Dog Training in THE DOOR

9/11 is almost over. Self is sick. She stayed in bed all day, reading The Door.

Magda and her husband find an abandoned puppy and take it home. Emerence, the housekeeper, becomes a completely different person with the dog: she is loving, she is affectionate.

Which reminds self of that long-ago time when her two beagles were still alive. She trained them to SIT.

Someone later told self that if she just raised a finger, the dogs would sit. She didn’t need to say the word. And that was when self realized that every time she said the word SIT, she raised her index finger.

lol

And that person was absolutely correct! Beagles would sit if she just raised her index finger!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Gone But Not Forgotten 2: This Week’s WordPress Photo Challenge

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, we’re asked to commemorate what’s “gone but not forgotten.”

Straw Angels: They were a present from Ying, who passed away Sept. 11, 2008.

Straw Angels: They were a present from Ying, who passed away Sept. 11, 2008.

Self has a lot of doggie tree ornaments. Once upon a time, she had two beagles.

Self has a lot of doggie tree ornaments. That’s because, once upon a time, she had two beagles.

This last photo shows a bench next to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Self has passed that particular bench so many times. She only noticed the sign on the bench a month or so ago.

Memorial Bench, Stowe Lake, Golden Gate Park

Memorial Bench, Stowe Lake, Golden Gate Park

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Endurance: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ENDURANCE.

Show us what endurance means to you. Is it that high-school diploma, beads of sweat earned on a long run, a treasured family heirloom, or something else entirely?

Street Vendor, South Super Highway, Manila: That smile. Wonder how much money he makes selling from car to car when the traffic stalls. Warrant ya, NOT MUCH.

Street Vendor, South Super Highway, Manila: That smile. Wonder how much money he makes selling from car to car when the traffic stalls. Warrant ya, NOT MUCH. Still, he endures.

Gracie dozes -- Self missed spending time with her when she started traveling. Adopted at 1 yr. old, she passed away three years ago from complications of diabetes. But she had the biggest, bravest heart.

Gracie dozes — Self missed spending time with her when she started traveling. Adopted at 1 yr. old, she passed away three years ago from complications of diabetes. But she had the biggest, bravest heart. She endured self’s long absences.

Mount Kanlaon: Still active, after thousands of years. It's in the center of Dear Departed Dad's home island of Negros, in the central Philippines.

Mount Kanlaon: Still active, after thousands of years. It’s in the center of Dear Departed Dad’s home island of Negros, in the central Philippines. Its mystery only seems to grow, with each of self’s succeeding visits to Negros. It endures.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Contrasts 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Today, to illustrate this week’s Photo Challenge Theme (“Contrasts”), self decided to focus on PAIRS.

Self and The Man, a Year or Two After They Were Married, a Year Before Son Was Born

Self and The Man, a Year or Two After They Were Married, a Year Before Son Was Born

Once upon a time. self had two little beagles, and their names were Bella and Gracie:  Gracie, the younger, died first, in 2011.  Bell reached the great old age of 17 dog years, and died last October.

Once upon a time. self had two little beagles, and their names were Bella and Gracie: Gracie, the younger, died first, in 2011. Bell reached the great old age of 17 dog years, and died last October.

Classic:  The Man took this picture of Self at the San Diego Zoo.  She was 22 or 23.

Classic: The Man took this picture of Self at the San Diego Zoo. She was 22 or 23.

The Garden in Fall

Missing one very important ingredient . . .

The hollowed trunk of a Philippine tree . . . had it shipped from the Philippines

The hollowed trunk of a Philippine tree . . . had it shipped from the Philippines

DSCN2839

Bella . . .

She was ready. She must have spent the whole summer preparing, her sleeps getting longer and longer and longer.  The Man said she still ate all her breakfast that morning.

She was ready. She must have spent the whole summer preparing, her sleeps getting longer and longer and longer. The Man said she still ate all her breakfast that morning.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Aspiration

Noun:  Goal; desire; something one wishes to achieve.

e.g. Marco, whose lifelong aspiration was to be the number one seat violinist in the orchestra, was left thinking only about sabotage when it was announced the young prodigy would be assuming the premiere position.

