunters up to them, he lets them pet him, he inspects their crotches and then he moves on. If it’s someone he REALLY loves, he will wag his tail and do a little dance and “wooo-oo-woof” at them. Charlie is silent, but going through their stuff. If he finds something, he shares with Murphy; the same can not be said of Murphy.

He's a charmer. This was after I took my leather gloves from him. He had a great time running around the house with them saying "Catch me!!"

He’s a charmer. This was after I took my leather gloves from him. He had a great time running around the house with them saying “Catch me!!” Is he sorry or just pissed that the game is over?

What’s nice about “knowing” about Charlie’s litter mates is that their owners and I occasionally share pictures or stories about the dogs and it seems that they all have a predilection for digging into established floors. In the case of Charlie, it’s not that he eats what he digs up; but there’s something in him that tells him, “below is security; below is sustenance.” Knowing the story of his exhausting rescue (I shared it here at this link), leaves me barely surprised by his digging and scratching, once I put it all together. It’s part of who he is, just as my telling jokes to cover over a pain or a hurt.

Watching Charlie — a dog by chance who survived by sheer will and the goodness of others, and Murphy — a dog of intention who was spoken for before he was even born, tells me a lot about how I am the way I am. I am scrappy, resourceful, defiant and loyal like Charlie because I grew up in a place that required it in order for me to survive and thrive. Charlie is charming –real and authentic– but there is something that I believe he “knows” about kindness: that when you are safe and secure, that you can give it, without wondering if it will come back to you. And now I can understand Murphy because when I give and live with kindness, I just end up enjoying it.

Possibly my favoritest (that's a word) picture of them yet. Charlie is hugging his "baby" and his head is resting on Murphy's hip.  That "baby" has since been eviscerated to a mere pelt.

Possibly my favoritest (that’s a word) picture of them yet. Charlie is “hugging” his “baby” and his head is resting on Murphy’s hip.
That “baby” has since been eviscerated to a mere pelt.

Thank you.

PS — one more: this is IMMEDIATELY after I washed the glass door:

He has excellent timing.

He has excellent timing.

A Goose Shits Every 17 Minutes and No Other Waterfowl Facts

Standard

A goose shits every 17 minutes, thus giving credence to the phrase, “like shit through a goose” when speaking of the speed of a process or reaction.

Monday I wrote this post about my walk with Murphy in the hood. It was a gorgeous morning, and then it rained for almost two straight days.

I took pictures of the baby geese, the parents of whom rightly gave my dog a total rash for his insolence in wanting to place them all in his mouth.

Here’s a picture:

really? say that on the grass, geese. i will chase you back into the water and laugh when you can't hiss back on me on this grass. here. THIS grass. Woof.

really? say that on the grass, geese. i will chase you back into the water and laugh when you can’t hiss back on me on this grass. here. THIS grass. Woof.

As you can likely predict: Murphy really could not be less impressed by the geese. He didn’t think they were cute; he likely didn’t even think they were assholes, like I did. He didn’t think. That’s the brilliance of this animal: it’s all instinct and he’s not one tiny bit interested in how I feel about the geese. He just wants to put them all in his mouth. And the baby geese? They will remember him and his teeth because the memory is now imprinted.

Murph doesn’t care that I don’t have a gun or that they didn’t fall out of the sky. Almost every day, we see the geese at the ponds, and I can’t tell if he loves seeing them and tugging at the leash and wanting to put them in his mouth, or if he hates it. But I can tell you this: after each time we see them and we walk away, he does this, “that was cool, can we do it again?” face and rubs his nose into my left thigh. He’s the best dog ever.

So yeah: I hate the Canada geese here. We used to have lots of ducks, but they ran away because the geese are like the mafia, the Gambinos of geese.

Here is my one request: Don’t Feed the Geese, wherever WHEREVER you are. Here’s why as I just posted on my Facebook page:

a quick comment (lecture) about the adorability of baby geese and our responsibility as members of this planet: DON’T FEED THE GEESE. here’s why: geese are dumb-ass stupid birds. they don’t know the difference between me and Ronald McDonald. 

so, when say, Ronald feeds them, they expect me to feed them, which of course i won’t because i can’t stand them. why can’t i stand them? because aside from being stupider than hell, they are also nasty and aggressive and dangerous and they shit everywhere. 

a few years ago, a toddler in this neighborhood was disfigured and maimed (lost part of his tiny finger) because his mother looked away to get more freakin’ bread crumbs out of her bag. the goose was all, “faster! faster small Ronald McDonald!” and the toddler was all, “what’s up goose? i will try to put my fingers in your eyes…” and the goose was all, “i don’t smell no bread coming from you small Ronald McDonald, is your finger bread or are you trying to put your finger in my eyes?” and so the kid was bitten and forever maimed. 

