For The Love Of Boston Terriers

On this first really steamy day of the summer season, I am somehow compelled to share several episodes involving my dearest Boston Terriers of which I’ve had many over the years.

Timmy looking so innocent
Timmy looking so innocent

Story 1:

I guess this compulsion to write arises from an incident we had the night before last with our littlest (10 lbs.) and cutest BT. As do all three of them, little Timmy loves to snuggle in bed at night, but unlike the others, he likes to be ensconced at the foot of the bed and usually under the covers. The other night, though, he chose to snuggle himself atop the covers, nestled into a groove between the mattress and bed frame. (Can you see what’s coming?)  Right. He fell. Okay, so he’s fallen off the bed before and it’s no big deal. This was a big deal. First, his little head was wedged in tight and Dominic had to lift the bed, which is very heavy, up so I could pull his head out from being jammed. Done. But a problem remained: our bed frame is so low to the ground that we still couldn’t get him out from under it. By this time I’m fairly hysterical because his little feet were cold, yet he never uttered a single whimper. Anyway, phase 2 of this project (mind you, it’s 1:30 in the morning) was to disassemble the entire bed – remove mattress, box springs, etc., so we could scoop our little guy to safety. I cradled him in my arms and rubbed his little paws to warm them up. But, the saga did not end here. “To hell with it,” said Dominic as he went to get our big, burly, awkward vacuum cleaner and proceeded to suck up the embarrassingly abundant quantities of dust bunnies and Jolly Rancher candy wrappers (mine). Moral of this story: Don’t let BT fall between cracks and make sure Jolly Rancher wrappers find their way into the waste can.

Story 2:

I had a fairly strong suspicion we were in for trouble when the transporter opened the crate and this massive bull-dog of a Boston Terrier came bounding out and proceeded to knock over everything in his path with foamy saliva from his mouth spewing everywhere. Welcome Buddy. For a while I was a foster for a Boston Terrier rescue group and Buddy was my very first foster. I was being broken in hard. Buddy barked constantly, Buddy was non-stop hyper, Buddy was adoring, and Buddy was work! When Buddy joined the pack, I had three other BTs and for some reason, two of them had some serious issues with Buddy. One in particular felt compelled to lunge for his eye and glom on so that significant damage was a real possibility. Thus, I had to keep them separate – this is a small house—it was mayhem. Buddy wanted to own me in the worst way, and this was probably the issue the other dogs had with him. He begged to be with me, 24/7 and it broke my heart when I had to cordon him off while I dealt with the others. Still, I spent as much time with him as possible. In fact, one day I had him on the leash and I was chatting with my next-door neighbor when I felt something warm — and wet – on my lower leg. My neighbor looked down in astonishment, then up at me. “Your dog just peed on your leg.” “Yes I know,” I replied as I nonchalantly swaggered off to Buddy for our walk with pee running down my leg as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Moral of this story: train dog not to pee on leg.

Sasha: could anything so innocent looking be so ferocious?
Sasha: could anything so innocent looking be so ferocious?

Story 3:

This one is short and sweet. Our female BT is the guardian of life, liberty and the pursuit of all happiness in our household. She lets us know who, what, when, where, and how for anything or anyone within the near vicinity of our house and yard. She is also my barometer of human character. There are certain people she does not see on a regular basis whom she greats with wagging tale and smiley-face. Then there are those that, well – she doesn’t. Actually, the case in point is a young man she was seeing almost daily – my daughter’s boyfriend – and every day, without fail, she barked, snarled, and hissed at him. Then, when he walked into her kitchen domain, didn’t she jump up and bite him in the ass.  Furthermore, didn’t she do this more than once! Do you ‘spose this is there the phrase ‘bite me’ came from? Anyway, moral number 3: check out all daughter’s boyfriends with canine-based barometer.


photo-versatile-blogger1I am beyond honored and excited to have been nominated by mybrandofgenius for this award. You said I cover a wide variety of topics which you found refreshing — a wonderful word to be honored with.

