A day in the life of our dog


It's me, Elle!
It’s me, Elle!

8:30 a.m.     The big guy has finally finished praying, eating out of a tiny bowl, and remembered the fuzzy one at his feet.  Yippee!  It’s time for mad dashes across the yard at Top Gun speed in the cool air that I really like.  The tall one thinks I really like that neon green ball but really it’s the hip massages I crave that follow when I roll onto my back at just the right moment.  Roll over too soon and the scratches will barely reach my undercoat.  Submit too late and he mutters something about work as our bonding time ends.  HEY, I LIVE FOR THIS!  What else is there in a dog’s life?

8:45 a.m.      No way the dude got as tall as he is with the dry nuggets he feeds me.  Better check out what’s in that little black bowl on the table when he’s in my storm shelter (aka bathroom) later.  Finally it’s time to eat again, gourmet Purina Select for my allergies, but it’s chump change for a pup with discerning tastes.  Oh well.  I’ll see what I can charm out of the girly one when she appears after my post-breakfast nap.

9:00 a.m.      I watch out the window as my buddy leaves in the bat mobile with funky racks on the roof and a grumbling noise that’s worse than me.  Sigh.  Who knows when the girly one will find me lying here in the laundry room.  Better position myself so I can see her when she comes for me yet still defend my turf if needed.  My eyes may be covered with furry lids yet I know when that beastly garbage truck, UPS invader, yellow child carrier, meter reader or anyone else threatens my territory.  Time to go to work or is it sleep?  They will never know!

9:30 a.m.        Looks like the girly one has entered my zone here at the front of the house but she is ignoring me already.  “Hi Elle” doesn’t cut it when my ears need scratching!  Sometimes she gives me a teaser then goes and washes her hands in the perennial water bowl on the counter.  Nice sentiment!  I never brush my teeth when I lick your pants do I?  Those earthlings just don’t get it.  My mouth is cleaner than a baby’s bottom!  Just ask G.J., the mutt that used to lick your grandmother’s feet every night.  Heaven for both of them for sure.

10:00 a.m.      More food smells fill my nose!  Sometimes she’s eating in the unauthorized zone for me, in the back of the house somewhere and sometimes she’s out here with me in the kitchen.  I like it when I am within range of the good stuff.  She eats meat for breakfast and that is what I like too.  I often get a fat scrap to tide me over until they almost forget to feed me in the evening.  I really need to unionize or file a complaint about that one.  I am on watch at this point.  The girly one is up and I am a shepherd.  I will protect her from anyone that drives into the courtyard that needs my scolding.  Warning:  “come near and I will eat you!” or at least it’s going to sound like when you come near.  That’s just the way it goes with bigger pups like yours truly.

11:00 a.m.      Now where did she go?  Hey, it’s still puppy play time!  What about me?  Sish.  She’s gone back to the unknown zone in the back where I am not allowed to roam.  Things get really quiet when she is back there.  She’s still got that fake fur light blue coat on so maybe she is taking her own post-breakfast nap.  Humans!  Who can figure them out?  Better believe that she will reappear if my barking is convincing enough.  Hmmmmm.  I could mess with her on this one a bit.  And maybe I have . . . .

2 or 3 or 4:00 p.m.  If she is still here and hasn’t left me stranded in my boring dog zone in the kitchen, the girly one is back.  Yes!  That means it’s time to go outside if I haven’t gone earlier.  Sometimes she makes me wait a long time.  Good thing I’m not on a potty schedule or anything.  Gotta time these slurps of day-old water just right.  (Not that I mind day-old water.  Mud puddle, bird bath, pond scum, water dish are all the same to me!)  If I am really cute maybe she will play with me a little longer or take me for a ride in the giant metal pet carrier on wheels.  Well I am just going to sit here with my ball beyond the property line where she has tossed it and give her my best silhouette.  It’s kind of like being obedient.  She doesn’t know that it is a game with me.  Who wins is the one who gets to play longer.  If I come back right away after squirting the grass then she will usually toss the ball for me a couple more times.  Win-win.  I’m a dog and I’m not concerned about her afternoon appointments.  It’s play time!