so while i was taking these pictures the other day, i saw a well-intentioned, not-dressed as Ronald McDonald woman feed the geese COOKIES. she has dark hair, i have dark hair. she had no dog, i had a large dog. did the geese notice the difference between us? no. and if i didn’t have my dog, they would have gone after me for more cookies because they’re freaking idiots. they actually were chasing me, honking, “what’s up cookie-looking person? why do you have that small lion with you? do you have more cookies? because this grass and these worms and bugs, they suck… i will talk louder for you, and flap my wings so you see me and know that i am very hungry and that your small lion does not scare me, until it turns back on me, then i am very afraid and i know that if i had to, i would abandon my babies to save my own ass if your small lion came after me.” (because it did, and NO i didn’t let Murphy loose.) 

then people like me try to walk around the geese and we get hissed at and flapped at and freakin’ chased because even when i’m NOT in my Ronald McDonald suit, they think i’ve got bread in my bag. which i don’t, because not only do i not feed the geese, but i don’t have a bag with me. 

so i told the woman: don’t feed the geese. please stop. 

“but they’re so little and they need food.” she said. 

“no they’re not and that’s not food. it’s a cookie. before i start sounding all judgey and whatnot, would you feed a 2-week old infant that cookie? no, so don’t feed it to the geese for that reason alone. they’ve got all the grass and insects and their own defecation to eat all they want… and because you feed them, they think everyone has food and now they’re hassling me. a kid lost his finger because people think the geese don’t have enough to eat; they thought his finger was food because they’re stupider than a rock. they don’t need your cookies or bread. look at them: they’re the size of a smart car… they don’t need you to feed them.” 

so … please: DON’T FEED THE GEESE. they’re stupid and … well: wild animals. 

lecture done. 

>drops mic<

So… you wanna feed baby geese? Super. Guess what: they grow fast. In a week, they’ll be ugly as butt and then they’ll chase your ass all over the park flapping and honking,”Wait! Ronald! Don’t you have a cookie? Remember?! I’m that baby you fed a lasagna to last week… but I’m and growing and I’ll be as big as a calf in a month, but don’t you have a cookie, Ronald?”  and you’ll be HOSED because they will REMEMBER you and anyone who looks like you, aka all bipedal humans because of that imprinting. We basically train them to attack us. So do us all a favor: stop feeding the geese.

Thank you.

ps – maybe they’d shit less often if we didn’t feed them.

Murphy and Molly: A Walk in the ‘Hood

Standard

I was sick all last week; didn’t go to the doctor’s until Wednesday, but I wasn’t sure what I had.

So of course, I felt the symptoms Sunday night and increasingly through Tuesday. My youngest, Thing 3, was home with me on Wednesday when I went to the doctor because his first course of antibiotics were overwhelmed by his infection and his fever returned. So at 1:15 on Wednesday, when my doctor asked me to say “ahhh” and then she looked down my throat, she didn’t need to swab me, I had strep throat. Thanks, T3.

The irony of all this was that for three days straight, my throat became increasingly worse: the tightening, the pain and the swelling were almost unbearable, yet I didn’t believe I was sick. I felt like my entire body was resting in one of those mechanical blood pressure machines. But my b/p was fine: 115/75, so I’m not sure what the sensation was, but I do know what I was doing emotionally, it was what I had done for most of my life whenever I’d get sick: keep it together and just keep going.

As a child, I didn’t have much opportunity to be sick; too much was going on already. I was sick a lot, in fact I had sore throats all the time. The yoga practitioner and chakra-aware part of me tells me that it’s my 6th chakra and that I was having issues with expressing myself. I felt I couldn’t express myself. I felt, intuitively, unsafe in expressing myself. More on that later, in my “fictional” novel to come one day this decade.

The amazing part of all this, was that when I went in to the doctor, and she didn’t need to swab me, that I was instantly relieved. The pain went away: INSTANTLY. I don’t know if I can make this clearer. When she said, “strep.” I felt no pain. No tension, no compression, no illness, no symptoms. All the sensations I’d been confronting, all the discomfort I’d been internalizing, all of it vanished. I don’t know how to explain that. Other than to say that my body / my illness had been affirmed. My body had been “heard.”

She explained to me how she knew (other than the obvious: she was a trained professional): a throat with an allergic reaction (pollen, etc.) looks sort of gray and slimy; a throat with a virus looks sort of pink and fleshy; and a throat with a strep infection looks red and beefy. Beefy. Like a sirloin on the hook, I guess. All I know is that my throat felt like it was hanging on a hook and had the shit kicked out of it by the Italian Stallion. My lymph nodes, all of it, were a giant swollen mess. I don’t have a normal 98.6˚ body temp, I’m more of a 97.8˚ girl, so when I hit 99˚+ I have a fever. Just before my appointment, I had 100.8˚, so we were on.

But this post so far, has nothing to do with what I saw this morning on my first walk with The Murph in a week. A walk we’d been unable to take because I’d been so sick. I will share those images and moments with you now, because it’s far more interesting than my boring old throat and amazing discovery about my health being affirmed once I was diagnosed.

