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Micah’s on Deck!

Micah’s on Deck!

“Micah! Do you want to go see the KIDS?”IMG_0509

Ears perk up, tail curls over his back and he starts his happy dance and waits by the door to the garage.  I load our “go bag” full of games, books, slobber towels, Dasani water (he’s THAT spoiled…), carrots, brushes and cookies for the kids.

Bag in trunk, Micah leaps in the back seat. Is this the same dog I had to physically lift out of the car at the groomer by his buttcheeks??

Arriving at the protective custody group home I pop on his Gentle Leader, leash and purple vest.  Mindy greets Micah warmly. “Micah! My sweetie! I was thinking about you ALL day!”

Ah! A newborn beautiful baby has arrived from one of our kids! Less than one day old! Micah sniffs along the side of the bassinet, but it’s set too high for him to kiss baby toes, his favorite flavor.

Another new resident is wide-eyed at the big striped giant and cannot WAIT to get her hands on him! Several kids slip off the sofas and onto the floor, brushing, cuddling and LOVING Micah.  The new girl keeps looking at me as if to say, “Is he REAL?  Can I actually touch him??”  She is in awe and I encourage her to cuddle the giant teddy bear.  Another teen who’s been there over two years shows her how to pour his Dasani and the new girl is laughing so hard; she can barely hold the bottle.  “Don’t pour it too slow or he’ll swallow air!”  Mindy can tell the newer kids all about bloat, the purpose of a mastiff, lipomas, where they originated, how they protect people and all the names, ages and weights of our other mastiffs.   Not her first rodeo!

Laying down in the center of the room with his head raised proudly and front legs crossed, he’s telling us that he SO deserves being the center of attention!

“Miss Mary, Look at Micah! He looks like a king! He’s so noble!  King Micah!”  Oh, yes…Micah knows who he is and he’s exceptional at his job.

We pass out carrots and Micah gets a belly full, spotting which fist is holding the carrot with each child.  We play a round of Dog Bingo while others peruse the books I brought. One of the kids yells, “WOOF!” She won Dog Bingo!  She’s beaming like the sun!  Something GOOD just happened in her life!

Right now, they’re just kids playing a game and loving a dog.  Just kids…not abuse victims, abandoned, rape or incest victims, not part of an evil child trafficking ring,  No one in this room will hurt them.  In this moment, they’re not afraid, defensive, lashing out or angry.  Through this gentle giant, they can just be who they may one day become with a little (or a lot) of help. I’m grateful to be a part of the healing with my giants.

A little Q&A period and our time is up. The kids are so relaxed and happy as we pass by the staff’s desk where they’re checking in yet another new broken child. We’ll see you next time, darlin’.

All the kids follow us to the door, some begging me to leave Micah for the night.  Another asks if I can bring Micah on her next visit with her therapist.  A third has a court appointment and would like Micah there to get her through.  I remind them that I’m here for pet therapy, and any other activities have to be approved by their caseworkers and the state.  As usual, I tell them that Micah’s my dog and sleeps with me, so he can’t spend the night. They’ve had enough disappointment in life, but we have to draw boundaries, or they’d climb in my back pocket.

As we hear all the security locks click into place on the door, I remove Micah’s vest and leash, watch him clamber into the back seat and drop with a “harumph”.  He immediately falls asleep.

Rack up one more successful visit with a snoring giant in the back seat for the long drive home.

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Downtown Murphy Brown

A day in the life of Downtown Murphy Brown.

img_6160Up at 5:00, she stumbled down the hall for her morning kisses, still toasty warm from sleeping with her sister, Pebbles and her kitty, ShortBus.

Mom calls out, “Dishes!” Four giant heads pop up and one little fluffy orange one. Breakfast comes early on the day of a Gabriel’s Angels visit, but there are always four baby carrots for dessert. Murph’ waits by the door of her room to be served.

Fed, watered and potted, we make it to the groomer for a 7 am appointment, and Tracy, our groomer calls about 2 hours later and tells us that although Murphy put herself in the tub for her bath, sat for her ear cleaning, the trimming of her britches and mani-pedi (or is it pedi-pedi?), she was NOT allowing the dryer anywhere near her behind and was really stressing over it!

