Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Mia, the newest member of our family…..

August 30, 2015

Momma Mia! What a Wonderful Dog!

My beautiful picture

Daphne when she was three months.  Now three years….

Thursday husband and I were out and about and decided to visit the Atlanta Humane Society.  There were 12 Boykin Spaniels seized from a puppy mill (actually 38 but AHS got 12).  Since this is a pure breed dog, we surmised that people would be lining up, camping out, the night before for a chance to adopt these beautiful (and un- socialized….they had been isolated in pens and cages for years) doggies.  I love Boykins, but I am not going to pitch a tent and sleep on concrete at my age.  We have a very nice discussion with a lovely Shelter employee, and we expressed interest in taking an older dog.  She thought we would be great Boykin owners (having a Field Spaniel, Sparky, who died the first day of spring, 2011 of cancer.)

But we would have to wait months until these dogs were adoptable.

Three years ago we had good luck at the Fulton County Animal Shelter.  That’s where we adopted a brown and spotted, green eyed German Shorthaired Pointer, Daphne. Three months old.  That was the name they gave her and that was the name we would have named her anyway.  We had a wonderful “Daphne” for 13 years, a street puppy, who made her way up and down Little Five Points….visiting all the bakeries and shops for a few weeks.  I took her home and Daphne and I weathered “That Winter of Divorce”. Many years ago, thankfully. She died peacefully at home at 13.

Daphne and her sister were dropped at an exit off I85.  They were tiny puppies, no bigger than a bread loaf.  I walked in, looking actually for a wiener dog: we had one, Hedwig, a few years before.  But there was Daphne (her sister was already adopted).  We locked eyes, and  two days later she was home with us.

So …, we found Mia.  We actually overlooked her, and because I don’t know much (or anything really) about pit bulls, or ‘bully dogs’….I wouldn’t have considered her for adoption.  We have cats and other dogs.

As we were leaving, a FCAS employee asked us if we had seen Mia.  She had been there for over 4 months, and no one had adopted her.  And she wasn’t a pit bull.  She is a Staffordshire Pit Terrier, 4 years old, pregnant and with heartworms.  They spaded (and aborted the pups) and apparently the staff fell in love with her.  She was found in an industrial area in SW Atlanta, about 7 miles from our neighborhood.  She probably had at least two litters before she was rescued. She also had some scars, some of them burn marks, perhaps a cigarette pressed against her neck.  She is afraid of doorways and men.  We are sure she was abused, but  aim to overcome those memories with love and patience.  She certainly deserves it.

She is a Lamb. The employee called her name, and all the other dogs in the pen rushed forward. barking and wanting attention.  Mia sat back and just quivered.  She had learned her name but she wasn’t a pushy dog.  In a shelter with 371 dogs, I am sure the staff appreciated her behavior and attitude.

I did some research on English Staffordshires, (she is not as large as the American Staffordshires.. (The English are smaller) and they are considered the “Nanny Dog” in England, and the most popular dog in that country.

Further, they are extremely loyal to their families (humans) good with babies and children, ignore cats and generally good with other dogs.  They are silly, intelligent , the clowns of the dog world.

What could go wrong?

Nothing.  Mia has been very sweet to the cats in the first few minutes in the front yard, where she was poked at by a number of bold pusses, and showed no aggression.  The usual in presenting a new dog is at least a few nips and snarls, but she has disarmed them with her personality, which I must say is better than a couple of our dogs.

She smelled faintly of the shelter, so I got in the new shower and she came in slowly.  This was amazing  because our other dogs would have broken down the shower just because they could. Mia soaped up with shower soap and acted like this was Not her first shower. She was better than my son at the same age.

Mia gets heartworm meds twice a day.  For thirty days, and then she gets two injections. Then she must have bedrest and a slow pace for another month.  Other wise, the heart worms can break up in the heart, travel to the lungs and clots can fast develop.

So, Mia got in a couple of  TV  watching hours last night after her shower.  She really was watching the screen.  And, she can jump on the couch and arrange herself for comfort on the pillows.

In a world of turmoil  there is little you can change. We found  we can change the path of smaller concerns, animals in particular.  Yes, it is generally gut twisting when they die, but the love they give is unconditional.  We can  learn from their example, especially in this unconditional love thing.

Husband’s phone camera didn’t transmit the photos of Mia, so I had to search out Google for a picture of Mia.  Close enough, except Mia has a ribbon of white down her head, and is prettier.

When I first saw her, I thought she was as ugly as Satan.  I guess you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Now? She is flat-out beautiful to me.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2015

‘The Peace that Surpasses All Understanding’, Part 3

August 29, 2011

Getting tired of this title?  WOOF!

Well, perhaps I can finally use this quote  closer  to its meaning.

We went to the Unitarian Universalists Congregation this morning. We have been one other time, about a month ago, and were really moved by the service. It was on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War: not blue, not gray, but a musical tribute to all who suffered and died.  Perhaps only the UUs could  walk this path between the North and the South.  And it wasn’t about Slavery, either.  It was about humanity embroiled in a conflict that is still shaking our nation today.

But this morning was of a very different theme.  I didn’t check, because I wasn’t sure we were going to make it.  Both husband and I were snarly the day before, and putting aside our insults and hurt feelings  was almost asking too much:  it seemed  a lot of effort to go and sit amongst strangers.

We are glad we made the effort.  It was the annual “Blessing of the Animals” service and the place was full of dogs, cats, a Japanese fighting fish in a tupperware bowl, and a rooster.

