Sunday, November 23, 2008

   This is  one of those days, when the world is so quiet we could hear a snowflake.  It's one of those days made for Gus and me.
   He spends a good bit of time snoozing,
with an occasional trip to and from the
food dish. Since he loves to be of service..
.... or at least THINK he has work to,  I try to  "accidentally" drop a pen...or a piece of paper as he is passing by 
    Because of Gus, I have reason to be a
more thankful person lately, and perhaps I
should also say... rested.  There have been
rumors of a prowler in this area for quite
some time now.  He broke into the house
across the street.....when they were home,
their dog bit him, the man of the house chased him but he got  away.  He  came back to the same house later...and got away a second time.  The deputies have a description of him, but they can't catch him.  He has been here twice...I think.  Once at 3:00 am ... pounding on the side of the house....and one evening around 8:00 pm.  Sooner of later they will catch him.  This is such a quiet area, that to have a thing like this is unusual.  The sheriff has asked for
everyone to keep a watch..
      These quiet days are good for cross word puzzles...and day dreaming and
reminiscing.  I like to think of days gone by, and although I am thankful for the conveniences of today, I am sorry that there seems to be so little of freedom of spirit, in the coming and going of people.
       Today has been a good day.  I have
reached back into time, and made good use of the memories created long ago.
I was born on the Potawatomie Reservation
and marvel in the memories that are   unbelievably beautiful. I have enjoyed thinking of the ponies, and our riding them bareback across the prairie... and the one room school house and the "water bucket" and the "water dipper" that we all used..
    I learned first hand - the love of God.  The love He has for us, it has done me well.  I did however pick up a few superstitions
that I carried into adulthood.  It was a little
embarrassing to face facts........and realize that lightening was not repelled by anyone
who was carrying a chicken.  I wonder if
God smiled when he saw us each grab a
chicken when one of the many thunder storms popped up.
      We had a dog that was half coyote...
his name was "Cye"

The shadows on my lawn today,
Recall - days of the past,
I reminisce my childhood,
I was a happy, carefree lass,
Long ago on another lawn
I sang and played in the sun,
My parents were there and happy
As they watched me having fun,
During the day in the sunshine,
I played with my dog "Ole Cye"
I think he was almost human -
Real friends - that dog and I.
The shadows I see are a memory,
I love them, although I am sad,
As I think of happy days,
I spent with Mon and Dad.

I heard a mother yesterday,
Say to her child so small,
"I missed a lot in life my dear,
But kid ---you"ll have it all"
I paused and reminisced a bit,
Of shadows on the lawn,
I thought again of faithful Cye,
And how we raced the dawn.
I thought of those happy days,
And of the love we shared.
Of all the little heartaches,
My daddy's kisses spared
My mother taught me gratitude, ,
Her heart was full of love,
She taught me then the value of,
The gifts from God above.

When I heard that mother,
My thoughts began to stray,
And if I ever have a child,
.....I know what I will say.
"Love the better things in life,
The things no one can buy,
You need to know the value of,
The birds, the rain, and sky.
Love the things God sends, my dear
The clouds and trees at dawn,
And when you are grown, you'll love
.........The shadows on your lawn.
God bless you  ---  Mary  Patty


Lisa said...

My Dearest Gram...oh how I miss you! I will say is rather gloomy and for some reason I feel sad...your poem made me feel more sad and brought me to tears! You are right Gram...material things mean nothing and can be lost at any time...memories no one can take away. I love you.

Anonymous said...

Gram, this was a beautiful post! I enjoy so much getting glimpses into your memories and getting to savor your poems!

I'm so glad you have Gus with you. Honestly, I have absolutely no doubt at all that if someone were to break into your house Gus would not hesitate to attack. That's one thing about beautiful, intimidating Gus...if he ever errs any direction it will be in the direction attacking too quickly and too fiercely, not in the direction of indecisively hesitating! Anyone fool enough to break into your house would be pretty mangled before they could get away.

I really have been debating how I want to train Gus' daughter, my dear little Ransom. I have considered training her for personal protection, yet, then I question if I really want to do that. Just having the Canine Officer come to our house to evaluate her brought about a change in her. The Canine officer ever so subtly agitated her. She responded by acting a bit like her daddy! Usually I correct such behavior because I do not want her being aggressive, but, last Monday, when the officer was sizing her up, I did not correct. I did not praise, but neither did I stop her or make any move to correct her. Just one time of allowing her to PROTECT her domain...just one instance veering from our norm...left its mark on her...

Thursday, when my mother-in-law and father-in-law (whom she has seen before) came for a visit, she was okay with them being in the yard, but the moment they followed into the HOUSE (where she had been allowed to show aggression to the police officer), she whipped around and began growling a warning for them to keep out. I corrected her, but she persisted in her growling. Absolutely HUMILIATED, after all my ranting about people who dote on their fat, brown, little dogs and do not reel them in like they ought(!), I grabbed her by the first thing I could reach (her tail) and drug her to the backdoor and unceremoniously shoved her into the back yard. A few minutes later, I let her back in, ready to correct her in a more planned manner when she growled, but she was wise to me and this time did not show any sign of aggression at all.

Tons of people have come and gone from our house since the episode when she was 10 weeks old and decided to take on the floor repairman. She has weathered each and every encounter in our home since them with tolerance, grace, and utter non-aggression. ONE time being allowed to "protect" our home from the canine officer is all it took to undo three months of progress. Fiercely protecting is just so much a part of her inborn nature. The apple did not fall far from the tree!

The officer warned me that if we do choose to train her for "bite work" as they call it, it will be a balancing act...losing some obedience/control as she is given space for her confidence to grow...then regaining the obedience/control...alternating over and over again as first her prey drive is encouraged and then her need to obey is addressed.

She is such a gentle dog right now with the children. She mouths her toys gently, plays tug-of-war gently, relinquishes whatever is in her mouth when small fingers start prying her jaws apart. I don't want to lose that.

The canine officer assured me that his working police dog is exceptionally gentle with his own children (ages 2 and 6)...that the two year old can poke the dog in the eye or pull on its tongue and he knows the difference between a child's play and the "prey" he hunted down and attacked while on duty earlier in the day.

Still, I worry. I haven't decided yet. I worry that once I unleash her/give her permission to take charge in an attack situation, that I will have crossed a line that cannot be easily undone if I've found I have made a mistake.

Gus is perfect for you. But, you do not have children...and you need a strong protector at your side. I'm not sure which way I will go with Ransom's training...

The officer told me that he could help train her for tracking so we could do volunteer search and rescue work. He explained that working police dogs aren't ideal for tracking lost children, because they are trained that they get to BITE the prey when they catch up to them...that is their REWARD! So, when an officer is using a working police dog to track a child, they have to really hold the dog back carefully.

I would love to train Ransom to track. I'm just not sure if I want to give her permission to protect or not. It is such a two edged sword...

Nadine said...

I'm glad you have Gus to protect you. It's good to not be alone. I do love reading your poems.