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Chuckwagon

Feeding the dogs is always such an adventure when you have four English Mastiffs. I yell, “Dishes!” And they follow me as I pick up their feed bowls. Two giant-sized for growing girls, a medium for His Royal Highness, Micah and a smaller one for dainty Nala…dainty being 160 pounds.

I line up the bowls and pour in kibble, canned rabbit, warm water, all in proportionate measures to the individual’s needs, and stir as they tap-dance behind me.

Feeding order is: Micah, Pebbles and Murphy with Nala bringing up the rear, swaying her head back and forth, moaning and dancing. (SO cute!)

Dishes

Dishes

Well, the other day I wasn’t focusing and grabbed the puppies’ bowls first and started down the hall. “BOWWOWF!!!

The sound would have stopped a herd of stampeding bison, and it certainly stopped me!

Quickly, I retraced my steps, set the girls’ dishes on the counter and slipped Micah’s bowl into his food stand as he bored holes through me with an indignant stare that said, “One more slip like that and you’re out of a job, wench!”

I actually apologized to my dog. The shame. The guilt…unbearable.

Fed the other three and went slinking outside to sit with the cat, Mister Baggins whom I swear was clearing his throat and tapping his Rolex.

Alright!!! Here’s your flaked, wild-caught albacore! Just don’t LOOK at me like that!  Yeah…he gets fed before the dogs.  Cats, ya know?

Such is life at Casa de Muddy Pawz…

Copyright 2016

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Posted by on January 29, 2016 in Muddy Pawz

 

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My Thanksgiving

I have to admit that over the past few months, I’ve been kind of a whiney-pee-pants.  (That is MY noun, and I’m keeping it.)  This has been a tough summer at Casa de Muddy Pawz, beginning with the loss of our baby/guardian/best friend, Bentley, a 4 1/2 year old English Mastiff.  Both cars broke down, one after the other, the vacuum literally flew into pieces at my feet as I was cleaning and the hose bib in the back yard started squirting me in the eye every time I turned it on, and I even backed over the cat food dishes with my Range Rover and learned the true meaning of “smithereens”.  We had the biggest dust storm in a century right after we had drained and refilled our pool, resulting in the largest water bill in history.  I went through a biopsy and surgery for skin cancer, paying for the sins of my youth as a sun-worshipper.  I talked to the real estate commissioner who informed me that commercial real estate wouldn’t be regaining a pulse until at LEAST 2014 to 2016, i.e. “Your career is toast!”  My unemployment had run out and I couldn’t BUY a job.

Damn…things were looking pretty grim.

Now, some good things happened, too, this summer.  I got a grant and went through Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and graduated from their New Media Academy to gain some street cred and increase my smarts.  After months of research, my husband found THE healthiest puppy on the planet in Indiana and flew him home.  Our female Mastiff, Nala (also known as the Princess or the Honey Badger, depending on her mood…) made a turnaround from her fear of men and became Daddy’s Little Princess, complete with kisses and snuggles.  I even reconnected with a couple of long lost friends and made some new ones.  I even learned the definition of “haboob”!  You know…the good stuff!

Yet it seems like the economy has tanked in the good old USA and now Europe is following suit, right down to rioting in the streets.  (More to come…film at eleven…)  People are robbing banks and homes to feed their families.  There enough are droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods to make you wonder if the whacked-out 2012 End-of-Days people might not just have something.  And of course, we’re all watching our president vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard and charging $35,000 a plate (Let me repeat that…$35 grand per PLATE!)  for his campaign fundraising dinner, while telling us about his plan for turning our economy around.  (Did you kinda choke on that one, too?)  Well he’s going to make those big bad boys that have corporate jets pay more taxes, by golly!  And he’s gonna find jobs for our nation and get America back to work…somehow…by golly!  (Thanks, Pres’…)  I’m choking on both dust and politics.  It’s a political haboob…

We discovered that our new puppy came with an intestinal parasite, but we quickly got that licked, We fixed the cars, got a new vacuum cleaner with a four on the floor and cherry-pak mufflers, got the puppy through obedience school,sprayed down the dust from the house, drive, cars, patio and leafy things, back-washed the pool 46 times, got my stitches out, and I even landed my first paycheck in 2 1/2 years doing some independent contractor work.  Hallelujah!

On 9/11 the puppy developed a rare joint infection, collapsed on the floor, and I found myself once again staring at forty-eleven bottles of pills and a treatment schedule.  My dear husband had been beside himself through this after losing his best friend with fur, another friend at work and putting in 50-hour work weeks to keep the boat afloat.  Walking the puppy into the same clinic where we said farewell to Bentley just four months prior was too much. It tore my heart out to see him walking in circles in that parking lot, wiping away the tears of grief and fear. We were both red-lining both emotionally and physically and trying hard (sometimes unsuccessfully) not to strike out at each other through it all.