I shot down to the salon and as soon as I got there, Murphy settled and let Tracy finish her up. Evidently she even tried tethering Murph’ to the grooming table, but that’s just carting practice for a mastiff. She can drag the huge apparatus all over the room, and did.

Personally, I think it was the snorting, yapping pug stressing her out.

Home again and time to roll, I pulled out her purple “Go Bag”, topped it off with a bag of baby carrots, two sanitized slobber towels, brushes, trading cards, activities and books on dogs, one purple Gabriel’s Angels vest (size XXXL) and her fancy collar. Murphy hopped in the back of the car, ready to rock a few sad kids’ worlds.

We arrived at the protective custody group home and the teens greeted her with squeals and hugs. Forgetting to read the name that is embroidered on her vest, they said, “Micah’s here!” “No, it’s Pebbles!” “Oh, look at how tall she is…and those big sad eyes!  It’s Downtown Murphy Brown!”

Jess was laying in a big chair, hiding her head, and Murphy targeted her immediately, snuffling through her curls and gently kissing her nose. Jess was on the floor giggling within a minute, arms around Murphy.

“Miss Mary, can I please have whisper time with Murphy? I’ve been really stressed all day.” Permission granted, the other teens backed away and Jess stretched out next to Murphy, tears welling in her beautiful brown eyes, lifted Murphy’s soft ear and whispered what was hurting her so badly. Murphy listened quietly and then pulled her head back, looked Jess dead in the eye and licked every tear from her cheeks until she was rolling on the floor laughing SO hard!

You could almost see Murphy dusting off her paws and saying, “Next!”

Kate asked, “Miss Mary, do you have carrots and could I give her one?” Out comes a quart bag of organic baby carrots, and Kate, who was once frightened of my giants, to the point of perching on the back of the sofa, sat in front of Murphy, gave her the “sit” command (and remembered to say please, as I always do) and put her entire hand in Murphy’s mouth with her “treat”.  I reminded her that 2 months ago she never would have dared that! “I’m not afraid anymore, Miss Mary! I’m safe with Murphy. She would never hurt me! She LOVES me!” (Inside, I’m beaming. Outside I’m agreeing and complimenting her.). “Can I have a slobber towel, please?”  She extended a very slimy hand to me with a giant smile.  I suggested she might want to quickly go “wash her paws” instead this time.

A round of treats, carrots, stories, quizzes and questions and after petting and massaging soft striped fur with their loving hands, Ariel stepped up and said, “Miss Mary, this is my last day here because I turned 18. Can I have Murphy for a little while? I’m really gonna miss her…and Micah and Pebbles, too!” Ariel lay next to Murphy, taking multiple selfies of her face next to Murphy’s to keep. With her head in Murphy’s soft fur, she gently scratched my giant’s chest. Murph’ went over on her back, and the next thing I heard was Ariel’s whisper, “Miss Mary, she’s SNORING! I made her go to sleep! I think she feels safe, too.”

Good luck in the world, sweet Ariel. May you always feel as safe as you do next to my loving Mastiffs.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Angels Have Pawz, Muddy Pawz

 

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Baggins

Mister Baggins

 In May of 2002, I was lifting weights in our side yard when I felt that someone was staring at me.  I sat up on the weight bench and looked around.  Nothing.  No one.  The third time I paused, I noticed two tiny heads with bright eyes peering out at me from between two fireplace logs at the top of our woodpile.  One was black with piercing green eyes and one was white with markings of a Siamese.  Having lost our 17 year-old Siamese, Ness the previous fall, I could hardly wait to tell my husband.

“Rick!  We have two tiny kittens outside!”

“We are NOT having another cat in this house!” <pause> “Where outside?”

“They were in the woodpile!  They must be from that feral black stray.  Come see!”

We scouted the back yard and found no kittens.  Mama kitty must have moved them.  Later, cleaning the windows in the spare room at the front of our house, I spotted the kittens swatting at a thin spray of water from our irrigation valve and pouncing on evil blades of grass.  I called Rick to the window to see them, and he watched much longer than he meant to.

