Doggin’ It!

I do not try to disappoint
Or mean to disobey
There is no reason you’d suspect
I’d go another way
For we are born to what we are
With choices we must make
I see no point in taking sides
I see no sides to take

~John McCutcheon’s Bird Dog

‘Could I possibly meet Jack,’ I said.  ‘We could come on Sunday, ‘ I said.

…Jack has been with us ever since that day.  He was impossible not to love.

You see, our senior girl, Lady-Jane passed away about ten months ago and her passing was heart-breaking as she became quite ill with an awful infected lump on her haunch – after never being sick a day in her life….

Well, we now have a new pup and heading, head first into another decade and a half of fur-face lovin’.  This guy’s name is ‘Jack’.  He is hilarious and goofy and very loving and, yes, even chill, at times.

Jack was listed on Kijiji, the same way we adopted Lady-Jane, actually.  Unbeknownst to my friends, I had been perusing the Kijiji re-homing ads for several months.  This time I wanted a goof-ball dog.  No more of this big pointy ears and pointy wolfish snout.  Lady was a fabulous girl, (as were Delta and Grizzly before her) but, almost daily she scared the bejeezus out of people and other dogs.  She was just so ‘ON’ it protection wise.

Jack, on the other hand, has had Acadia U. students at my door to just pet him for a minute.  Folks have said things like, ‘Thanks, I needed that!’ after running their hands through his puppy fur and, burying their face in his fur and smelling his puppy smell.  Other friends have received the exuberance of a four foot high jump, so excited was Jack to meet them!

Jack is a black standard golden-doodle who was being trained to be a PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) service dog.  Unfortunately for the PTSD folks, he failed his trials.  ‘Too bouncy’ was the verdict.  So after being with the breeder in Montreal for four months, he then went to the trainer for two months in Halifax.  Now he is with us in Wolfville.

We have loved him since the moment we met him. He comes to my office with me and is settling in very nicely.  Here’s a picture of him on the couch (no other dogs have been allowed on the couch), splayed out in the reverse flying frog posture – letting it all hang out – throwing caution to the wind.  Just so chill.  I felt very pleased to see this.  He is AT HOME and he knows it.  He is with us for his fur-ever.

It is wonderful to have a fur-head again.  He has brought much joy.  One young student, while petting Jack at my office door said, ‘Dog’s are here to love us, you know’. Wow.  Isn’t that the truth.

can hat marti

He has gone for the snip.  He thought he was going to the ‘tutor’.  Turns out, he was going for the ‘neuter’! He was very very tired afterward and then it was ‘the cone of shame’ for a few days.  All went well and now he is back to being his goofy self, lying beside my chair awaiting his next soft hand, or treat or walk.

By the way, Jack has his own Instagram account.  He’s pretty funny: @jackthewolfvilledoodle check him out!

(All photos are mine).

Prune Juice & Pregnancy (1999) 😳

Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid….
~Smash Mouth.

At eight months pregnant, my friend Nancy asked me if wanted to go on a road trip with her to her hometown of Virginia Beach from Leesburg, some four and a half hours away. It was summertime, her two girls were out of school and she wanted to take them down to see their grandparents.  We piled into her SUV with snacks and a cooler of drinks, including my ever present bottle of prune juice.  You see, at that time, I had been told that one of the keys to a healthy pregnancy was to ensure a daily movement…of… well, the bowels.  Always a sucker for health tips, I grasped onto said tip and sure enough, I would have a glass of cool prune juice every morning of my 270 day pregnancy term (I haven’t touched it again, since).  Keeping that in mind, when I awoke on the second day of our trip and being out of routine, forgot to take my beloved prune juice, I was more than a little worried by mid-morning when nothing had, as of yet, moved.

Nancy was a nurse.  She understood my worry.  She asked her youngest daughter, Kerry, to bring me a glass of prune juice.  We were seated on the patio, just taking a break after a stroll around the neighbourhood.  Out comes eight-year old Kerry with quite a large glass of prune juice.  Where I would normally have about four ounces, this was more like ten.  Feeling rather touched to be served, I graciously accepted Kerry’s offering and, what the hell, drank it down, hearing Mom’s voice in my head: Waste not, want not, Morgan.

Not long thereafter, Nancy offered to take all of us for a walk on Virginia Beach, about 20 minutes away.  We again all got into her vehicle and off we went.  Nancy was pointing things out all the way with a look of nostalgia on her face: there was her old school; her old shopping area; her old hangout; her old favorite fast-food joint; her friend’s house.  I could feel the vibes of her memories and could almost see a youthful Nancy running along beside us as we slowly toured the neighourhood.

Onto the highway next and up the ramp and over the bridge.  Suddenly, my bowels started to feel odd.  I must be imaging it, I thought.  Everything is fine.  Everything is fine, I thought.  Next, out seeped a silent but deadly one with the automatic instantaneous human reactions: windows rolled down; four noses into the clean wind; worried eyes; hands over mouths.  Sorry, sorry.  I seem to be having a reaction to something. I told Nancy and the girls.

My guts churned and roiled and tiny stink-bomb expulsions continued. A few miles later I was bent in two holding my very pregnant middle.  Which was difficult in itself. It was like bending over at basketball.

Oh my god Nancy, I have take a dump right now!!!

Nancy told me to hang in there and to let her know when it was a true emergency.  She clearly did not understand.  My pants would be soiled in a matter of minutes if I didn’t get out of the vehicle and onto a toilet.  All I could see out the windows though, was a guard rail and what looked to be a fairly seedy area of the city.

This is truly an emergency, Nancy.  I see an Arby’s.  Can we go in there?

By this time I wasn’t talking very clearly because I had every part of my anatomy CLENCHED.

Nancy said, Morgan, that’s a really bad part of town.  Are you sure?

Yes, Nancy.  Hurry!

Nancy pulled in and out I got, walking funny into the Arby’s due to my full-body CLENCH coupled with my huge baby belly.  I found the Lady’s room which was just inside the door.  In I went and closed and latched the door.  Maternity pants down and onto the cool toilet seat.  What happened next was not pretty.

A bomb went off into that toilet bowl.

At that point, the couple of other ladies who had been in the bathroom, made a hasty departure with an OH MY GOD, just outside the door.  I can hear you. I thought. Whatever, I had to get this out.

I was on the toilet for a few more minutes and was feeling a whole heck of a lot better. Washing well then waddling out of the Arby’s, there was Nancy with wild eyes, her driver’s side window cracked open pushing coins out to a Rastafarian-looking guy who was obviously quite down on his luck.

Jenny unlocked my door and I hopped in and off we went to the beach.

“Shit happens,” I thought.  It sure does.