Calming A Wild Puppy

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I have rescued several dogs over the years but the most recent addition to the family, Ms. Skeeter, a two-pound Chihuahua/Terrier mix, is the wildest little dog I have ever met. She is a ball of non-stop energy. When I first saw her at the shelter she was timid, curled in a little ball and she whimpered when I picked her up.
Then we brought her home and she became Super-Dog! She chased our eleven-year-old poodle around the house so much that he would bite her to try to get her to stop. She was unafraid and relentless so I knew we had to find a solution because telling her to STOP was just not working. I didn’t want her to get hurt and since the poodle was much older, she was wearing him out.
I don’t like crates and have never used one when training a puppy so I came up with my own solution. If it sounds cruel, remember it was much kinder than crating her and it was a fast way to slow her down gently.
I found a big box and put her favorite blanket and toys inside. When the poodle had had enough of the rough housing, I would tell Ms. Skeeter, “Time Out.”
That meant nothing at all to her, but then I would place her in the open box for several minutes and repeat “Time Out.”
I stood beside the box where she could see me and she was in the box for a very short time, usually several minutes. It only took a few days for her to learn what “Time Out” meant and she was quite happy to see the box get folded and put away.
Now if I say “Time Out,” she stops and looks at me to see if I mean it. When I repeat it firmly, she comes over to me and lies down beside me for a little while.
I have also learned that sometimes all she wants is love and attention, so the other calm down method I use is to pick her up and speaking softly, I pet her for a few minutes.
My groomer taught me to use the softer voice because my calmness actually calms her rather than agitating her and it is true, yelling at her to STOP just made her more excited because she interprets STOP as GO!
The last part of my calm down process involves daily walks, at least one, usually after supper. We walk at a fast pace for about fifteen minutes and the structured exercise goes a long way toward settling her down for the evening. It took several weeks to teach her to walk on the leash because she wanted to run free outside and she didn’t understand her limits. I kept the leash short and taught her to walk beside me instead of in front of me and as she learned to obey, I let more and more of the leash out, giving her more freedom. Our walks have become fun instead of madcap adventures and the exercise is good for me.
Ms. Skeeter is an adorable, loveable little dog and she makes me laugh everyday as I watch her play with the poodle, who weighs almost eighteen pounds. She dances in front of him, barking at him to get up to play with her and they are so cute together. They run, wrestle, play tug of war with the toys, fake bite each other and just have a blast. Her enthusiasm for life has the poodle acting like a puppy again and he loves running around the house with her.
However, teaching her to take a “Time Out,” is what made their friendship possible and it is the reason she has become a much-loved addition to our family.

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James Dean Had An Enduro (by Last Ditch Effort)

I want a motorcycle. James Dean had an Enduro. There are far more practical motorcycles in the world. But James Dean had a Enduro.
There are lots of motorcycles in my town to buy.
There are fast ones.
There is the Lime Green Streetfighter from my young dreams.
There are new ones. The latest flat black killer.
There is a hip little Japanese Motorcycles made back when the Japanese didn’t build cars yet, just Motorcycles. I want a motorcycle. James Dean had and Enduro.
I am told they won’t ride nice. They will be rough. And although its seems fun to dream about riding down the trail on your Enduro, you are trapped in the pavement jungle, and that’s all the bike will ride on, and it will be rough.
So much for daydreaming of riding to the riverbank for a picnic. Enduros are not practical.
I want a motorcycle. James Dean had a Enduro.

Flesh and Bones

Her hands make love to his shoulders

Caress the tension from his neck

Fingers entwined in his soft curls

Her face buried in silver and brown strands.

Inhaling the heady scent that is him

She allows her tightness to slip away

Falling, falling into a dark warm mist

A vapor of safety created by his love.

Absence of pain, regret, loss or sorrow

Blankets of tenderness and devotion

Washed worn by life’s bleaching storms

More precious than diamonds and gold.

His devotion surrounds her flesh and her bones.

Thus, sleep is a cocoon which shelters her

Pillows of passions released time after time

Cradle the woman and her fragile dreams

Rocking her to sleep in his gently flowing river

Drifting on billows of unconditional love.

Floating to euphoria, wrapped around his back

She wonders, how is it possible that her love

Could increase beyond description, young and free

When time has removed the freedoms of flesh and bone?

She loves him beyond explanation, a rare dilemma

For a woman who was born to dance with words.

She loves, she loves and as his love enfolds her, she is sheltered.

She sleeps and she is secure because he is there beside her.

by Jeanne Marie, 2013

The Race

 

first love

I get so dizzy struggling to keep up to myself, running from room to room, to garden, to garage, to shelf.
Clean this, write that, whip up a cake, pay the bills while making a fattening meal, that my hips know they can’t take.
What am I doing?
Cause I really don’t know–and there’s no going fast when I’m traveling so slow.
I’m stuck in the back seat with the driver asleep at the wheel while somehow the joyride has turned into a raw deal.
Sleep?
Well, no, not very much–dreams are dangerous races cause my mind is unguarded, drifting in and out of strange places.
Displaying my fears, scrambling my brain, inflicting grief with no notable gain.
Shoving back in my face what I thought I’d discarded and a nightmare revisited ends what I’ve started.
Perhaps I could slow down and buy me a piece of mind, but an accident’s gaining speed ramming into me, hard, from behind.
Preceding the crash, Past insists on driving my soul allowing ancient ghosts to tell my thoughts where to go!
“Jump out of the car!” my panicky brain tells my feet.
Run until you can’t remember, the pain, the anger, the bonus gifts of deceit.

