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My beautiful wife is the Pennsylvania State Foster Co-ordination for the National Great Pyrenees Rescue. For the lay people, Great Pyr’s are very large dogs who were bred to guard livestock. They are also known in the dog world as ‘Gentle Giants’. How did my wife end up with such an illustrious title? After we adopted Clary we were so impressed with the organization my wife decided to give back and asked if they could use some help, perhaps she could field applications and such. And they said, “sure, You are now the Pennsylvania State Foster Coordinator” After reading this and commenting in the comment section below, and of course hit the follow button if you are not already a loyal follower to this blog, you should go visit the National Great Pyranees website http://www.nationalpyr.org and see about adopting, volunteering or make a donation.

Usually when my wife is conducting a phone interview with a potential Foster/Adopter I can be found immersed in the world of the video game Assassins Creed. My ears perk up when my wife gets to what NGPR (National Great Pyranees Rescue) calls the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is when my wife tells the potential Adopter about the traits of a Pyr in order to make sure the victim knows just what they are getting involved with in order to secure a good fit between man and beast.
I can’t help but grin as I listen to my wife go through the litany: the over abundance of the hair, (y’all only think you know about shedding) their need to bark, they are nocturnal, stubborn, expensive, they drool oh yeah baby we got drool! Did I mention the shedding? If you walk them off leash they become a ‘disapyr’! Oh they…dig, jump and climb oh my. Did I mention the hair? Better be ready it’s everywhere.

I find myself wondering who would want such a dog? But then I look at my two beasts and I know, you know, we all know. This my friends brings me to the whole point of this post. ‘What Have I learned From My Dog?’ The following 10 lessons I either learned or already learned but re-enforced by our dogs.
1. There is a lot of shit in life, it works out better for all if we clean up after ourselves.

2. At least once a day find something to bark at, and do so without regret or remorse.

3. I am the Master of my domain.

4. I can yell all I want and it won’t change much. Keep calm, stay strong, take a breath and square up your shoulders. Everything will be just fine

5. Don’t surround yourself with clutter, have a space for everything and keep everything in its place.

6. Don’t go cheap on a vacuum cleaner. Learn to enjoy vacuuming and do it often.

7. Always have something handy to wipe stuff up with.

8. Get up and go out every single day. It doesn’t matter if you are sick, drunk or tired. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or blistering hot, go outside every single day

9. Just because you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it is not there.

10. A little mud never hurt anything.
The following were some of the responses I got from asking the question on Facebook. Both to my friends and the good people at NGPR.
-You have to have patience Dig deep to understand others.

-When you finally figure out what’s going on, it’s not the real story anyway.

-Unconditional love

-Why sweat when you find your stuff in pieces – it’s just… stuff… right?

-Never buy expensive shoes, only cheap ones.

-dog hair is edible

-You can be young all the way up to Your last days.

-Forgiveness, no matter how badly they were treated before they meet you they give you the benefit of being a good person.

-Love is free, give it away often

-How to “rule” non-violently. My Stinson could control an entire pack with a look and a woof.

-Be happy to see everybody.
If you are considering introducing a pet into your family please find a rescue and adopt.

It is not the end of days, but it’s close! I can hear them descending down the mountain. Yes Brood V is just around the corner! The emergence started May 7th in Southern Ohio, and more of the emergence was spotted…heard in West Virginia and here in Pennsylvania on May 11. Yesterday Denyce and I heard them High on the mountains. It won’t be long, perhaps a day or two before the army of Magicicada Cassini, Magicicada septendicim and Magiciada septendecula will emerge on our front lawn.

Every 17 years the brood of cicadas emerges from the ground. The conditions have to be perfect. The soil 8″ below the ground reaches a perfect 64 degrees Fahrenheit and then it takes a light warm rain to trigger the rising. This past weekend we had two days of just such a rain.     

They rise for one reason and one reason only. To Mate! They emerge from the ground and climb the trees where they sing their songs of passion. They sing loud, proud and strong! A group of males can sing their chorus at 100db’s. 

Both males and females can mate several times laying about 20 eggs per mating, averaging 600 eggs. The mating lasts about four weeks After six weeks the eggs hatch drop to the ground and dig down where they wait for another 17 years. 
If you are still wondering what all the fuss is about, we have 11.5 acres the average emergence is 1.5 million cicadas per acre. It is bound to be a very long, loud month.