I am the sole walker of the dog here, other than my beloved, who takes him out at night for a quick stroll to the neighborhood fire hydrant for Murphy’s nightly sniff and pee. Today, the weather is unseasonably cool (it’s 50˚ in May in D.C.!) and everything with roots is verdant and healthy and happy. But first, I want to show you my breakfast.

i have been having poached eggs lately with a slice of artisan garlic bread. the eggs have been quite expressive lately. today, they were decidely confused.

i have been having poached eggs lately with a slice of artisan garlic bread. the eggs have been quite expressive since i’ve taken the time to notice them. today, they were decidely confused. last week, my egg winked at me… see the next picture.

sassy egg. i believe it's flirting with me.

sassy egg. i believe it’s flirting with me.

I think I will do a whole series on my expressive poached eggs. I believe it’s the Fiesta Ware that makes it more … “American.”

Ok… enough! Here’s what we saw today:

canada geese and their babies.

Canada geese and their babies.

And then those geese thought they were all badasses when we walked away, so Murphy (being massive and toothed and genetically engineered to want geese in his mouth) said, “I don’t think so…”

see daddy goose getting all fresh with my camera? he's all hiss / sip / hiss / sip...

see daddy goose getting all fresh with my camera? he’s all hiss / sip / hiss / sip… and that baby goose on the right looks like he’s saying “yeah! what daddy said. nyah.”

(I’ll get to Murphy telling them off in a second — one more shot of those cute-for-now baby geese)

aren't they precious? next week they'll be gangly and ugly and still stupid, but not nearly as endearing.

aren’t they precious? next week they’ll be gangly and ugly and still stupid, but not nearly as endearing. trust me: those geese grow up to be dicks. they’re all like: “we don’t see you. do you have bread?” me: “no bread, but i do have a dog that i will let kick your ass if you snap at me again.” (They disfigured a toddler, maimed him actually because he got too close, took part of his finger clean off.)

So then daddy goose gives Murph some backhiss, and mother goose is saying, “You tell ’em Percival,” and Murphy’s all like, “Percival?” That’s so STUPID. WOOF YOU! STUPID WOOFERS!” His fur didn’t even get puffy; he hates the geese. I think.

really? say that on the grass, geese. i will chase you back into the water and laugh when you can't hiss back on me on this grass. here. THIS grass. Woof.

“Oh, really?! I don’t think so. Say that on the grass, geese. Then I will chase you all back into the water and I will laugh when you can not hiss back at me me on this grass. here. THIS grass. Woof. stupid geese. These are my teeth.”

The best part of all this is that the geese have no clue I’m holding back this 83# monster because I don’t want him to kill anything. They think he’s afraid of them (or I think they think that, which is really odd because I have better things to think about). So when they start to get all chest-puffy with him, I let him do a two-step tug on me toward them and they comPLETEly freak out, start honking and flapping and generally fall apart emotionally and Murphy does this thing, it’s so funny, it’s like he says, “Yeah. I thought so. Losers.”

I’d decided we’d made enough of an imprint on those babies to leave us alone in the coming months. When I make the fatal error of going for a run without my trusty Golden, those geese will chase me and freakin’ snap at me. Not so much with Mr. Fluffyface, they mind him quite well. Thank you, Darwin.

Next, we saw our favorite old truck.

isn't it cute? i've never seen it move. but someone drives it because... well, it's clean.

isn’t it cute? i’ve never seen it move. but someone drives it because… well, it’s clean.

Then after that, there’s this house across the street from that truck with an AMAZING peony garden. If I were half as impulsive as I thought I was, they’d all be cut down and in a vase in my kitchen enveloping my home with their amazing scent.

see? oy.

see? oy.

I ventured closer and took a whiff of this bunch:

it was glorious. I can't wait for my peonies to open soon. they're in the shade, so it takes them a little longer.

it was glorious. the police found me in them thirty minutes later. I can’t wait for my peonies to open soon. they’re in the shade, so it takes them a little longer.

Once I woke up and was released on my own recognizance, we started back home and just when I thought I’d seen enough beauty for the morning, THIS hit me:

serious? it's out of focus a bit because the energy coming off the combination was too much to handle, even for my schmaltzy iPhone 5 camera (which is pretty good, by the way).

serious? it’s out of focus a bit because the energy coming off the combination was too much to handle, even for my schmaltzy iPhone 5 camera (which is pretty good, by the way). no, it was breezy. rain’s coming in.

So … that was it. It was just boring old boring old when we walked home and I released Murphy to his own backyard:

we like it here.

we like it here.

The good news is that the antibiotics are working and I don’t need to work so hard to keep it together, man. I was astounded by that release though.

Oh, and I’m over here today too at Peevish Penman doing everything I can to offend a reader enough to leave a comment. 🙂 (hint, hint.)

Thank you.