V.J.’s Weekly Challenge–4/2/19 Farewells

Ola, the Wonder Dog, left us this week. She hadn’t been herself , activity-wise for a while, but her essence never changed.

“Ola” (the African definition, not “hello” in Spanish), was rescued as a precious puppy, by my sister and her husband more than 10 years ago. Soon after they brought her home, they left on an amazing trip abroad for several weeks. So James and I got to be Ola’s Foster Parents while they were gone.

We seriously bonded with her during that time. I mean, look at this face! Who wouldn’t??

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Ola, about 10 weeks old…see the Angel on her chest?

John and Lenore had wanted a young dog while their elderly one, Lily, the Three Legged Miracle, was still able to teach a new dog the lay of the land.

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My Grandson fell in love with Lily

Lily

This family lives on a glorious piece of land on San Juan Island. The property includes lots of acreage, a large pond with a variety of water fowl, a Bamboo Farm, and arguably some of the most beautiful and prolific vegetable and flower gardens in the Northwest.

And they live in what James and I  lovingly call the Hobbit House. Built by John, using lots of found and custom designed materials, it is so fairy tale-like, you are transported to another world.

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Ola, surveying her kingdom…

I write about this place, our second home, often. Here’s one example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/03/28/it-is-easy-being-green-32817/

When they chose Ola as a puppy, they wanted another smallish dog that would not overwhelm Lily, and they predicted Ola was another small, lab mix’ just like Lily. 

Being very familiar with Rottweilers and Pit bulls, I took one look at Ola’s sweet face, and said “Uh oh.”

Not many months later, Ola had grown into a HUGE, beautiful, regal dog, over 100 pounds. But she still seemed guided by that angel on her chest.

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Lily immediate adopted young Ola, and trained her to be a “stick right close to your Humans” dog.

No fences in the Hippie Valley part of San Juan Island. Dogs (and deer) are free to roam and except for the occasional “play date” with a neighbor Dog, both Lily and Ola were right there, watching over the homestead, 24/7.

Lily left us not long after Ola joined the family but the two of them had some really good times together before she died. She taught Ola how to play Tug O War with ropes and sticks when Ola was still very young.

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And she trained Ola to leave the cats alone (probably for her own safety!)

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Ola became such a big part of our house-sitting experience all these years. For several weeks at a time, she became “our” dog again. No matter how much time passed between our babysitting jobs, she would greet us with 100 pounds of enthusiasm!

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Ola having a “play Date” with Brenna

 

She hung out with us where ever we went,

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and stayed close to us at home.

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Yep, she was our dog…..But only until her real parents came home!

 

 

Ola was always within feet (or calling distance) of John and Lenore during their daily routines.

 

 

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Following Lenore to the Garden
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Waiting patiently

 

Ola was one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I’ve ever met. I will miss her so much. I can only imagine how long it will take her family to get used to the huge empty space she leaves behind.

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Good Dog, Ola. Good Dog…

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Farewell.

 

 

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #42: farewell

March Squares; the theme is #SpikySquares

Another new (to me) photo challenge!! This one is from a lovely blogger named BeckyB. I’m an instant fan because I see lots of cat photos on her site.

 

So you want “SPIKY“, eh?? I’m pleased to introduce you to my SPIKY pets! Well, SPINY anyway.

Now I just have to figure out how to make a photo square!

 

 

 

We always have a large crowd of mourners when one of our Spiky friends passes on…

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could NOT get this one square!
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We honored the Queen

For more on these Giant Spiny Australian Leaf Bugs, please visit my blog. I write about them shamelessly…a lot!

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/10/29/lens-artists-weekly-photo-challenge-10-28-18-theme-just-for-fun/

Thanks for the Challenge! What FUN!

 

 

 

Don’t let the barbed wire put you off!

My Zorro story posted on Katzenworld this morning-1/27/19

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2019/01/27/my-dog-zorro-part-1/

Katzenworld posted my story this morning.

If you happen to like cats, this is an epic* story about my Heart-Cat, Zorro. I have blogged about him before but this is the long version, in two parts, about his life. The first part this week and the rest on February 10th. (They even included a connection to the other story I wrote for them about Lucy, our Woodpile Kitten.)

I do hope you will visit their site. They have wonderful cat-related articles, stories, poems, art work, and even product reviews.

My Zorro has been gone since September but I still see him around every corner.

I can’t imagine I will ever not miss him.

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*Epic, according to Bing means:

a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge-10/28/18 theme- Just for FUN!

OK so I have a lot of photo shoots with a strange group of “models”.

And it is definitely when I have the most FUN!!!

Once upon a time, there was a tiny village and they fell in love with a monster who came to visit.

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The Village Dogs just loved this visitor and knew that even though she LOOKED terrifying, she wasn’t! Maybe it was the way she took care of her monster sister?

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And the sister had a friend, nick-named Badfish, but not because he was bad. He was just “BAD”.

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The Monster stayed for the holidays and helped decorate the tall parts of the tree the tiny villagers couldn’t reach.

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Then the village teenagers, a non-violent gang, invited the monster’s whole family to join in the annual Cow Tipping Contest! What an Honor!

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The Monsters didn’t quite get the “tipping” part but definitely enjoyed climbing the cow!

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Next, there was the annual competition to see who could climb the tallest Blue Building, and the Monsters were a huge hit!! Their audience raved about it!

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The Monsters loved their new Village but some of the town’s people were upset by one of their bad habits!

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The End

(although maybe not. One of those giant turds appears to be an EGG!!!)

