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Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

            I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. – D. H. Lawrence

 Think Again

I suspect even a big old moose could feel sorry for itself if another male won its girl from him. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I suspect even a big old moose could feel sorry for itself if another male won its girl from him. — Photo by Pat Bean

            While I’ve always accepted, as fact, that animals have feelings and thoughts and can grieve, I might once have seen the above quote as simply inspirational. I mean I agree with its philosophy that we shouldn’t feel sorry for ourselves.

Pepper curls up into a ball, eyes drooping, giving every indication that she feels sorry for herself when she knows she's being left behind. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper curls up into a ball, eyes drooping, giving every indication that she feels sorry for herself when she knows she’s being left behind. — Photo by Pat Bean

But time, and my love and observation of animals, have convinced me that animals can, and do, sometimes feel sorry for themselves. Why not? They are, after all, intelligent beings, who clearly display emotions of joy and sadness.

I once had a dog that showed clear signs of depression after my cat, which had been her long-time companion, died. And my current canine companion, Pepper, clearly shows signs of feeling sorry for herself every time she knows she’s going to be left alone at home. As I go out the door, she slinks into a corner, droops her head, and stares, with her velvet brown eyes, accusingly at me.

Thankfully, she’s a dog and holds no grudges — which is more of a cat trait — and greets me with uninhibited joy when I return.

While I don’t know what Pepper does to console herself when she’s in a Pity-Pepper mode, I do know what I do when a Pity-Pat mood strikes me. I simply think of all the people in the world who would gladly trade places with me – and I realize just how many millions that would be.

Sometimes we simply need to rethink things – like D.H. Lawrence’s popular quote.            

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

  Bean Pat:  Janaline’s World Journey http://tinyurl.com/pskalcm I loved this delightful arm chair journey to visit the Temple of Ta Prohm, and now want to go back and watch Tomb Raider so I can view the scenes in which it was featured, just as I revisited the movie, Master and Commander, after visiting, in actuality, one of its filming sites in the Galapagos Islands. Since the world is so big, and my travels are limited by time and money, I’m thankful for being able to view some of them from my comfortable home. Thank you Janaline.

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            “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”  — Lao Tzu

I just realized this morning that Pepper sort of looks like the dog token in Monopoly, which was always my favorite game piece.

I just realized this morning that Pepper sort of looks like the dog token in Monopoly, which is always my favorite game piece.

Change is Inevitable

            I recently learned that a cat token had replaced Monopoly’s iron token. I don’t know about you but I think it was about time.

I don't think so.

I don’t think so.

My iron went out with the first days of wash and wear. Before that, which was way back when I had growing children, by the time I got to the bottom of the basket that held clothes to be ironed, my children had outgrown them.

The change to Monopoly – a game I played for endless hours when I was a child – was a result of a popular vote to eliminate one icon and replace it with another.

It seems logical to me why the iron was displaced, but why not something more new age, like a computer or a space station, as the new token?

It gives us something to think about. So what token would you have replaced, what would your choice have been for a new icon, and which one do you like as your game piece?

I always play with the dog.

But I can’t think of a better choice than a cat for the new token.  If you own the right cat, or  more likely it owns you, as I have three out of four times, I found them to be almost as companionable as a dog. It’s OK Pepper. I said almost.

Change, I’ve come to learn in my old-broad wisdom, is often neither good or bad. It just is. And it’s inevitable.      

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

      Bean Pat: Worthy of Attention http://tinyurl.com/k8qbk8d  We all like compliments. And this blog reminds me to be freer with mine.

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            “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” — Cicero, 106-43 BC

Maggie, sadly, has left this world. I couldn't, however, have had a better companion to explore this country with than this spoiled brat -- and I say that lovingly, and all who knew her would agree with the description. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Maggie, sadly, has left this world. I couldn’t, however, have had a better companion to explore this country with than this spoiled brat — and I say that lovingly, and all who knew her would agree with the description. — Photo by Pat Bean

Step by Step

I laughed out loud when I read the above quote, which started off a recent Blood Red Pencil blog http://tinyurl.com/m33au3r  that I often read because it usually has a lot of good advice about writing.

