When Parents Are Away (in the Bahamas) Animal Children Will Play — Part Three

DSC_2034 umbrellas Nassau copryAs some of you might know, my hubby and I added a new canine child to our family about a month ago.  He’s half Bernese, half Aussie. (see photo)DSC_1697 Bo smaller file

Although we were conflicted about leaving for a travel assignment by AAA in the Bahamas (hard decision), we asked our youth minister Brandon to housesit while we were gone.

Since the arrival of the new dog, our other dog, a mini Aussie has been quite happy and content.  She was quite a gatherer.  We were used to seeing shoes, cat toys, pillows, underwear, among other household items waiting for us after we arrived home from errands.

DSC_1700 Sab and Bo nose to nose smallerThree days into our vacation, we Skyped with our house sitter and he alerted us to the fact one of the dogs must have been frustrated while we were gone.  So much so, they destroyed a bed pillow, and a ‘cuddling’ pillow the three-legged cat likes.  And the TV remote.

dog pillows torn up IMG_4699 dog pillows

I have to admit I laughed so hard, tears flowed freely when he showed us the photos.  I imagine my carefree attitude had something to do with the lovely Caribbean atmosphere of Sandals Resorts.

We called Brandon again on Tuesday, and he told us one of the dogs had destroyed their bed.  It was the big fluffy new ‘pet pad’  we purchased just weeks prior.

Still no worries.

“They’re mad.” I told him.  “Did you walk them twice today?”

Brandon hesitated.  “No.  Just once.”

“Try walking them again this evening.”


We touched base with Brandon on the way home.  He said they were doing much better.  Upon arrival, Brandon showed us the bags of fluff extracted from the dog beds and pillows.

I told him not to worry about.

I took a couple hours mending what I could, repairing what seemed salvageable.

After a day of chores, hubby and I decided to go grab a Culver’s custard.  As we walked in the house and turned the corner to the living room, this is what we saw.

We’d been gone 45 minutes.

DSC_2224I think I’ll go back to Sandals Resorts.

At least there we can get 8 hours sleep and butler service…

Serenade of the Sea

DSC00172My first thought was to take a trip to the local grocer for provisions for our week in North Carolina.  However, my Australian Shepherd had another plan in mind.

While sniffing around for a appropriate spot to do her ‘bizness’ last eve, I suppose the attraction of the sea air and the fragrant smell of magnolia beckoned her (and me) to cross the road, full of rental properties, to the beach access.

Before I could say Abracadabra, my curious canine stepped gingerly in the sand, sprinted up several steps, and hopped onto the weathered boardwalk.

I met a wonderful thirty-something couple at the lookout point.  They told me of their attraction to Sunset Beach.  No crowds, no worries – just total relaxation.

The guy admitted he wasn’t fond of people.

Enter a friendly dog with pair of ice blue eyes who adores humans.

In seconds, the young man dropped any personal walls and was shaking ‘paws’ with my Brina.

After the conversation drew to a close my animal child looked at the crashing waves, and gazed up at me with approval.  The corners of her mouth began to turn up.  Yes, dogs do smile.

And if she could’ve talked, I imagined she would have said, “C’mon Mom, let’s go!”

All it took was a look from Miss Brina, and I was racing down the beach.  With the wind blowing through my hair, I felt wispy as a seagull soaring overhead.

 The ocean has its mysterious way of drawing you in.  And then it wraps its gentle arms around you with her loving embrace.

Can’t wait to what surprises lie ahead.

But for now, I’ll am thankful for the moment….

Pleasant surprises, and thoughts of cooler days in the Midwest

I wrote this post back in March, and forgot to post on my blog.  Hopefully, this will help you all beat the heat with these three-digit temperatures we have been having lately.

Here you go –


Blog post, March 7, 2012

Sabrina, our Australian Shepherd, was super-hyper this morning, running throughout the house in anticipation of new sights, sounds and smells outdoors.

Donning my white down-filled coat over nightgown and robe, I slipped on my sandals and grabbed the dog’s lead.  We headed outside through the garage door that led to the back yard.

Stepping onto the concrete patio, Sabrina started whining.  I was puzzled.

Looking out across the far end of the yard, I spotted something in the break between the two trees.  The break was picturesque, and served as a gateway to the field.  Within the sunny opening, a beautiful doe presented itself broadside.

She was curious about Sabrina and me, so we moved into position behind the beige pampas grass attempting to camouflage ourselves.

Standing there for a few minutes, the doe locked a gaze on us.  As quickly as she appeared, she exited through the gateway sprinting across the neighbor’s wheat field.

After our usual morning walk around the yard, Sabrina and I decided to investigate the three small piles of whole walnuts I left on the weathered wood bench by the stone fire pit last evening. Several months old, the nuts tasted ‘woody’. While I found them inedible, I figured the squirrels might be interested.

They weren’t.

Upon my approach, I discovered an eight inch wet circular spot on the bench.  I remember my husband telling me that when a deer eats they sometimes grind dirt into their food.  Deer rely on their keen sense of smell for finding nutrients.  Tiny remnants of the walnuts remained on the wet bench with slight scrapes in the wood.  I smiled.

Sabrina and I ran quickly through the cold wet grass inside to tell hubby.

“Hey honey, I saw a doe, and it ate my walnuts!”

Russell, still fast asleep, was startled by the announcement.  In a semi-conscious state, he raised his upper body and asked, “Where, where?”

I grinned, holding back a chuckle.


Today I am thankful for –

The wisdom to repurpose stale nuts

A dog’s intuition

A beautiful deer

And a sleep-talking husband


My husband the Magician

A pleasant Friday night in June, my husband and I chose to spend it on Starbuck’s patio. People who know us realize we frequent this establishment on a regular basis, and own stock in the company.

Lounging on their new outdoor furniture, we enjoyed orange blossom green tea and pomegranate lemonade.  Chatting, we recapped the events of the day.  Our Australian Shepherd was sacked out on her doggie blanket near our feet.

The darkness of the evening mingled with a slight breeze.

I glanced over and noticed my husband repeatedly digging at his shorts.

“What is wrong with you?”

“My underwear is bugging the crap out of me.”

“I dare you to take them off in public.”

Within seconds, Russell revealed a multi-use tool hiding in his back jeans pocket. He proceeded to cut the waistband (vertically) with the pocketknife portion of the tool.   As he yanked the material in opposite directions, I heard the faint noise of cloth ripping.

Standing up, Russell quickly spun around with his derriere facing me. With his right hand, he pulled the tidy-whities from the top of his jean shorts and deposited them in the waste container nearby.

I belted out a hardy chuckle which transformed into a laugh-snort.

“I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.”

“What, you didn’t think I could do it?”

“You never cease to amaze me.”

Feeling set free from ‘the cotton’, Russell plopped back down in the chair, grinning ear-to-ear.

I suppose I should’ve never doubted his ability to pull this stunt off.

I’m married to man who once tied knots in 15 maraschino cherry stems in less than five minutes…