Friday, September 12, 2008

A PG Friday Night

Well, it's almost Saturday now, but you know what I mean. Today was hectic, for various reasons relating to work. I am also dog sitting for the weekend, which meant I had to run home, pack up some things, then hit rush-hour getting to the home I'm staying at. As I was loading my car I discovered that my back power window would not go up. Then one of the lenses popped out of my sunglasses. You know how it goes.

I am watching a black Labrador named Abbie. I have stayed with her for nearly 9 years (she is 11 now.) I watch her for extended weekends, a handful of times a year, while her owners travel. Abbie is one of those dogs that just gets into your heart. She is very savvy. I swear, given a few months of serious tutoring, she just might start speaking English!

Abbie had a small cancerous tumor on her leg last year but she recovered and the cancer has not spread. However, the old black Lab just ain't what she used to be. She barely bounded off the bed to great me at the door when I arrived. Her chin is gray, her body is bonier, and she jogs slower and picks up a pant faster as we walk the block. The sun is golden orange and setting as she sniffs the bushes, probably for other passing dogs or a squirrel.

I have enjoyed my years with Abbie, it's like she's my dog away from home. You all have me thinking again with your insightful and passionate comments to my Thursday "forever homes" post. Dogs are not passed around like horses. Most dogs become a part of the family unless that family moves, has children, or the dog becomes aggressive or develops bad habits. I suppose it makes sense that many people see their involvement with horses as a sport, a business, or commodity, and therefore more transferable than a dog, which is considered a domestic pet. Being an animal lover, I realized that I view all animals as pets, regardless of their livestock or farming labels. That may be an emotional downfall for me. I just get too attached.

When all was said and done, the walk was just what I needed this Friday. Abbie and I get back to the backyard to find ripe tomatoes on the vine. As I pick them, the neighbor lady says "Hallo, she told me you vere coming" in her thick Greek accent. She is having a yard sale and I want to browse but I should be holding a yard sale of my own, not shopping at one. I admire the beautiful sunflower plant that rises alongside of her house. I am doing a sunflower project with my school children Monday and I was planning on purchasing some real sunflowers at the farmer's market to use as models. I wish to ask her for one flower snip, but do not have the courage.

Abbie padding along a head of me, I took the soft tomatoes back to the house. They are a pleasant surprise for this pony girl who has no idea what to have for dinner. They slice up nicely on a bed of warm pasta shells.

Afterwards, as the gnats swarm and gather in the cooling air around the back porch, Abbie and I sit and watch the last of the sun fold itself into the clouds.

Have a good weekend, everyone. Besides hanging out with Abbie, I plan to spend part of the weekend with my horse and I will return Sunday to share my stories.


  1. There's something special about a bond with a dog.
    I used to dog-sit 2 black labs when I was in high school. In fact I was the only one that could watch them when the owners were gone. The female was just too protective of their yard to let anyone else in.
    I took it as a huge compliment when the owners told me that they knew the dogs were happy and well taken care of because they didn't get overly excited when the owners came home.

  2. Cdncowgirl~ that's exactly what Abbie's owners say! They love that their dog gets to stay comfortable in her own home and routines. I don't think she'd be happy at a boarding kennel at all!

  3. I actually missed your Forever Homes post, but it's so weird, because I was thinking about the exact same thing this week. Great minds think alike, PG.

    All of our house pets are and have always been rescues. I don't show, nor do I plan to, and the horses are not a business. They are, essentially, big pets for us as well. This is their home, until death us do part. I made that commitment first to the troubled Poco, then to Jaz.

    This is just my humble opinion, but I think if more people had that conviction, there would be a lot less crazy, unwanted horses. I still believe that part of Poco's problems are due to being sold too many times. Only now will both my horses load first time/every time, I think because they know where home is and that I'll always bring them back here.

    Obviously, horses are a business for a lot of people. But if a dog has problems, most people (us included) get them some help and training. We're patient with them. It has taken us almost 7 years to help our neurotic Dobie. With horses (as pleasure rides, not competitors), the problems are bigger and more expensive to fix, and require so much more patience. Maybe that's part of it.

    I know they are not dogs, but maybe in this respect, we need to look at them more in the way we look at ou dogs.

    Great post, and I couldn't have said it better.

  4. A very fine post PG. Anyone how reads my blog knows how I feel about dogs and horses. For me, all four of my babies are precious. My 2 boxers are clowns that surely make the entire family laugh, most every day. My 2 horses are equally clowinsh in their own ways. I enjoy all 4 and consider myself very very lucky to have been blessed with them.

    My brother (who lives in Houston) has commented a few times saying that my 2 girls (dogs) are the happiest dogs he has ever seen. That, to me, is a huge compliment.

  5. Abbie reminds me a lot of my daughter's lab mix, Milly.

  6. What a sweet looking dog. Nice that you're able to dog sit for her! I know what you mean about the forever concept with horses. DH and I were just having this talk. Have a nice weekend.

  7. Lovely writing. It brought back great memories of our yellow Lab who we had for almost 15 years. They really get into your heart. I will probably never own another dog. He was just too special. I found him during a very difficult time in my life, and became my second "child". His birthday was Sept. 16, 1987 which I remember in some way every year. This year there will be a little something on my Sonbeam Corner blog.

  8. Great post, Pony Girl. I really enjoyed this. Very poetically written and the photos complement your words beautifully. I could feel the love and gentle nature from Abbie. What a treat to be able to share some time together.

  9. Hello there,
    I am new to you and you to I in Boggerland....
    I absolutely LOVE the artwork in your Blog...sometime tell me about that.

    I too believe that I have a deep emotional tie to animals as "permanent" memebers of my life. There are few that don't get under my skin...even when I I maybe don't want to like a certain animal...timing or bad behaviour on it's part..I find myself yearning to entreat it and befriend it...just love it. I would never think of diguarding an animal for convienence.
    I seriously am thinking of keeping my sister's Appy mare, Pantz, now too....she has been with me since last January and she is deeply seated into my heart so far= I can't live with out her sister does not know this yet. But she will!
    Thanks for sharing and you are so talented!

  10. Mmmmm...I can just taste those tomatoes and pasta shells!! ;) I grow tomatoes also, and enjoy eating them sliced up with salt and pepper, or cut up in cottage cheese.

    I enjoyed your post below about "forever homes," but I also think that some horses get themselves into trouble, and the only way(safely)to get out, is to sell them. I guess I am more practical...not always a good thing ;)

    That being said, I would still own Shadest (he bucked, but as an adult, I would have nipped that in the bud), Sienna has only ever lived with Amber, and Bo will never leave us again either.

    Oh...and that hill on the trail challenge that you asked about? It went up behind the waterfall, around it, and then dropped sharply back down again. It was really pretty steep.

    Hey, maybe next summer you can invite the Pony Cousins (down/up/over!) to attend one. That would be FUN!

  11. I feel the same way about horses. They're pets to me.

  12. I love my dogs! All three, spoiled little babies! So Loyal! Love my horses too, even when they are naughty! And believe me they can be NAUGHTY!
    Hey I posted a "few" of my Drill pics. I am working on a video, not sure how to get it on my computer! I'll let you know! I hope you had a great weekend!! Mine was ...colorful!

  13. Very nice post Pony Girl! I don't have my own dog any more and miss it. He lived to be 16. I am so fortunate to have a couple of gals that will stay here at the house with the cats and in the summer the horses when we are gone. It is such a huge help to me to know they are being well taken care of so I'm sure those owners are very appreciative too. Abbie looks like a nice old gal!

  14. you're quite the photographer!! nice shots, girl! :)


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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