Sunday, January 31, 2010

He's the best

I believe I have the best dog in the world.

See him, a loveable gentle sheltie, in the picture with this blog post and on the right of this page (below my profile info.)

Gave him a bath in medicated shampoo yesterday (recommended to me by a dog dermatologist).

He couldn't have been better.

Ears back and his hair completely matted down in suds and water, Roadie took it like the dog that he is.

HE ALWAYS TRIES TO BE GOOD. It's as if he cannot NOT be good.

I know this all sounds a bit hokey, but he's the best.

Now getting up in years (9 years old? 10 years old?), Roadie loves to eat. When I go to the kitchen and get a can of anything out of the cupboards, there's Roadie with his big brown eyes looking up at me. Waiting, staring, wanting...

Even when he's asleep, if I quietly get a can from the shelf and start opening it, here he comes, trotting to my feet and staring upward, tongue beckoning--waiting for a snack.

He loves to be petted. He tries to talk to you when you speak to him.

Really. (I wonder if anyone could ever learn dog speak.)

And that big bushy tail wags when he's happy.

Last week, I took him for a stroll inside the Agape Senior Assisted Living Center in Rock Hill. I had visited a friend, 90, there a few weeks ago, and noticed that she had lots of photos and stuffed animals of dogs in her apartment. She got emotional when she reminisced about her pet, which she could not bring with her a year or so ago when she had to leave her house.

When I brought Roadie to her, she couldn't have been happier. Same with the other folks at the assisted living.

You think they're just sitting there numbly in the lobby without a thought in their heads? Think again. Whenever Roadie approached, a crippled, frail hand would put a cane down and pat him on the head. Or a wheel-chair bound woman wearing a sweater would roll to where he was and gently stroke his fur. Roadie brought smiles and laughter wherever he trotted.

What is there about a dog and human beings? And how does a dog trigger warm memories of our life?

Roadie and me.

Me and Roadie.

Life is better because of Roadie.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Papaw Larry and Lucy Brooke

My first grandbaby is Lucy--born yesterday in Florida.

She came into this world at 6 pounds and 13 ounces.

She's beautiful and everyone is swaddling her.

Can't wait till I get a chance to hold the little rugrat.

Welcome to the world, Lucy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Icy, cold, snowy weather in mountains of Tennessee

Over the Christmas and New Year's holiday, I spent a chunk of time in the mountains of east Tennessee (near the N.C. and Va. borders).

Truly a stunningly winter wonderland up there, but the frigid temperatures made doing just about anything harder and FASTER.

Some mornings I woke up to the outside thermometer registering 6 degrees above zero.

Then add the wind chill (always seems to be breezy in the mountains) and you get a sense of the cold.

It was too cold for dogs or cats.

Too cold for people.

But not for birds or cows or deer.

I saw plenty of them doing their thing outside.

The pictures accompanying this blog post were snapped by my cousin Larry Walsh, a frequent visitor to east Tennessee (specifically the Stony Creek community a few miles outside of my hometown of Elizabethton, Tenn.)

Larry, now living in Panama City, Fla., has plans to ride out the sunset years of his life in Stony Creek (where he shot these spectacular photos.)

Beautiful snow and cold imagery, cousin.

Thanks for the photos!