Bella the Beagle, aka “The Ancient One”, who entered our lives in 1996 at six months of age, died a few hours before self’s plane arrived from the Philippines, in the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 14. The Man found her when he got home from work, a little before five.  She was still warm.  It seemed she had died peacefully, lying in the warm sun on the deck.

Oh, woe!

Self was quite overcome to think she had missed seeing Bella alive, by just a few hours.

Self’s other beagle, Gracie, died in April 2011, so Bella had two more happy years with us.  When Gracie was alive, she was completely cowed and submissive.  When Gracie passed away, she began to get a little assertiveness back (We adopted Gracie when Bella was about four years old, and Gracie was far more rambunctious, and completely stole the show).

The Ancient One Peruses the Backyard.  A year ago, self predicted 2011 would be her last Christmas.  As it turned out, self was too much of a pessimist.

The Ancient One Peruses the Backyard.  Self predicted 2011 would be her last Christmas. As it turned out, self was too much of a pessimist.

Bella the Beagle:  Sept. 30, 1995 to Oct. 14, 2013

Self’s eyes are pretty swollen right now.  It was an exhausting trip. Started 3:50 pm in Bacolod, included a five-hour layover in Manila which stretched to 8 hours, and then a 12-hour flight.  She got in at 11 p.m.  The Man has to wake up at 5 a.m. to get to work.

But when she was reading her e-mail, she saw a letter from Waccamaw accepting her story “Bridging.”  This was a story she wrote while in Hawthornden, June 2012.  Towards the end of the month, she and the other writers decided to have an informal reading of works-in-progress.  The story self read was “Bridging.”  It was only about 8 pages at the time; in August, when she last worked on it and sent it out, it had grown to 17 pages.

Totaling the time it took from the story’s inception to its final version, June 2012 to October 2013, it took only about 16 months.  She’s had stories that she works on for six, seven years before they get picked up.  Such a one was “Silence,” which was published long ago in The Threepenny Review, and was shortlisted for the O. Henry Literature Prize.

“Bridging” will appear in Waccamaw‘s forthcoming issue (going live October 31).

It’s only her 3rd acceptance of 2013.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Walk (Fourth Monday of September 2012)

Bella aka The Ancient One will be turning 17 on Sept. 30!

In honor of that momentous occasion, self decided to go along with The Man when he walked her this evening.  Self took the following photos:

Side View! Bella has very gentle eyes.

A Squirrel! If Gracie were still around, she would have chased it, FOR SURE.

A Dog’s Eye View

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

Wednesday in the Park

Stafford Park, Redwood City, during the free weekly concert (Every Wednesday evening through Aug. 15)

The band yesterday evening was called “Caravan of Allstars,” and they were just fabulous.  Self and The Man had hot dogs, soda, and potato chips.  It was cooler than it’s been lately.  There must have been at least 20 dogs, drooling at all the food and making goo-goo eyes at sympathetic bystanders.  Saw one that looked almost like Gracie:  that is, it had her face.  But its body was very long and low to the ground:  a beagle crossed with a bassett hound?

“Only three more concerts left,” The Man said, in a tone of regret.

Self didn’t think about it until she was getting ready to fall asleep.  She must have been in denial because she didn’t respond, earlier.  But indeed, counting off the weeks in her head, she realized The Man was right.

Summer always ends too soon.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Bella the Beagle: Act IV in a Tremendously Long Life

Whenever hubby and self Skype (He’s visiting his Mom in Manila), self can’t help but remark that his eyebags are tremendous.  Well, you see, being in Manila, there are all these opportunities to go out at night and —  Self!  Cut it out!  You know you’re just jeal-jeal because when you were ensconced in Bacolod, you were too much of a fraidy cat to venture out on Lacson Street by yourself at night!  And your most adventurous cousin was off dancing at The Pavilion and you were not invited!  Oh yes, you did make it to Trattoria Uma or Café Uma once or twice, and yes the receptionists were all so worried about you because, as they put it, “Ma’am, you never go out?  What do you do?”  Once, the receptionist told her:  “Ma’am!  I saw you eating by yourself!  At a restaurant!”  After which, self made it a point to only venture as far as Ripples, which as most people in Bacolod know, is not exactly a purveyor of fine cuisine.  But it was too humiliating to eat by herself every night.  Geez, Bacolod is a really really small place.  One night, she attended mass in the Carmelite monastery in Mandalagan, and the next day, at least two different people told her they had seen her.  Worse, they had seen her leave right after Communion.