Gypsy Lee, Me and Maggie's home for eight years. Pepper was my companion for the final year of my living on the road life style. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Gypsy Lee, Me and Maggie’s home for eight years. Pepper was my companion for the final year of my living on the road life style. — Photo by Pat Bean

Today’s was especially meaningful, as I have completed my book, “Travels with Maggie,” and now want to self-publish it. I’ve not been doing anything toward this goal for the past six weeks, sort of like that person who is just one class short of earning a college degree, but then drops out of school.

Come to think of it, I have two other books I’ve written that went no farther than a first draft. “Travels with Maggie,” however, has now had three rewrites, and I feel good about the content

So I’m going to take the advice given in the Blood-Red Pencil blog to do one thing every day toward getting my book published and marketed. Actually this is a pretty good goal for any project.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: The Wanderlust Gene http://tinyurl.com/nx9qv3m  If you love trees, you’ll love this blog.

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A friendly game of tug of war between Dusty, left, and Pepper. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A friendly game of tug of war between Dusty, left, and Pepper. — Photo by Pat Bean

   “A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.” – Elbert Hubbard

Best Friends

They like to wrestle, too.-- photo by Pat Bean

They like to wrestle, too.– photo by Pat Bean

Most late afternoons my friend Jean and I meet for a bit of chit-chat with our dogs.

I treasure such time with a friend. And so do Pepper and Dusty, who are friends, too.

Everyone needs friends.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Top 10 http://tinyurl.com/pb6ruhe Flowers that look like animals. This is amazing.

 

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            “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.” – Regina Brett

One of the best things about taking Pepper for an early morning walk is getting to see the sun come up over the desert. -- Photo by Pat Bean

One of the best things about taking Pepper for an early morning walk is getting to see the sun come up over the desert — while the moon is still in the sky. — Photo by Pat Bean

That’s My Life

What Regina said is what I have to do, despite the fact I’ve been fighting a sinus infection. I’ve gotten up, dressed up (OK, so it was just a sweater over my pajamas at 6 a.m.) and walked my dog, Pepper, four times a day.  And I live in a third-floor walk-up.

But don’t get me wrong.  I’m actually thankful, because the task of doing this over the past year has gotten me in better shape than I was a year ago. That’s great news for someone who is pushing 75.

Every old-broad should have a dog to walk.

Bean’s Pat: Interesting Literature:  http://tinyurl.com/oqw3gsj More quotes. I like No. 9 best.

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What is Home?

            “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” — Maya Angelou

This view from my balcony is now part of what means home to me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This view from my bedroom balcony is now part of what means home to me. — Photo by Pat Bean

Whatever You Want It To Be

            I spent nine wonderful years living and traveling this country full-time in Gypsy Lee, my 22-foot motor home. Recently I realized that was more years than I had ever lived in one specific dwelling in my life.         

Desert sunsets from my front balcony now seem like part of my home. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Desert sunsets from my living room balcony now mean home to me.  — Photo by Pat Bean

All that time I was traveling, the road felt more like home than any of my former rooted dwellings. This wondering wanderer pondered why?

            The road, I finally decided, with its wondrous sights and beauty, was what I had longed for almost all my life. I dreamed about exploring this country, from coast to coast and border to border, ever since I can remember.

            The hundreds of travel books I read over the years — “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat Moon, “On the Road,” by Charles Kuralt, “Travels with Charley,” by John Steinbeck, “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson, “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey, and many, many more – fueled those dreams.

            Then finally, at 65 years of age, I made the dream come true. I figured I had about five years before age would catch up with me, and I would have to stop living atop wheels, but I almost doubled that expectation.  

And Pepper is part of my home now. I'm a very blessed and a very thankful person. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And Pepper is part of my home now. I’m a very blessed and a very thankful person. — Photo by Pat Bean

          This year I exchanged the road for a Tucson, Arizona, third-floor apartment in the Catalina Mountain foothills. Although I find it hard to believe, it now feels like home. Of course this wondering wanderer pondered why?