Music holds a lot of weight with the UUs, and this service was no exception.  “Puff The Magic Dragon”, “Waltzing With Bears”, “Home On The Range”, “I Wanna be a Dog”, “Spirit of Life” and “All Creatures of the Earth and Sky” pretty much rounded out the musical offering.

Actually, it was a LOT of fun, and really very moving.  I think it took suspending the ego for many of us:  “Waltzing With Bears” was hilarious and “Home On the Range”, projected on a large screen overhead brought both us to tears.  Ok, it brought me to tears, the Great Stone Face doesn’t cry much (any) in public.  The lyrics are tender and moving, something we forget about  this song, yet there on the screen, with a background of incredible Western beauty, well,  it was something that stirred us both.

There were fewer cats there than I would have liked, and those  there crated, poor pussies.  Some dogs howled during certain songs, especially on the refrains, and the Rooster?…well, he crowed in all the right places.  I thought  maybe someone had a very good recording of a rooster and were playing tricks, but I was assured by the lovely woman next to me “the rooster was here for the blessing last year.”

There were no dog fights, just a few overly friendly attempts to make friends, and a couple of half-hearted snarls. Watching the dogs was a treat.  A young German Shepherd was the model of discipline, sitting or asleep quietly at his owner’s feet, the numerous Standard Poodles– an elegant addition to the morning, the beagles, as beagles do, fell asleep, the Goldens looked happy, eager to please, the pugs looked…..bored.  We were amazed how well behaved our canine (can’t say anything about the fish) friends were in such a potentially stressful environment.

We were thinking of what dog we could have brought (the cats  are atheists). Gally, the big Shepherd/Hound mook at 80 lbs is well trained to sit and lie down, but this would have been too much temptation.  Merlin, the mostly- Golden, is fiercely protective and growls and might snap. Laddie the almost- cocker is totally deaf, so he has this piercing bark:  He would start a riot with his alarm.  We realized  the only dog we could have brought was our Sparky, our English Field Spaniel, who died of cancer June 20th this year.  He was a gentleman, such a good example of his rare and intelligent breed, but he was planted out in the front garden under an old boxwood.  His loss to us, especially this morning, brought me to tears.

This is such a different entry…considering the last two other “The Peace…” offerings…but this morning the Blessing of the Animals went exactly where it should have gone: straight to our hearts, opening a pathway to memories and further compassion.  I also got a good tip on a Standard Poodle breeder not far from our home.  My husband is groaning, and puffing on his inhaler but there is no better balm to grief, (and my grief in losing Sparky so suddenly went deep) than another animal to wrap your arms around. 

Of course some would call me a hoarder: 12 (kittens, thrown over the fence at various times) and then cats who have been with us  for  15 years, they are not just cats…they are treasured members of our family.  My dear husband’s nose hasn’t stopped dripping for 26 years but his shots are helping nicely here.

Today was a wonderful example of compassion, charity and love. Seeing the care  people expressed with their animals, and seeing the pianist with his pug in his lap while he played, well, it was a lovely morning.

Even unto the least, which I guess would have been the goldfish in tupperware, the message was loud and clear.  Extending our love to other species is natural and good: we aren’t the only ones who live on this Earth.

We are enjoined in love. Or should be.


Lady Nyo

Willow, April 4th, 2000-May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010


We buried our Willow  this morning after a  6 week  illness with a staph infection.

Where this came from, out of the blue it seemed, has thrown us into confusion, but the end result was a cat that didn’t seem sick until the last two weeks.  Apparently there is a super strain of staph (which lives on all of our skin) that doesn’t respond well to penicillin or amoxicillin and we had to keep changing his meds.

We got Willow when he was only 4 weeks old, a tiny, fiesty kitten in a garage who hissed at my attempts to pick him up.  He fast became my favorite cat and he knew he was very, very loved.  He had a habit of running up on our bed and lying next to your face, putting out a paw and tapping you on the cheek or nose.  He was full of kisses, shoving his nose into yours, which I guess is a cat’s way of kissing.

This weekend we let him go outside, and he promptly went over the fence to our neighbors.  It rained heavily yesterday morning, and we found him under my husband’s truck.  He was no fool about rain and came home.  He hasn’t been able to keep anything on his stomach for two weeks and every attempt we made to feed him came back up in a few hours.  There comes a time when you know you are working against something you can’t beat, and last night was that moment.  We both said our goodbyes to Willow Boy, Fat Boy, and went to bed with heavy hearts.  I kept listening for him to groan or moan but he was silent.

This morning  at 6:oo I went looking, hoping that Willow had died in the night and was at peace.  He did, and looked like he was sleeping.  I  dug his grave yesterday evening, and the English Heritage rose is full of blooms right next to his grave.

With all the important issues in the world, perhaps this is of very little merit.  But Willow was a part of our family for exactly 10 years and he knew his worth. He can not be replaced and he knows it.

We have other cats, and they have been shuffled off to a different part of the house while Willow was so sick.  Right now they are swarming my feet, sitting on my desk, bed, wingchairs and are so full of life and love, well, Willow will be sorely missed in our lives, but the living calls to us in loud meows.

I’m posting this and going back to bed.  I need to grab as many cats that will stay with me right now because I need their warm fur around me.   I know this sounds stupid and maudlin but sometimes life throws things that just tears your heart out and upsets expectations.  Willow was the one cat  I never thought would go so young.  He was my bed-lump and I miss him already.

Lady Nyo

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