Maddie & Critter Cavalry

Maddie came to us via transport van from a foster home in Tennessee where she has been well-fed, correctly watered and entirely ready to grow.  The Critter Cavalry is the organization that saved her from being euthanized.  She had been found as a stray with a broken ball socket in her hind quarter.

It has been a year since Oreo died at the ripe age of 15–fabulous old age for a dog and she was a charming, loving, sweet dog that to my understanding has just come home in the form of Maddie a 13 month old Anatolian Shepard, Lad, Hound-Dog, mix.  It is uncanny how the picture of Mattie on line just spoke to me.  I had been avoiding getting a dog again for a host of “good” reasons.  And Maddie simply undid all those reasons in the flash of a few seconds.

The foster home she was in had had her for six months and they nursed her through a very difficult surgery where a hind quarter ball joint was so damaged that when Maddie had been found she was never seen to use that leg.  Maddie came with a full Vet report about the surgery, her recuperation and glowing remarks about how she had the most wonderful disposition. The foster family has called a few times just to make sure she was O.K. and to give us the opportunity to ask any question. She had been on a large fenced in property with five or six other dogs.  She slept indoors, in the master bedroom and was loved and nursed back to perfect health…..

…without any obedience training, what so ever, Maddie foster parents have given her everything she needs to be on her way to being a loving, sweet and delightful canine that will visit hospitals and nursing homes and bring smiles to shut ins.

Maddie is such a smart and clever dog that in only a few days she was sitting, staying and coming on command–if on a leash.  However without a leash–she was as wild as Oreo was as a stray puppy as well.  Maddie wants to run.  She tolerates the leash, but if she had her way she would have combed the entire neighborhood by now.

She has been here for a few days and we love her so much…She walks right into your heart if you are a dog-person.  She aims to please, is very contrite if she has displeased you and she sits with at least the end of her paw touching, my leg, of my shoe, of she rests her cute rubber nose on my lap….

I am writing this blog as a record or journal of Maddie’s travels as a result of the incredible love and care that Dick and his wife Anne from Tennessee provided for this dog that was a day away from the gas chamber.  Maddie is a loving only semi-disciplined dog and it is my intension to walk her through whatever training she will need to become a therapy dog.  At some point  in the near future, Maddie will have her own web-page as a testimony to the wonderful volunteers and the fabulous foster home parents who make this entire journey possible….

Thank you for reading and Thanks to Critter Cavalry for the lessons in humility….


Autumn. April & You

There are lines and phrases that you will recognize, i have been reading and playing music and I am so ready to borrow a beautiful line, somewhat like picking a flower from its garden and placing it in a vase by my window seat…..

When autumn leaves start to fall…

…there must be a mechanism in new englanders that is akin to what happens to the trees and the flowers.  When labor day passes, it is as if I lose my verdant color and begin to drop my foliage.  I turn from the many shades of vibrant greens to a variety of reds and yellows and eventually browns and rusts and burnt-siennas.

It take me several months to readjust to my new shades, but in time and with the unpacking of the wools and the sweaters and scarfs and eventually gloves of leather and mittens of icelandic yarn, I remember how to do the season of hibernation that we are aiming for.  I do not like it, especially at the start when the changes feel abrupt and more like a slap than a nudge toward what is to come.  But here and there a day will pop-up from the leaf covered earth and a joy sweeps over my heart and reminds me of my big old playful dog, that would lick my face for hours if I would let her.  It is embarrassing to be loved that much.

She too is gone.  And I miss her kisses like I will miss the kiss of sunlight on my browning body as it and I glisten wet from a morning swim or wet with a sun drenched afternoon laziness that is like no other, except maybe a book, and bread, and fruit under a tree out somewhere where no one can find me and out of the distance to be called.

Summer time and the living is easy fades into a dream, a nostalgic dream of summer loves when I was a teen and the summers had no end and life would go on into eternity.  I used to think the lilacs were always there–who knew it was but a brief season when lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed.

“So here I stand, hand on the telephone hearing a voice i’d known maybe a  light year ago–heading straight for a fall.”  Can you imagine what we would have missed had we both died then and there.  I heard that even Joan lost her celestial summer soprano to her autumn.

The light fades softly into early evenings and soon the air will be filled with smoke from a cherry tree fire and the ash will cover the bottom of the reliable, reginald, wood-burning box; and snow will cover it all with a blanket of kindness–except for what will fall in the drive way to my house on the hill.

And wrapped in a sweater of icelandic wool and memories, I will sit and write–because I can, and because it is a love of mine to write.  And I will grow a fondness for the long dark evenings by a glowing fires near the kitchen where root vegetables scent the house like perfume on a woman’s neck and excites my soul with the heat and the passion of a winter bed.

Claiming that I want for more, I endure and count my blessings–a true new englander am I–fickled by each season, mourning my yesterdays, blessed in my todays, and in anticipation of my tomorrows–

“I am not afraid of autumn & her sorrows for I will remember April & you, April and your smile…..”