A Game Of Catch

I saw a YouTube video featuring dogs catching treats in slow motion. What makes it hysterical is most of the dogs could not catch. If you have a few minutes after you finish reading and commenting on this blog I recommend you head over to YouTube and type in the search bar “Dogs Catching Treats In Slow Motion’.

While watching television my wife threw a piece of popcorn to Quinn. Quinn is the most food driven dog I have ever come across. He watched it sail through the air and land on the ground he nosed it around, ate it and came looking for more with Clary on his heels. Denyce threw another piece which bounced off of Quinn’s nose. Clary’s response was the same. The popcorn would bounce off her head and hit the floor where she would scoop it up. Quinn to his credit started to “catch” on. A more pieces and he was bobbing his head and running around with his mouth open hoping this mana from heaven would fall into his mouth. Clary seemed to stick with the “bounce it off the face” method.

We suddenly heard an odd sucking noise which seemed to be coming from Clary. I tossed another piece of popcorn. It sailed threw the air bopped her on the nose and in the next second she opened her wet drooley mouth (which was indeed the source of the sucking sound) in an attempt to catch the popcorn which was already on the floor.

Persistence pays off. Most of the time their timing is so bad it brings us to fits of laughter, but now, weeks and several sessions later they sometimes manage to snag a little something out of the air especially if we aim at their mouths.

One Regret

The day was hot and overcast. I was sitting in the car outside the grocery store while my lovely wife Denyce ran in to grab a few items. Coming out of the grocery store I noticed a young man of about 18 yrs of age. What peeked my interest was his pants which were secured around his thighs. I was thankful he was wearing boxers. I could not look away it was like watching an accident about to happen. He gathered his four or five bags from the cart and started to walk to the parking lot he made it about 5 steps. I watched as he settled his bags around his feet and pulled up his pants with care, not all the way up just high enough to fit snuggly under his butt, he lifted his sunglasses off his nose, presumably to look for his car. Dropping his glasses back onto his nose he re-gathered his bags and started off in the direction he was looking. The young lad took about a dozen more steps. Stopped settled his bags around his feet and once again hitched up his pants, this time adjusting the belt making them tighter against his thighs. I guess it is okay for him to expose his crotch and butt but God forbid anyone sees his knees! As he gathered his bags and once again set out on his journey I am really regretting I didn’t honk my horn as he passed in front of the car.

I’ve been thinking about fire departments for awhile.  Here in the small towns of Pennsylvania most are local volunteer departments all sporting the name of ‘Alpha Fire’ something.  Watching television I noticed every station was also an ‘Alpha’ something which got me to thinking.  Is there a beta fire company?  Maybe the beta guys have to test all the new equipment and like everything these days the new stuff has bugs so it fails and the firefighters don’t last long.  Perhaps that is a secret that the fire administration people don’t want us to know about and that’s why we don’t hear about the beta fire company.  It’s only logical that if there is an alpha then there has to be a beta.  What about delta, is there a delta fire company?  Maybe if you have a small fire, say a toaster fire you can call 911 emergency and explain that you have a little fire so you don’t need the quickness and efficiency of alpha co.  Just send in the epsilon team.  There is no rush it’s just a toaster fire.  They can finish up their coffee, the scrabble game then if they are so inclined they can walk down the stairs, (I imagine only alpha and beta get fire poles) and mosey on over with the ole’ fashion truck and bucket brigade to deal with my toaster fire.  It’s all good.

In the 70’s there was Starsky and Hutch. In 1985 we had Bo and Luke Duke from the ‘Dukes of Hazard’.  In 1987 there was Brian and Richard.  What do all three have in common?  Quite a bit my friends, oh yes quite a bit.  First there were the cars.  Starsky and Hutch had the stripped tomato a fiery red Gran Torino with white stripes down the sides.   Bo and Luke had the ever popular General lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger.  Richard and Brian had the red Ford Tempo.  

 Bo, Hutch and Richard were taller than their counter parts and were all blond.  Luke, Starsky and Brian were all slightly shorter much better looking and all had dark hair.   Now all six are old grey and balding and have sensible cars,  well I imagine we all have sensible cars. 

 Starsky, Hutch, Bo and Luke Duke entered their cars by running full tilt, slide across the hood and graceful as gazelles slip into the front seats through side windows and put the pedal to the metal. Bo and Luke would be running from the law while Starsky and Hutch were the law.