7-9:00 p.m.   Rarely do I get to go anywhere in the evening unless short stuff takes me for a walk.  When she grabs that black leash I am in heaven!  Otherwise if they have stranded me for the day, it’s nearly dark when my peeps return with bags of stuff that rarely contains food for me.   What a waste!  Take me with you next time!  I’ll sniff out the best deals!  Oh well.  At least they take me for a bathroom run again and let me run around the yard a bit before dark.  The winter time is best for this when that white stuff is on the ground.  I LIVE FOR SNOW!  The big guy puts on his paw extensions and we go for long slides around my watering hole out back.  IT’S THE BOMB!  In the warmer months I get to do pretty much whatever I want while either the tall dude is pushing a buzzing snack shaver around my yard or the shorter one is digging up stuff, playing with my watering wand, or kicking me out of bunny sniffing zones.  Paws are better for digging dontcha know and I have an underground condo to prove it!  Alas, I love being outside.  It’s where I was born and where I belong.  However I’d really rather be with these oddballs without fur (except the big guy who has a wimpy version compared to me) so I go in when I am called.  It’s my duty as their pup!

10:00 p.m.     My masters sit and eat in front of me and never feed me from the table.  What a rip off!  It’s not like I can’t smell it you know!  Later when they remember that I am hungry too (I am not just being cute:  I am trying to tell you something!), they dump some more MRE rations in my bowl.  Hey throwing it on the floor would be more fun really.  Whatever.  When the girly one gives me some skin, as in chicken skin, I am in heaven.  This when I know I am truly alive.  Then they wrestle with me and I pretend to chew on their paws.  Yeah, they really love me.  Even if they cut back on the tartar control mix they call dinner, to keep me a lean, mean, fighting machine — I don’t mind.  The rabbits get a better run when I have a waist don’t you know?

11:00 p.m.      At last.  More dog time with my master.  Oh the girly one thinks she has my heart cause she pets me when we are home alone or up late at night.  Yeah but it’s the big dude that sets me straight and that is cool with me.  I get a little wild sometimes in my canine heart that wants to run freeeeeeeee!  His discipline is firm.  This is how I know he loves me and wants to protect me as much as I want to protect him.  I don’t really want to get squashed in the street you know as I chase the kids on their bikes.  Maybe it looks like I don’t know what I am doing?  That is not the case.  I am a smart German shepherd and I am always on alert don’t you know.  Just watch me sitting at the edge of the yard sometimes, placing my furry tush between them and any potentially offending intruder.  One false move and I will let them know who is boss.  Well, at least my bark will say that I am da boss!

Wee hours of the a.m.   This is a strange time in my den.  The girly one has been up with me until nearly daylight for the past 2 years.  Sometimes I hear her crying in distress and it breaks my puppy heart.  I am worried about her and I know she sees it in my face.  The look is good for a scratch behind the ears too.  “Puppy therapy” she calls it when I see her a little later.  Whew!  I sigh with relief that she’s o.k.  I don’t know how she does it every night.  Maybe she will get better and sleep more like me.  I think it’s starting to happen but I can’t be sure.  It’s a dog’s life and I live in the moment.  Besides, dozing, sleeping, listening with my eyes closed is a full-time job you know.  She used to do stuff outside our den most days of the week.  Oh well.  For now she’s here with me, most days and every night and I love her.  The big guy is pretty cool too.  He is rough with me and I like it.  Such a nice blend.  They make a great couple.  Oh well.  What do I know?

I’m just a dog and this is my story.  Elle.

Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Elle Nature Trail Oct 2008 001First snow dec 2009 0100530092039[1]Early Spring 2014 belly upDog in troubleDogs chasing tennis ball underwaterSometimes when it’s just me, my Heavenly Husband, and the pup at home I look for happiness and feel gratitude in my immediate surroundings.  Receiving a long look from a pair of puppy dog eyes goes a long ways at times like these.  Enjoy some canine humor and some pics of Elle, Steve, and me from the family photo album too!Snoopy hugging Woodstock


Hanging in There!

efu-hanging cat with dogOne more day and I will be free of this 29-day round of antibiotics.  A short course of candida treatment (6 days) begins after that and I’ll see what’s left of me when I’m done!  On this day, I am grateful for:

  • My beloved Steve whose faith in the Lord and faith in me never falters.  He is a precious gift in my life.
  • Precious friends within the Lyme community who “get it” as we walk through this journey together.
  • Our loyal Elle whose brown puppy dog eyes have met mine, melted me, and comforted me in the wee hours of many late nights.
  • A brilliant Lyme and Mold-Literate Doctor.
  • A lovely home with the time and space I need to recover.
  • And deepest of all is the indwelling presence of God through His Holy Spirit Who speaks truth into my life, covering the lies and fears.  Thank you Jesus!