            In doing so, I listed what home meant to this old-broad wandering wonderer these days. My answers included: A place with a large bathtub so that I could soak in a hot tub whenever I wanted. This, I should tell you, is the only think I missed after paring down for my RV lifestyle and the road..

            Home also means a place where I can spend a whole day in my pajamas – if I wanted and did not have my dog, Pepper, to walk, but then Pepper, herself, is home.

             Home is a place with lots of books, even if one has a Kindle. Home is my desk and computer, where I can write to my heart’s content.  Home is a place where I can keep in touch with loved ones, and occasionally travel to visit them. Home is a balcony with a view of nature and birds and mountains. Home is a place to bring friends.

            What I now also know is that home is more inside of one than outside of one, and that it can be whatever you want it to be, and make it to be.       

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

     Bean’s Pat: The Road Not Taken http://tinyurl.com/l37f994 Something to think about.

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         “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” — George Eliot

Think all doves do are coo. This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. -- Photo y Pat Bean

Think all doves do are coo? This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. — Photo y Pat Bean

Letting my Mind Wonder as My Legs Wander

            I’m recovering nicely from my broken ankle, but still not up to the adventure of a trail hike. Instead I have to get my kicks from walking on level ground. Mostly, on the four daily 15-20 minute walks I take with Pepper around the apartment complex, she and I retrace the same territory over and over.

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. — Photo by Pat Bean

But each walk is different because of the people we meet along the way, a suddenly blooming plant, an old sight seen in a new way, the variety and activity of birds at the time, and always the varying thoughts in my head.

My best and brightest or most absurd and ridiculous ideas bounce through my brain like a ball in a pinball machine when I’m walking.

Pepper, who sniffs every twig, every new flower and urine bulletin board messages left behind by her doggie colleagues, always adds a layer of fun to the walks.

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

So far she’s never met another canine or human whom she didn’t like, although thankfully she’s come to know which four-footed and two-footed beings don’t want anything to do with her, and has learned to sit quietly by my side while they pass.

Dogs, I’ve come to believe, have much better instincts than we humans

But a smile or a tail wag from any of our apartment neighbors is enough to make her deliriously happy and playful. She is forever bringing smiles to my face.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Like a moment from Midsomer Murders: http://tinyurl.com/d2rrved  A First of May sunrise. I suspect the reference to Midsomer Murders is because there is always one village celebration or another taking place in the English TV mystery series, which is one of my favorite shows. The blog’s title is what caught my attention, but the photo is awesome.

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“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” — Kurt Vonnegut.

Writing Advice

My writing companion, Pepper. She lays on my bare feet when I'm sitting at my computer. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My writing companion, Pepper. She lays on my bare feet when I’m sitting at my computer. — Photo by Pat Bean

I just read an article that said it is better to write tired than not write, especially when working on a major project.  The author, I would give credit except I deleted the article and couldn’t find it again, said, if you don’t, then you often have to start at the beginning again.

That’s exactly where I am with my book, Travels with Maggie. I’ve left it untouched way too long, and I’ve got to at least read it again from the beginning.

I also know that writing tired sometimes even turns into really good writing because the brain lets go some of its control. But even if I have to rewrite the next day, the continuity hasn’t been lost.

Now all I need to do is take this advice.

Recent doodling by me. I make a connection between it and Vonnegut's quote.

Recent doodling by me. I make a connection between it and Vonnegut’s quote.

The truth is I’ve been doing plenty of writing, the past couple of months. Just not on Travels with Maggie. And I’m at the point that I need to finish it, because I can’t move on to all the other ideas bouncing around in my head until I do.

So what’s stopping me?

I keep trying, so far unsuccessfully, to figure it all out.

Bean’s Pat: I’m giving it to myself today.  One of the writing projects I have been working on faithfully is the blog I do for American Profile magazine called Discovering America. I’d love it if you would check it out at: http://blogs.americanprofile.com/author/patbean/

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“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” Maya Angelou

Mind Triggers

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. — Photo by Pat Bean

            I was just completing yesterday’s blog about Willie Nelson, when I looked up from the computer and saw my canine companion, Pepper, grinning from ear-to-ear as she sat in the middle of a devastated stuffed cat.

