Monday, June 27, 2011

The doggie in the window

This past Saturday Dover and I set off for a rehab/nursing home we visit regularly. We don't usually go on weekends, but because of the incessant rain we hadn't been for a while (who wants to pet a wet dog?). However, when the sun broke through the gray, I put his railroad train neckerchief on his collar, attached his photo ID tag, and we hopped into the car to head south. Dover gets very eager when I deck him out in his finery and can hardly wait to get on with the visit. We arrived, got on the elevator and pushed the button to the second floor; we shared the ride with a staff person who told us about how she had recently lost her own dog - aged 20!  

The elevator door opens into a moderate sized common area. Usually only a few people are sitting here watching TV, but this day we stepped into a crowd of about 30 people gathered to enjoy two women (and a guitar) who were singing catchy and familiar songs. No sooner had we taken a step out of the elevator than - without skipping a beat - these women launched into "How much is that Doggie in the window." It was a big hit. Dover sat down and watched the action; he sensed the festive atmosphere and was quite fascinated by the guitar as he had never seen one before. All hands reached out to pet him. Petting techniques vary from person to person: Some apply the whole head, two handed deep massage - roughing up his head, his ears and his chin; some pet him and stare off remembering past dogs; some knuckle him because their hands don't open; some dart a hand out and give him a singe pat; some stare and give an imperceptible shake of the head indicating they don't want to pet him; and some just never stop stroking him from head to stern and it is difficult to figure out how to move on. There are four questions I am asked over and over. How old is she? Is she a boy or a girl? What kind of dog is Dover? How much does he weigh? 

The show ended and we made our way down the hall. We stopped by one room to visit a person who likes Dover. She opened her eyes, but she was tired and just watched me - never moving. I mentioned that I wasn't sure when to come - I didn't want to come too early because of lunch, or too late because of supper. After a pause she looked at me and said "You caught me napping!" She still never moved, but there was a little glint of laughter in the corner of her eyes. I had Dover do a little trick for her and said we'd be back.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another great iPad spelling correction

This is a briefy: I was emailing a friend about my availability to set up a meeting, and wrote (unbeknownst to me) that I might be away for a week in lulu.
Dover figures it out!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ticks and tea

Our reading group went out to lunch to mark the end of the year and to celebrate the friend whose house we gather in. Our meetings are spent in conversation, drinking tea or coffee, eating chocolate and the various vehicles it comes on, and enjoying the view from her window - garden flowers, birds, the occasional wild creature looking for culinary delights, her herd of woodchucks, and vistas of snow and leaves in transition, depending on the season. Our specialies are not sticking to the topic and enjoying each other's company. In addition to a free lunch, one of our members presented our host with a solar waving queen, an object that has to be seen to be appreciated.

Waiting for our eats to appear, a small commotion took shape on one side of the table. One of our members was paying very close attention to a moving creature on the table. She peered down to get a close look at it, and wondered aloud what it was. "A tick," pronounced one of our more authoritative members. We all craned to get a better look at it and freely offered our advice on how to handle the situation. The discoverer of this added member of our party tried to drown it with a little water added over its body but she sadly noted that it just swam its way out after its refreshing dip. There ensued a gory set of tales of tick encounters with the inevitable conclusion that these little eight legged tanks are close to indestructible. One of our members pleaded for us to change the topic, but it was clear that the tick had to be dealt with. Our honored guest got up, gathered up the tick in her napkin, and headed for the door.

Apparently, the eyes of the restaurant had been on us. "What was it?" whispered the inhabitant of one table - eying her newly arrived meal - as the intrepid one-person tick destruction squad came back inside. "Just a tick," was the reassuring reply. "What did you do with it?" we asked as she returned to the table. "I let it go" was the response. "You WHAT????" we cried in disbelief at her tender-hearted action.

Several years ago one of our local restaurants had been driven out of business because one of the take-out orders contained a rat part that had been mysteriously included in the order. Even though every investigative organization, from the health inspector upward, cleared the restaurant, the lurid reports in the newspaper could not be overcome in the mind of the public, and the eatery closed on the strength of those initial stories. I was glad that the customer inquired after the cause of our commotion, and we could unequivocally say that there was no cause for concern, the tick (who lives on ready for new adventures) was of outside origin. We proceded to enjoy our meal immensely - company and food - and we look forward to another year of tea, chocolate and friendship.