The rules of this award are as follows: Name your nominator and provide a link to that person’s blog.  Share 7 personal things about yourself. Nominate 10 other bloggers, and leave them each a note about their nomination.

Here are some things about myself:

  1. If I could, I would have a houseful of animals. As it stands, we have two cockatiels, two parakeets, three Boston Terriers and a horse — he is not in the house, thank goodness. I also rescue all the hurt and and ill creatures that somehow find their way to our door.
  2. I love wine, especially red zinfandel.
  3. I have BIG feet — I wear size 11 shoes.
  4. I am a VERY nervous airplane traveler. The slightest ripple and I am in the lap of the person sitting next to me, so make sure you are never that person.
  5. I learned about life and religion from the back of a nondescript little brown horse named Buzzy.
  6. I am thankful for the wisdom and understanding that has come along with a few extra wrinkles on my face, and a few bulges here and there.
  7. I am on a never-ending quest for the perfect pen, which has left me near bankrupt more than once.

And now I hereby nominate these bloggers:

Animals Deserve to Live

Childhood Relived

Bits and Bites

Press “M” for Menopause

Ramblin’ Through Dave’s Garden

Charity Ideas Blog

Too Old to Care

Disorderly Chickadee


Elena Sellivan







Memory, Memory, Where For Art Thou Sweet Memory

Gone – flat out, unequivocally GONE. If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking up the definition of Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, and concussion caused by some random bump on the head you didn’t even  know you got.

And if you’re like me, you’re also of the Baby Boomer generation where memory loss is now epidemic. Consider:1 in 8 boomers over the age of 60 reports they experience memory loss, in the largest self-respondent survey of its kind.

I’m not quite over 60 (I’ll take every hour, day, month I can get) but I constantly fret, worry, and stew over what is definitely a dwindling sense of recall. Example: you know, that word, the one that is right on the tip of my tongue, or I could have sworn I put my keys right here on the kitchen table, or (you fill in the blank).

Compounding this memory game is menopause. I was actually relieved to learn that many of my memory symptoms are the result of my body’s dwindling hormones.    A recent study : “concludes that the memory problems experienced by women in their 40s and 50s as they approach and go through menopause are undeniable.”

Want to know more? Here is yet another great resource for all my fellow menopausal memory-loss mamas:

The good news about losing at word games and having to walk everywhere because you can’t find your keys is, there’s hope! There are definite strategies you can employ to help sharpen that gray-matter. Here are a few:

  1. Exercise: Hide your car keys on purpose and get that body moving through walking, biking, running, swimming, or whatever your sport of choice might be
  2. Eat like Popeye (remember him?): In addition to spinach, eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables of all sizes, shapes and colors
  3. Engage in mental workouts: Say what? Think: crossword puzzles, Sudoku, the classics (as in books), and whatever mental gymnastics get your wheels turning and burning.
  4. Get good sleep: Get enough, good quality sleep with quality as the operative word.
  5. Drink red wine: Now this one is right up my alley, but of course, the key to success is moderation.
  6. Do only one thing at a time: One of the worst contributions of this technological age is the temptation to multitask. Simply put – DON’T!
  7. Find tricks of the trade: Circumvent those times when you know your memory is going to hiccup: leave index cards around so you always have something to write on, carry around a small notebook, use the note function in your smart phone or tablet, and whatever you do, make sure to always carry a pen with you. .

Want more detail?

So, here’s the bottom line: you’re not alone, it’s perfectly normal, and  …. what was it we were talking about again??

Soft Boiled Eggs

soft_boiled_eggI was on the phone with my father this morning and he told me he was eating a soft-boiled egg. I told him I loved soft-boiled eggs. He said, “I’ll make you one.”

Someday … not tomorrow.

Tomorrow my father is having major, life-threatening surgery. He is having 2 feet of colon removed. He has a pacemaker. He is 88.