The dead cat. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The dead cat. — Photo by Pat Bean

I couldn’t do anything but smile. The toy had been on sale at PetSmart, and I had bought it for her, knowing full-well I would pay the clean-up consequences.            And then Willie’s quote about bigoted people not being his friend popped into my wondering-wandering mind, and I laughed, and continued laughing as I picked up the stuffing from every room in my small apartment.

Pepper is not prejudiced against cats. She’s also destroyed a big stuffed dog, a bear, a raccoon, and several ducks. She even took a bite out of my daughter’s Great Dane’s indestructible dinosaur.

Indestructible was the word my daughter used, even after I warned her that Pepper didn’t know the meaning of the word.

They look so innocent when they're asleep. -- Photo by Pat Bean

They look so innocent when they’re asleep. — Photo by Pat Bean

During Pepper and my first month together, she destroyed three pillows and their pillow cases, two pens (the stain of one which can still be seen on the rug in my RV) a computer cord, half a dozen pairs of socks, two of my daughter-in-law’s flip-flops and just about anything else she could get her teeth into.            Fortunately, she finally learned the difference between things that were hers and things that were mine, well except for socks and these days I blame myself for leaving any within her reach.

In the meantime I, or since I moved to Tucson, also my daughter, keep her supplied with plenty of chew bones, chew toys and occasionally a stuffed animal which can give her days of fun, and me days of picking up stuffing.

But as I said, she’s not prejudiced. She’ll chew up any stuffed animal.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Alastair’s Blog http://tinyurl.com/b4ggr4t How to Wash a Cat. I got great belly laughs from this one. I hope you laugh at it as much as I did. Laughter’s good for the soul. And I’m not prejudiced against cats, just for the record.

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    “Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” – Robert Brault

Pepper, who is sitting in the new arm chair I bought for my new apartment and asking me just why it is that I can't take her for a walk. Thankfully the dog walker I hired until my foot is better arrived a few minutes later.

Pepper, who is sitting in the new arm-chair I bought for my new apartment and asking me just why it is that I can’t take her for a walk. Thankfully the dog walker I hired until my foot is better arrived a few minutes later. — Photo by Pat Bean

My Dog, Pepper

Pepper turned one-year-old December 26, 2012. She adopted me when she was 4 ½ months old and weighed 11 pounds. She weighs in at about 20 pounds these days.

I say she adopted me because I wasn’t looking for a puppy, and I had never known a terrier I wanted to own. Too high-strung and energetic was how I looked at them.

My armchair travels today took me to Ushuaia, where I took a hike on the Martial Glacier. -- Wikipedia photo

My armchair travels today took me to Ushuaia, where I took a hike on the Martial Glacier. — Wikipedia photo

But Pepper, a Scottie-mix or so the SPCA shelter where I got her said, took one look at me, stopped running around with all the other dogs in the enclosure, and made a mad dash toward me.  I was sitting on a bench at the time, observing the animals and looking for a cocker spaniel-mix about two years old. But she hopped into my lap, connected her creamy chocolate eyes onto my blue ones, and in no uncertain terms told me she was coming home with me.            “That’s Kenzie,” the shelter worker said.

I now know what love at first sight means. Of course she came home with me. And on that drive, as I sat in the back seat of my daughter’s car, I decided she wasn’t a Kenzie.”

“So what shall we call you,” I asked her out loud. I went through half a dozen names, and when I said Pepper, she yelped “Yow!” in agreement.

She’s turned out to be the best companion in the whole world. I’m one lucky dog owner.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Climbing in Patagonia: http://tinyurl.com/a9x55qk While stuck in my third-floor apartment with a broken foot, I have to do my traveling via an armchair, the one Pepper’s sitting in above. I found this to be a great hike, and especially loved passing through the haunted and twisted forest.

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