The German Shepherd Gets It

All we have is this moment in time.  I mean who can make sure a birthday cake comes out right tomorrow when it is today?  Who can redo a soggy flower bed from last year on a wintery day?  The best strategy is to stay in the moment where we can do our best to be mindful of the Lord and if He leads, do our best work, best thinking, best living.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:34

These themes were revealed today by our German shepherd dog, Elle.  I decided to push the limit of my activity level and do a few things outdoors in the heat.  After making it through my husband’s kayak race at the Fort Wayne Riverfest, I was very warm, straining to function and all-around uncomfortable.  Nonetheless, since I was still covered with sunscreen and bug spray so when I got home, I figured this would be a good time to replant 2 pots, feed our acid-loving plants in the patio garden, and so on before coming into the house to take a shower.  Elle was outside with me doing the things she likes to do too:  sniff, sniff, sniff!  Not 15 minutes had gone by before our generally obedient pup was gone from my watchful eye.  “Whhhhhhit,” I called.  No dog.  She usually comes racing around the house back to me when I whistle for her.  Hmmmm.

But of course!  It’s very humid and above 80 degrees F outside today.  The clouds are long gone and she was panting rather hard not long after joining me in the yard.  Guess the sip of water from the garden hose wasn’t enough for her.  Elle had taken herself for a swim!  She loves to “play hippo” as my husband calls it, in the neighborhood pond behind our property.  She stays in the water long enough to cool her belly then wanders out into the public area around the pond to sniff out some rabbit tracks and inspect the perimeter of our neighbor’s backyard.  I whistled a little louder.  Yeah, a wet dog came a running!

Julie Spring Flowers 015

The German shepherd gets it.  She got hot.  She wanted relief.  She went for a swim in the pond and came back to her usual activities thereafter.  Oh to be able to think like a dog sometimes!  Elle keeps it simple.  Not me.  I continued to pot up some vinca flowers despite the sweat running into my eyes causing tremendous burning, first the right eye and then the left.  “I can’t stop,” I tell myself, “because I would have to go into the house to wash my hands then go to the bathroom and get distracted by 5 other things and never get back outside to finish if I do.”  Geez.  In the 12-Step programs they used to call that “stinking thinking.”  To do first that which is most important is another slogan from my ACOA days.  Maybe I don’t trust myself when I’m feeling crummy?  Guess I haven’t learned to apply all of the slogans yet.  Guess I’m still struggling with a pared down version of Matthew 6:34 as well.  Forget worrying about tomorrow, I’m stressed about the next moment!

The significance of this behavior goes beyond the sweat in my eyes.  I am also dealing with and increase in noxious symptoms from a short course of antibiotics for an infection.  Add to that the aftermath of two terrible episodes of seizure attacks before and after an MRI yesterday, broken sleep, heat intolerance requiring me to leave the races before some additional events, and low blood sugar,  it seems like I should be inside the house taking care of myself anyways.  Sigh.  But I want to work in my garden!

I want to do it all and it hurts me sometimes when I do.  In doing so, I get in my own way of feeling good.  So I’m going to be gentle with myself as I work on this tendency and apply some Biblical truth that will last, will transform me.  Let’s see, at the time I am writing this the internet connection went down.  I copied the draft into a word document so I wouldn’t lose my precious thoughts.  This means that I can’t search some fancy Bible verse website for just the right verse to get me moving in the right direction.  It also means that I must go and get out the Big Book itself.  Hmmmmm again.  I haven’t had my quiet time with the Lord yet today.  Perhaps you can guess, gentle reader, what needs to happen next?

Seeya later.  It’s time my moment counts for Him and not me.  We’ll talk later.


Addendum:  As soon as I turned off the computer the Holy Spirit gave me the verse before the one above.  Thank you Lord

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Matthew 6:33