For more on the story of my becoming a Bug Mother, read this:

Walking With Intention Day 20 by Kathie Arcide

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge: #17 Just For Fun

KOB (Kammie’s Oddball Challenge) 9/7/18

https://nuthousecentral.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/kammies-oddball-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-1206

WordPress used to give us Bloggers a weekly photo challenge and I was dismayed when they stopped. But I now really appreciate how many other challenges there are to respond to.

I love sharing my photographs. I am far from being a pro but I have a camera with me at all times. I enjoy looking at the world, big and small, to see what catches my eye.

Apparently, it is slightly different than what others see.

Maybe it’s all that practice at “choosing my perspective”.

I have a whole category in my photo files called “accidental photography”. Sometimes, an accident turns out to be a favorite of mine.

Here’s my latest oddball/accidental shot.

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Miss Lucy, keeping me company, since we lost Zorro this week…

Beloved for WPC by ChosenPerspectives

Beloved

Many of us have pets who are or have been Beloved…but my experience is there is usually this one who works his or her way deep into our soul, our memory, and our “inner child”.

I love animals…most all of ’em. I had a favorite dog and a wonderful snake and as a kid, even a pair of rats, one black and one white. I used to smuggle those rats to elementary school inside my shirt! I have even had BUGS…Giant Australian Leaf Bugs that I care deeply about. My very first pet was a DUCK, that at 7 years old, I house-broke, because I didn’t know you couldn’t. (read about Fluffy here)

https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/fluffy-the-house-duck/

and those bugs, just go to my blog (and search for Bugs. I post about them more than most anything…https://chosenperspectives.com/

Though I am fairly allergic to them, I’ve almost always had cats…maybe 15 of them over the years.

But there is this one rascal, Zorro, that is my Beloved heart animal, above all the others, my inseparable companion of 17 years now. Named for the “Z” he slashed in the back of my hand the day I got him (at 5 or 6 weeks old).  I’d show you a photo of my hand now but the original “Z” has been embellished with countless slashes over these years together…some from anger but mostly from play. It’s more like an abstract pencil drawing these days.

I know everyone has a favorite pet even if we don’t want to admit playing favorites. I have three cats right now and I wouldn’t want Phineas the Terrorist or Lucy, the Wonder Cat to be jealous of my Zorro, the Grey Blade.

 

His story is unfortunately, not unheard of. He was left in a box with 5 littermates at the back door of a county animal “pound” at the beginning of a three day weekend. By the time the box was discovered, all had died but my Zorro. Tiny “Z” was put in the cages in the lobby of this Animal Shelter where all the “last chance” animals were displayed…last chance before death!!

Apparently, he did not stop yowling for the three days they had him and the folks at the front desk were driven to distraction by his inconceivable volume.

We arrived literally in the nick of time. They were so relieved, they all cheered.

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Zorro brand new, my best friend (don’t tell Lee) Linda in the back ground 

The short version of the back story here is that about 2 years before, I had lost all three of my long-time pets (an 11 year old cat, a wonderful 16 year old purebred German Shepherd, and an amazing, impossible 23 year old cat) all within two months of each other.

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Joy and Bandit

Boom, boom, boom…all gone!

Oh and in this same 2 years, my then husband had blown up our marriage as well as my therapy practice, AND there had been 11 deaths in and close to my family…all culminating in the 9/11 tragedy our country suffered. I was a hot, depressed mess!!!

My two very best friends did a Love Intervention with me for which I will be eternally grateful.

They sat me down and said “OK, that’s long enough. We like you better when you have pets.” And then they drove me to the pound for a cat and said “Pick one…NOW.”

I knew immediately it was that screaming gray and white kitten hanging by all fours on the screened in kennel.

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My best friend Lee (don’t tell Linda) holding our new Zorro

I have already confessed many times in previous animal posts that I am the Queen of Anthropomorphism, but that kitten knew me instantly. In our 17 years together, he has never screamed like that again. Oh, we have our regular conversations. He’s very talkative. But only with me. I’m the only one he has ever trusted. If you are not me, you must tread very lightly in his presence. No reaching out your friendly hand for a sniff or a pet. Nope. You’ll be branded, just like me.

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With other cats and kids, Zorro is so nurturing and protective

Though he will tolerate almost any handling from me, he has never been a lap cat, no snuggling except on my feet at night…oh, and if I say “Zorro, wanna take a nap with me?”, he will come running and assume his position in out napping spoon, his back pushed into my curled-up tummy. And a wonderful, weird addition to our relationship is I have NEVER been even slightly allergic to him. No itching, no asthma, nothing. I tell people he is my first intimate relationship with a cat.

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Nap Time, right up next to my face

He will look straight into my eyes for long moments and we will “talk”.

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Having a long discussion here…

He is protective of the other cats we have, both joining our family as tiny kittens. If Zorro thinks you are hurting them, he will lunge at you like a tiger, growling, teeth bared, and claws out. He’ll draw your blood without batting an eye.

And if Phineas, who is our escape artist, finds a way out of our house, Zorro will run to me just like Lassie, (Timmy has fallen down the well!!) proclaiming danger, and will lead me right to the open door or window. (Our cats are always indoor cats as we have packs of coyotes running through our streets!)

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Lucy had gone missing for too long so Zorro went looking…
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Zorro, tolerant of anything from the other cats..

Zorro has a much longer story than this, but I want to get this post done. Just think of him as the Sean Connery of cats…a real warrior in his day and still gorgeous to the end.

Zorro has advanced kidney disease and will most likely be moving on soon. We spend a lot of time together these days. I know we are getting close to the end because he wants to be on my lap whenever I sit down. He is awkward at it, having never practiced this kind of connection before now, but I love it.

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Hard to see but he spends a lot of time on my lap which shocks those who know him…

I love him. My beloved best pal for so many years….

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