Why I Miss The Boy

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As told by Peggy Sue to Jeanne Marie
I know that my owners were overjoyed when their last child left the nest. Still, I wish that they’d asked my opinion before they let him move out. I may be just a dog, but I have feelings too.
The boy came by the house to visit last Sunday and it was then that I realized just how much I’ve missed him, him and his big, sweaty tennis shoes.
While he was busy talking to Dad, I casually strolled over to the rug near the front door where the boy had politely left his shoes.
I stuck my head, well almost my whole body, in one of them. I rolled all around on the floor with his shoe and the odor brought back such fond memories.
I remember when the boy and I first met. He was very young when I joined the family and quite a handful. I used to help Mom with his discipline. I didn’t mind. I was glad to help. When she’d yell at him, I’d chase his rascally butt right into his room, nipping at his heels for good measure.
We also had two girls. One lived in Boston, but the other one always said, “Yes Mom, okay Mom.” What she did was another story, but at least she pretended obedience and I never had to chase and snip her. However, she did give me a few exciting nights when she tried to sneak out her bedroom window and inadvertently set off the burglar alarm. When Mom checked on her and saw her “sleeping” in her bed, I uncovered the hoax with some strong barking at the foot of the girl’s bed. Mom caught on real quick. She unrolled the covers and sure enough, the girl was fully clothed. The girl was somewhat boring except for her repeated attempts to beat the alarm. (She was a slow learner.)
On the plus side, she did share her yogurt with me and she scratched my head with her long fingernails while she watched the soaps.
But the boy? Oh, he was such fun, a human ball of energy! A stick of dynamite waiting for a match! Running through the house, going in and out, in and out! Me, chasing and barking all the while!
Sometimes I’ve gone too far, I have to admit it. I did bite him on the eyelid once.
Then, one time when he was being hollered at, I jumped up to bite him for emphasis. I caught hold of a piece of his shorts and if I had caught him just one-inch closer…well, let’s just say that I could’ve endangered his future fatherhood, if you get my drift!
I hung on; unsure of the protocol required in this situation while Mom rolled on the floor laughing. Finally, I realized that she was saying, “Let go Peggy-Sue, let go!” So I did, no harm done.
Sometimes the boy was nice to me. I remember when I took a stuffed Donkey Kong off his bed and I adopted him as my own. The boy said, “Let her keep it Mom, I don’t want it after Peggy-Sue messed with it. And they look so happy together.” I have tears in my eyes just thinking about his generosity.
One day, as he lay on the floor watching cartoons, I paused to take a bite out of his apple. He just laughed and called out, “Mom, come see Peggy, she’s so cute!” He thought I was cute!
The last few years that we had him were the best. I adored the way he would come in at all hours of the night. The way that it allowed me to wake up Mom and Dad with my insane barking. (Mom’s description.)
Nights can be very lonely for a poodle, what with sleeping all day, so I’d just lie on the bed and wait for a good excuse. The boy would turn the key ever so quietly and shut the door softly. But I didn’t care.
“YIP, YIP, YIP,” I’d shout out, using my “stranger\danger” bark to get the full effect.
Then, the mutt the folks had bought to keep me company, Charlie, would join in the ruckus.
Dad would yell at the boy and Mom would yell at Dad. “The damn dogs woke you up, not the boy!” and the whole house would be lit up like Christmas morning!
Just when Mom and Dad would start to fall back to sleep, the boy would tiptoe out to the kitchen for a drink and the whole thing would start all over again.
“YIP, YIP, YIP!” Soon as things quieted down again, his phone would ring. Third time around, I was pushing it, so any noise the boy made after that-I had to let it slide. Ah, how I loved those noisy nights.
Another favorite time was when the boy’s friends knocked at the door. I got some good barking mileage from them. His girlfriend was a special delight to chase from the front door to his room and then I’d catch her again on her way out. I knew she was scared of me and that made me feel like a guard dog, tough and strong.
I even miss the arguments that the boy and Dad used to get into. Those were great times for starting up a storm of barking. I’d run around them in circles, yipping to my heart’s content, taking first one side and then the other, as I tried to mediate. Although they never seemed to appreciate my efforts, I like to think that my participation often helped them work out a quicker settlement.
Now when the boy comes over, no one fights and the boy acts so different. I hardly know him. Saying weird stuff like “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir,” to the folks. His shoes smell the same, but I think that maybe he’s a man now. That could explain his strange behavior.
Dad and Mom are so hum drum. I can see their Golden Years coming fast. Most nights they sleep right through until morning. Thankfully, a fierce thunderstorm or a strange car door wakes them up now and then.
Without the boy, I just lie here and think of the good old nights. How much of a racket we used to make…
I never realized that he was moving out; although, I should’ve caught on when I saw him take a pile of boxes from his room to his car and then he carried out his bed. When he didn’t come back that night, I realized, I’d lost the boy.
There’ll never be another pair of shoes that excited me like his did.
We were quite a team. That’s why I miss the boy.
I think Mom misses him too because her eyes were dripping when she typed this story.

Jodie Lynne

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You can’t keep a fairy angel
on the ground
You can imprison her
Take away her ability to fly
Hold her down, for a while.
But as soon as the light hits her face
She will shake herself free.
She will fly
She will laugh
She will love
She will leave her addictions in the dust
Cause you can’t keep a fairy angel on the ground.

by Jeanne Marie

I Was…

IMAG4955_BURST002_COVERHappiness slithered

up my arm today

sneaking into my head

and then it warmed my heart.

Didn’t even recognize

the feeling

it startled me,

so rare

so alien to me

I was happy today,

I was.

Jeanne Marie, 2014