Tag Archives: Chani

Ghost Pup

Yes, we have her for the weekend. She can be sound asleep and I tiptoe out of the room and she is at my destination before I arrive. I believe she is done with teething and is going out regularly and has the right collar and leash so she and my dog can walk together at least four times per day.

She is easily trainable but stubborn. Kind of like me. Her family needs to get away so as a neighbor, we’ll take her in.

Do you know that the dog-walking services would cost me $250 per day? That’s more than we would stay at a hotel, buy gas and food en route to my husband’s family home. They stay 6 hrs. per night, two walks, then I add another two walks and I just ask myself what am I doing? I take care of other dogs I know for free, even helped them en route to death. The sister and I had a 100 lb. dog on a cart, taking him out. Years later I still water his favorite tree and visit his ashes.

I’m not called the dog lady for nothing. Oh, I’m also the cat lady but can not be so as my husband is allergic. I just found a photo, used as a bookmark in an old cookbook, of my dear old dog that died in 2001. Chani is sleeping next to her grey cat friend Sam who got into our gate every day to spend a few hours safe in the sun. They never snuggled, but were, as my Aunt would say, “by.” I’ll have it framed and perhaps send it along with a better story. I think even with Zoe we were always “the brute squad.” Mockingbirds never attacked my pup Zoe or Meow Meow (a moocher) years ago with me at the head of the pack. It was more of a daily parade. Cheers! Dee



My dogs never lie. I’ve always kept them on a schedule but they always told me when they needed to go out and it was not to try to kill a squirrel. Not that it wasn’t always on their minds, but after 25 years of dog ownership my dogs have never bagged an SQ. Yes, that’s what we have to call them these days. As is the only ball our dog will ever have, indestructible, a “spherical device.”

Hey, our brains are bigger! Let us use these brains. I like to think we’ve built up enough trust that they just tell us what they need and we figure it out and do it. Sometimes it’s unclear whether they want the ball or to go out to do #1. Other times they may eat something icky/dead from the sidewalk and vomit on our bed. No problem. Six loads of wash here and one at our friends up the street in a huge washer, the down comforter, with a pair of my Crocs to fluff before folding.

Our Zoe never lies. If she needs to go out, she needs to go out. I jump into appropriate clothing for the weather and go asap. Cats lie. I didn’t scratch the other cat, I’m just sitting here minding my manners and licking my paws! “I saw you do that, Mick”. I’m not paying attention to you, Mom, you only feed me and clean my litter box. I never did anything wrong so bring out my dinner or I’ll keep slamming the kitchen cabinet doors at 4:00 a.m. and pooping just outside the box. Cats blackmail.

My children have been four, two cats, two dogs to raise all from shelters, one cat in need of a private rescue. Each one was taken seriously, and individually. Oh, what stories I could tell. I do know that our dog Zoe is a truthful gal and loves us as we love her.

My husband recently replaced a card of mine with one with her picture. Not the best picture, looks like ASPCA and living in a yard with snow and no water and no dog house. Zoe lives indoors, sleeps on our bed and eats frozen raw lamb, rabbit, venison or duck. Our Zoe does go out for 5-6 walks per day. We interact with people and other dogs and that’s good.

When she was a pup my father-in-law said young Zoe could come for Thanksgiving, he’d clean the leaves out of a goat pen for her. I told my new husband I was staying home with our dog. F-I-L found and cleaned old dog crate and put it in my husband’s old room. They ran a dairy and now a ranch. They’ve no indoor dogs.

Zoe never used the crate, slept on our bed. Now she stands on F-I-L’s sofa space and watches out for him coming in from hauling hay or grain or taking out our nephew. Grandpa J pretends he doesn’t like Zoe but she loves him and he knows it.

I can’t have indoor cats (love them) because my husband is allergic to them. I can have dogs if they’re bathed often, which I do. Our Zoe is at the door awaiting my husband from a business meeting. She misses us, but me most because I feed her and walk her. My husband is the “fun guy” so she loves seeing him and she hates to see him leave for work with a suitcase for a week or two. That’s how it goes. Dee

The Velveteen Dog

I’ve been lucky enough to have two: one abused by an official and left in a shelter to die; another as a pup came from squalor and had her hips removed as a pup because they were the worst x-rays her vet had ever seen.