“They are cute, aren’t they?” he said.  “Look at that little guy killing the grass!  Grrrrrr!  Haha!  Well, we’re NOT feeding them.  Got that?  Not!”   (Yup.  Got it, Sir.)

A few nights later I was getting ready for bed and Rick had disappeared.  I looked all over the house and in the back yard with our Doberman, Houston and our Bouvier des Flandres, Tanker.  No Ricky.  I finally checked the front porch, quietly opening the door, as I had a hunch that proved to be correct.  There sat Rick on the bench out front, feeding two tiny, fluffy little souls…albacore tuna…from a crystal dish.  He caught me peeking at him and simply said, “Shut up.  They were hungry and they’re still not coming in the house.”  I sat down next to him watching “Mr. Tough Guy” now hand-feeding the tiny guys bits of precious albacore from his fingers.  Rick then informed me that the black one was to be referred to as Mister Baggins and the white one was Frodo and our front garden was their Shire.  I know when to keep my mouth shut.

Tragically, we lost little Frodo a few months later when he ventured out of the shire and was hit by a dragon in the road.  I thank God I wasn’t home to see it and thank my neighbor for lovingly taking care of his tiny little body.

Baggins learned from the tragedy and now 10 years later, sticks pretty close to the shire.

Oh, yes…he’s still here despite the decree from our faithful leader.  You see, Baggins grew, the seasons changed and it started getting pretty chilly.  One evening as we relaxing in front of the tv with Houston and Tank sprawled and snoring across the floor, we heard the doggy door flap shut.  We looked at each other, looked at the dogs, shook our heads and went back to watching our program.  Out of the corner of our eyes, we caught a black shadow.  Baggins calmly strolled through the living room, hopped over the 117-pound Bouvier, skirted around one neurotic Doberman and proceeded down the hall to our bedroom.  He glanced over his shoulder once as if to say, “Minions, I have arrived.  I am taking over.  Carry on.”   Ya gotta love cats.  They live their lives with attitude.

 A year later, he was pushing the Bouvier aside to taste what the peasants were eating, camped out on Rick’s lap, tap-danced on his keyboard and generally owned us all. 

Dinner with Tank

One evening, a few years into his takeover, Houston, our Doberman was sleeping peacefully in an overstuffed chair that was angled in the corner of the living room opposite the sofa.  As Rick and I relaxed after a long day at the office, we watched Baggins walk into the room, assess the situation and in full kitty-stealth mode, slip under the overstuffed chair.  Now, Houston was edgy at best, likened to a neurotic cobra on Mountain Dew.  One does not poke the cobra whence it sleeps.  Evidently Baggins felt he had the genetics of a mongoose in his kitty-veins, because as we watched our beautiful cobra coiled peacefully asleep, over the back of the chair appeared “ninja-kitty” from the armpits up.  Ever-so-quietly he reached one black paw forward as far as he could…and thumped the Doberman hard on the top of her head, disappearing like a puff of smoke.  Houston leapt to her feet in the big chair, ready to strike, trembling with eyes darting left and right.  Rick and I sat frozen, too astonished to move!  Sensing no immediate danger, Houston once again settled into the soft cushion of the chair and had no more than closed her eyes when Baggins came over the rounded arm of the chair, thumped the Dobie’s skull hard and disappeared under the chair again!  Houston again jumped to her feet in full, fierce attack form…to nothing but air.  After his third attack on the fearsome guard dog, Baggins evidently bored of the sport and marched off to conquer yet another world.

 Houston and Tank went over the Rainbow Bridge and we are now on our third and fourth English Mastiff.  Baggins remains, has brought us three more strays and is neither intimidated nor amused by over 300 pounds of canines. 

 If you would like to meet Mister Baggins, he can be located at the kitchen door at 3:30 pm each day awaiting his dinner (warmed 11 seconds in the microwave), or at 8:00 pm tapping his Rolex and stepping under the noses of two Mastiffs, overseeing the preparation of his evening snack.  If you happen to work late, you can still see him retiring for the night with his attendant, Mr. Tough guy, who will be tucking him into his fluffy bed with two soft blankets…on the hood of his Range Rover. 

Cats actually do rule the world. 

© Copyright Mary Watson 2012

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Muddy Pawz, Uncategorized

 

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