But – he is vital, robust, lucid and a delightful, loving man.

His wife, my stepmother, and I are speaking only in terms of pleasantries because to do otherwise will be to breakdown. We are otherwise close. I love her.

All week – morbid thoughts have sunk my naturally ebullient, positive self.  My thoughts spark reservoirs of un-fallen tears that I struggle to choke back but that blind me.

All week – he has been his naturally ebullient, positive self. Although today I heard a hint of the fear that must surely be strangling his psyche.

Tonight I will pack my bag: computer, books, tablet and gum – lots of gum, gum to give focus and and act as an outlet for energy that wants to come out screaming but can’t.

Tomorrow it begins – 7:30, the first surgery of the morning – a good thing, he laughs, the surgeon will be rested and the instruments will be clean.

Tomorrow when I wish him well before they wheel him away on the gurney, I will remind him that I’m holding him to his promise to make me soft boiled eggs. I will tell him that I love him.

Unique Teeth

Model Lindsey Wixson who was made fun of in school for her teeth
Model Lindsey Wixson who was made fun of in school for her teeth

When my son was around 7, at a visit with our beloved pediatrician, I asked him whether or not I should get J.D. braces for his teeth. Quite emphatically, Dr. Kay said no, his teeth are just fine, and furthermore, they’re interesting!

Interesting …

As J.D. grew older and I saw all his schoolmates emerging with these perfectly straight, blindingly white teeth, I began to feel guilty. I mean, there was nothing really wrong with J.D.’s teeth, they were just not as white, not as straight and … interesting!

Fast forward 10: Enter models in Europe, women in Japan who seek dental care to achieve that ‘imperfect’ look, and more young women and men who decide to embrace their unique teeth look.

Yes, I had braces, no, my teeth are from perfect and now they are smiling trophy of all the coffee and red Zinfandel I have consumed over the years.

So, my dear son, know that Dr. Kay was right, and that your funky, spacey, non-white teeth are far more interesting than those myriad sets of teeth that are perfectly aligned and truly pearly whites.

Check these out:

Why The Perfect Smile Isn’t So Perfect

What’s So Bad About Having Crooked Teeth

Why are Japanese women paying hundreds of pounds to make perfectly straight teeth look crooked and fang-like?

10 Stars With Not So Perfect Teeth

A Bird in the Hand

SparrowI was in the café line today, chatting away with the counter person when I felt a presence over my shoulder. I turned to find one of my best students standing there. He was not the kind of student who sought or required much help, so to see him waiting for me in the café was surprising.

“Do you rescue animals?” he asked. Puzzled, it wasn’t quite what I expected him to say and I wasn’t sure how to respond.

“I, um, I am, yes.” Now I know how my students feel when I call on them unexpectedly.

“There’s a bird up on the bridge, just lying there on its back,” he said. I could see now that he was upset, this a young man who had done a superb presentation the day before about hunting humanely.

Damn, I thought to myself, because no matter what, when an animal is in need, there is something deep inside me that simply must step in and help. I am not like this necessarily with people, always with animals.

“If we get it, can you do the legwork to get it to a wildlife rehabilitator?” I said.

He nodded, I asked the counter person for a box, and off we went across the bridge that all the students for my next class were crossing, in the opposite direction.

“Do we have class?” they asked, seemingly in unison.

“Yes,” I said as my student and I hurried on.

We reached the little sparrow who was by this time hobbling around in the brush, clearly not able to fly. My student reached his hand under a bush and took it in his hand and ever so gently put it in the box.

We hurried back to the classroom where I looked up wildlife rehabs on the computer, scribbled down a phone number on a small piece of paper and pressed it into his hand.

He looked at me questioningly.

“No worries about class, go take care of this bird. But make sure you email me later to tell me how you and the bird fare. That is you assignment.” I said. He nodded. We understood one another.

And yes, my student completed his assignment. He wrote that the little sparrow regained his strength and flew away.

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