I like to think that I and the people surrounding me made them “real.” Chani would root inside her basket of stuffed animals when she heard a car to find just the right one with which to greet our guest. Abandoned and abused, she was afraid of men and children. Years later she always loved a ball at our park but took out a huge teddy bear I got for $.50 at that very park. All the kids called out her name to say hello when we came around the corner. She said her goodbye’s which I did not understand as she hadn’t been sick, and bled out the next day.

The pup, Zoe was very sick with coccidia and hookworms but they still spayed her at the shelter at five weeks. She was a herder from day one, popped out of the box on my lap in the passenger seat. Still is at age 11. Although she lived in squalor for a few weeks we adopted her at just six weeks of age. I don’t think she remembered her past, even her two hip removals, just us. She has such a sweet personality and everyone loves her. Neighbors from here and all around know her name, not mine. She is lucky to be a dog free of the trauma Chani had.

Zoe has gone through two devastating hip excisings but has emerged still cow-hocked but victorious. Happy, after working with thousands of dogs and cats for over 20 years I must say she is the Velveteen Dog of the decade, our Zoe. She is real, the happiest dog in the world, for everyone. Of course my pup was flawed, why else did she choose Aunt Dee to raise her? And I do raise her. I’m called Otis. I elevate our hipless wonder to the bed every night. As I was with Chani, I will be with our Zoe when she needs to go. Chani was real and built a neighborhood, Zoe and I got a crosswalk installed, they’re both real. Dee

Strong Roots

I just looked at Google Earth to see the tree our neighbors planted for my dog 15 years ago and can’t even find it. I think the haters in the neighborhood planted many around it so no-one would know it was from someone who loves dogs, cats, nearly everything.

A guy in the neighborhood and I had a pact that I’d rescue anything canine or feline, and he’d take in and find owners of anything avian or reptilian, and it worked well. We were on speed dial. I think here people shoot and are asked questions later.

All the trees looked happy and healthy from the above ground view but I can’t pick out Chani’s tree and will have to go there to water it and leave a flower in her memory. Perhaps play Nat King Cole’s “Smile” because she always made me smile and I wanted to play that at her “funeral” when we all placed a cup of water on her tree.

Strong roots, family and helping others in need is always what I do. My dog died 15 years ago. Our new one is 11 and really wants to go to bed. She’s a Superhero called “The Sleeper” and has to start fighting pet crimes in her sleep.

The first was abused by a deputy sheriff and didn’t like uniforms or caps. This one, my dear pup Zoe, seeks out postal workers because she loved Lynn, who still works in the neighborhood and I run into her from time to time at the grocery store. Anyone in blue, Zoe may run up to greet you. Good stories, Dee

Happy New Year

We’re looking forward to one. Today I found out the biopsy is negative and I only need to worry about circulation in an ankle I broke 22 years ago while walking my new dog.

I knew her for a year at the shelter, and sat with her every week. Talk was made of euthanizing her and a fellow volunteer turned staffer told me, Chani was home with me the next day for ten years.

My mother and I walked her the first week on a back road where the asphalt was craggy along the way. We were admiring the flowers and I turned my ankle and broke it. I couldn’t use crutches because my dear Chani had been abused for a year and in a shelter for another. She thought I was going to beat her so I hopped around and did stairs on my behind.

This week was spent writing last wishes for my husband and dog in case I had any type of cancer. And worrying. Today my husband went with me to find out biopsy results. Negative. But it looks like I’m going to have to find support socks that will help increase circulation to clear up my condition.

Chani, this one’s for you! All the neighbors gave a tree in your honor that has a better view than I ever had and now, in addition to your ashes, I’ve another memory of you.

It’s going to be a good year. Enjoy! We had a very elegant dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and are watching a movie. I went out one New Years’ Eve for an hour, parked my car and it was totaled. Wheel sheared off the axle. Police wouldn’t let me see the accident report so it must have been a high government official or his kid. I don’t go out for New Years’ Eve anymore.

Today was a good day. I’m alive and still kicking (in old people socks) and with my family and years to go. Cheers! Enjoy your parties and set up for good new year. Dee