Micah, the puppy is back on all fours again, but it seemed to be one hit too many.  Generally I walk through crises and fires with full body armor and do my bleeding, whining, crying and blistering post-crisis when it’s safe to fold the WonderWoman outfit and drop it in a box.  This weekend I dragged around in slow motion, spent a lot of time in bed with the Honey Badger and only got up do pill the puppy and look at that damned treatment schedule again.  I hit the wall, feeling raw.  I lost my flak vest and helmet and I even shed a few tears.

I woke up this morning, and sat on our patio watching the sun break over Camelback Mountain, and something in me just…tipped.  I realized that I was looking across a beautiful, manicured lawn with trees heavy with fruit, past our warm, sparkling pool at one of the most beautiful mountains in the valley.  I had just kissed my husband and sent him on his way to work for a wonderful company where he works alongside a man he respects more than any other.  (…and ya know, my husband is very easy on the eyes, even in his 50’s!)  Our two mastiffs were stretched out in that beautiful golden morning light, washing each other’s faces and the sun felt warm on my skin.

There are families who have lost everything…lots of them.  I was struck by a news report of a man who was recently arrested for robbing a bank to feed his family and asked the officers to please take care of his dog who was still in his car.

I have a warm, cozy little home, we have been cautious enough to live within our means, even when we lost our juicy second income.  We have food in the fridge, health insurance for us and our pets, a roof over our heads, incredible friends, two beautiful dogs and absolutely worthless silly cats.  Best of all, we have each other.  We’ve had each other about 15 years now, and are getting ready to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  I took a fresh look around this morning and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for my husband, our home, our animals and our life together.  Life is suddenly looking pretty shiny compared to yesterday.  I took a deep breath and…

just

said

“Thanks”.

Copyright 2011 – Mary Watson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eYAKZ8_dPQ

My Thanksgiving – Music and Lyrics by Don Henley, Stan Lynch and Jai Winding

Well a lot of things have happened
Since the last time we spoke
Some of them are funny
Some of them ain’t no joke
And I trust you will forgive me
If I lay it on the line.
I always thought
You were a friend of mine.Sometimes I think about you.
And wonder how you’re doin’ now
And what you’re goin’ throughCause the last time I saw you
We were playin’ with fire
We were loaded with passion
And a burnin’ desire

For every breath
For every day of living
This is my thanksgiving.

Now the trouble with you and me, my friend
Is the trouble with this nation;
Too many blessings,
Too little appreciation.
And I know that kind of notion
Well it just ain’t cool
So send me back to Sunday School.

Because I’m tired of waiting
For a reason to arrive
And it’s too long we’ve been living
These unexamined lies

Cause I ‘ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I’ve got satisfying work
I’ve got a back that bends

For every breath
For every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving.

And have you noticed that an angry man
Can only get so far
Until he reconciles the way he thinks
Things ought to be
With the way things are?Here in this fragmented world,
You know I still believe
In learning how to give love
And how to receive it.
And I would not be among those
Who abuse this privilege.
Sometimes you get the best light
From a burning bridge.And I don’t mind saying that I
Still love it all.
You know I wallowed
In the springtime,
Now I’m welcoming the fall.For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road
That brought me hereFor every breath
For every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving.

For every one
Who helped me start,
And for every thing
That broke my heart

For every breath
For every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving.

 

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HOPE

The AZ Heat program, combined with Phoenix Workforce Connection and SOAR allowed me the opportunity to attend the amazing Walter Cronkite School of Journalism…and gave me hope for a bright new future!

I had spent the previous 30 years in an all-consuming, successful career in commercial real estate and development which disappeared like smoke in a breeze with the economic downturn.  Friends, family, acquaintances and people I have never met encouraged me to pursue a career in writing after simply reading little e-mails that I had written on life here at Casa de Muddy Pawz with our English Mastiffs.  I fought them all for a considerable length of time while searching for non-existent positions in “MY field”.

Two years later, my unemployment had run out and “my field” had still not gained a pulse.  As a matter of fact, it was flat-lining.  That’s when I gave in and turned my focus toward a new career using my God-given talent with words. I had some college under my belt, but nothing to support a career in journalism.  In my quest for knowledge in the area and funding to accomplish this feat, I discovered those programs and the venue mentioned above.

I’m currently enrolled at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and have discovered that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.  I started this blog site and have already written articles for the Phoenix Police Department and a pet rescue organization in the past few weeks.  I’m becoming “known” and I haven’t finished classes yet!

In my mind’s eye, I’m running barefoot to my house on Mohawk in the Michigan Northwoods with my sneakers in my hand yelling, “MOM!  I learned WordPress and PhotoShop and all about Flickr and Twitter and Facebook and EVERYTHING!”  I wave a brightly printed photo of my new website and squeal, “Look what I MADE ya!”  Of course, she tapes it to the fridge to show Daddy when he comes home.

Except I’m all grown up and I’m waving it at my son and my husband…and I do believe they’re proud.

© Copyright 2011 Mary Watson

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 8, 2011 in It's a Brand New Day

 

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