So, anyhoo, it has been a very peaceful sojourn, it really has, being at home in Redwood City, with the 16-year-old beagle Bella, who every night collapses on her pillow, ass pointed directly at self, the better to ensure that self gets the benefit of the full blast of her fruity, non-stop farts.

Hubby made self promise to lavish care on this ancient, and hubby certainly didn’t need to remind self, that after the sudden and shocking demise of poor Gracie (She died of a broken heart, self is sure of it, because self was so much away), we have only one dog left.  So self bought Bella a brand new doggie pillow!  And she changes the water in her water dish three times a day!  And takes her for daily walks!  No, not just daily, twice-daily walks!

It has come to pass that Bella finds it too much of a hassle to go outside when she wants to “do her business.”  For a week, self had to clean up puddles all over the living room and kitchen.  Until she realized that if she took Bella out for a walk in the morning, and another walk at night, Bella would then willingly do her business, and all self would have to do would be to encase the crap in plastic and then dump in the nearest trash can.

The daytime walks are quite pleasant, but at night, self is too lazy to change, and anyhoo she assumes all the neighbors are asleep or watching Gaddafi get bludgeoned to death on CNN or Fox News, so she always ventures out in — hold your breath! —  slouchy cargo pants, baggy T-shirt (sometimes with holes), and rubber slippers.  But, twice now, she has bumped into neighbors and has had to deliver really long explanations about why it is she and not hubby walking the dog now, and isn’t it sad about the sudden demise of Gracie (Yes, it really is sad.  Self did not stop crying for a month), and have you seen the cat that belonged to the other neighbors, and what part of the Philippines do you come from, and so forth.

So, after stumbling home, Bella is suddenly awfully frisky, and just will not settle down.  Until self gives her a cookie (Boy, it didn’t take long for this creature to figure out how to extract maximum attention from self!).

After the night walk, and the picking up of the crap, and the cookie, Bella is now ready to doze off.  Strangely, it is always at this point when self is suddenly seized by a mad desire to write.  And the stories she’s been writing, these past few weeks have been crazy!  Absolutely crazy!  One was set in a desert in the year 4546, another was set on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center, and yet another took place in Redwood City, in a house remarkably similar to the one self presently resides in.  Yup, self is on an absolute tear (that is, where her writing is concerned).  And just to prove it, her Submishmash account is suddenly hectic with colors:  blue (for In Progress), green (for Accepted) and red (for Declined).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Presence of Her Absence

It’s been exactly nine days since Gracie passed away.  The pain of her absence is huge.  Huge.

Today, self was puttering around the garden, and she saw small piles of dried up crap spaced in decorous intervals around the wooden deck in the backyard.  Self stopped.  And looked.  Forgive self this tendency to dwell on odious subjects.  It’s just —  Gracie loved to be with self in the garden.  On Sunday, April 3, she and self were outside together, enjoying the sun.  Self was reading a book on the deck, and Gracie came right up to her and raised her head towards self, and self patted her of course.  The very next morning, the world went awry and Gracie died.

Self did some calculations:  Nine days.  That poop can’t be Gracie’s, then.  Of course :  It’s Bella’s, the older beagle, the 15-year-old, who amazes us all by continuing to live in good health.

Monday, the 4th of April, was when self awoke to find Gracie gone, or almost gone.  She was lying by one of the sofas in the living room, and there was an absolute mess of crap around her.  So self rushed Gracie to the vet, but even just on the walk from the house to the car, she felt Gracie’s bones dissolve, her neck swaying back and forth, back and forth, and so self ran, ran.

After four hours on I/V fluids, the vet came and talked to self, and self made the decision to have Gracie put down.  And son was angry.  And hubby asked, why didn’t she bring Gracie straight to the emergency room, why did she have to go to the vet, couldn’t she see, couldn’t she see how dire Gracie’s condition was, and perhaps self wasn’t thinking straight, but she knew absolutely that she made the right decision, to end the poor li’l crit’s suffering.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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