 Brian and Richard?  Well we had a different experience.  Thirty years ago Rich calls me and informs me that we are building a deck for his parents house.  I said okay but thought it was a little odd because we have no experience in such things. It wasn’t like we had the internet where you can learn how to do everything.  There were only two DIY television shows.  One of which was Mary Bellows. I once saw Mary put up a hole in the wall trying to install a towel rack. She fixed the wall by putting a nail above the hole and hung the towel on the nail thereby using the towel to cover the hole.

When I arrived at Richards house he was already in the back yard figuring out where to dig the holes for the supports which would hold up the entire deck.  Richard is one of those go big or go home type of guys.  He wasn’t building a little rectangular deck.  He had his heart set on the mother of all decks with all kinds of fancy angles and steps.  As he was describing his vision to me I asked to see the plans.  He looked at me like I was some sort of alien.  He had no plans but we did have a lot of fun.  I’d be at the saw and Richard would call out the board length we would need, He would be standing with the measuring tape yelling, “Bri, we need one board four feet and a half and two little lines long”

When we first figured out what we needed Richards father ordered everything and had it delivered. Of course when you have no actual knowledge of what you are doing and have no plans to follow, you are pretty much assured what you buy is not going to be right.  As we were finishing up framing the deck we realized that we were going to be short some wood.  So we hoped into the ole’ Ford Tempo through the doors like civilized people and drove to the lumber yard and picked out a few prime 8 foot boards. We didn’t want them delivered because we wanted them now.  So there we stood in the parking lot of the lumber yard staring at the Ford Tempo, the eight foot boards tightly in our grasp and deep in out 17yr old hearts we knew that those boards were not going to fit inside the car.

After assessing the situation we decided our best course of action was to tie the boards to the roof.  The good people at the lumber yard gave us some rope and seeing as we didn’t have a roof rack they gave us cardboard to protect the roof.  Without truly understanding the predicament we were about to put ourselves in we started wrapping the rope around the boards and the roof.  When we were done the boards were not going anywhere. Unfortunately nor were the car doors as we wrapped the rope around the boards by going through the windows.  

The moral of the story?  Sliding into a car through the windows and landing smoothly into the seats may look easy when you watch stunt men do it on tv.  And in ones mind, one may look cool doing it, but judging from the fits of laughter from those around us, the reality is much different.

We purchased so…

Current Date Feb 25 2015:

Followers, if there are any of you left, will know it has been some time since I’ve posted anything on these, or any pages.  I think about writing constantly.  Even with a full life and many changes I struggle to find anything to write about.  And when I do think something is interesting to write about I can’t make it interesting in my head.  So today for the first time in forever I took a look at this blog.  I found the entry below that has been sitting as a draft for three years.  The biggest change since this post is that Sequoia our beautiful Husky has passed away and is greatly missed.  We do have a new dog now who may just make an appearance in this blog, provided I can figure out how to write again.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this trip back three years.  And yes I am checking the flux capacitors.

3 Years ago:

We purchased some new living room seating.  One of which is a massive two seat recliner. The seats recline at the touch of a button. I was worried about having to stand up if there should be a power failure.  Turns out the designer already though about such an event as there is a battery backup.  But what happens if you are cheap and don’t want to spend 8 dollars worth of batteries?  Besides we live in the woods in the middle of almost nowhere what are the chances of a power failure?

The other day I did learn how we would get our lazy butts out of the chair in case there should be a full power and battery outage event.   My wife was on her side of the recliner playing a video game on the computer, half asleep with three of the cats piled on top of her.  I’m on my side, playing a computer game on the ole’ Xbox, half asleep with two cats zoned out on my lap.   The dog is outside on her lunge line.  Suddenly peace is disturbed by dogs growling.  Pressing the button on the chair would take too much time.  I tossed the Xbox controller and just leaped off the end of the recliner which remained in its upright position, my wife was hot on my heels.

When I stepped outside Sequoia was nose to nose with a German shepherd and no, not a guy with a heavy accent herding sheep but the four legged dog.  I’ve got to give the shepherd credit, he stayed just out of reach of Sequoia they could touch noses but that was it.  The dog took one look at me and headed for home.

What is the moral of the story?  We don’t need no stinkin’ batteries. A shot of adrenalin will work miracles in just about any situation.

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