Friday, March 4, 2016

2 in One Again

Yesterday I posted twice because it was SOLC #3 and Spiritual Journey Thursday.  So today is another two in one day, but I'm combining the posts this time instead of two separate posts.
It's Poetry Friday with Linda Baie at Teacherdance, AND it's day #4 of SOLC!   So, it's going to be a busy day of posting and commenting.  My SOLC is first, and the poem is at the end.  It goes with the SOLC, though...

Today is the first day of using a shock collar with my yellow lab.  We have avoided that for a long time.  I just didn't want to do it that way.  But she is a different kind of dog than we've had in the past, and I am a different kind of fragile!

About two months ago I almost fell down the stairs at home, wrenching my right shoulder as I grasped the rail to avoid falling the full flight.  I irritated my rotator cuff, of course.  I've done that before and it takes about a year to get over.

I was not finished with the shoulder yet evidently. I was on my way to having less pain, when last week, I fell going up the stairs in the high school - metal edged, concrete steps.  Again, I was holding onto the railing with my right arm and in falling forward I wrenched the same shoulder.  Back to square one with it now.  Plus I bruised both knees and my ankle when I hit the edge of the steps.  My iPad went flying, but seems to have come out with no health issues.

My week was not over though.  A couple of days later, taking the dog out, I did an "Alice in Wonderland whizzing through the forest with the Duchess" move.  I took the dog out for a few minutes on her retractable leash and was letting her run just a bit.  I tell her to stop before she reaches the end of the leash, so that she will slow down before yanking my arm.  She has been pretty good at it until - she saw a stick (maybe?) just out of her reach and charged for it, pulling me right off my feet.  I landed face down in the mostly frozen muddy and dog poopie lawn.

The dog returned to see why I was not in my usual position of uprightness outside.  I had her sit down and she did.  I waited on the cold wet ground, getting colder and colder, catching my breath and making sure I had all my parts working.  When I was quite sure I would be able to work legs and arms, I told her to stay and she did.  I pulled myself up leaning on her.  For a year old pup, she was a champ.  She never moved, but let me use her to balance myself as I got up.  Kneeling on frozen ground was not so wonderful with bruised knees, but we did it.

So now I am trying to train her to pay attention to me without the leash when she is outside.  She was doing that pretty well in the winter, when there was snow on the ground, but now there are so many smells in the old oak leaves and so many sticks released by the winter winds.  She just can't help herself.

I can just hear her talking to herself as I call her to come.  "Yeah, yeah!  I'm coming... wait, what's that smell?  I never smelled that before.  Yeah, I'm coming.  In a minute.  Just one more sniff, okay.  Wait, what's THIS smell?  I've never smelled that before.  Okay, just a little more sniffing over here, and I will be right back.  I think."
And off she goes deeper and deeper into the woods here.

So we are trying the collar today.  So far she she's been very good.  It's almost like she knows what it is, and has chosen to fall asleep.  That's okay with me.

A Dog in Spring and Me

"Yeah, yeah! 
I'm coming back...
But wait, what's that smell?
I've never smelled that before.” 

She’s off and running out the door.

“Yeah, I'm coming. 
In a minute. 
I think I need more time;
Just one more sniff, okay.”

She’s found a stick and needs to play.

“Wait, what's THIS smell?
It’s something new
It has the smell of something good,
Just one more sniff and then I’m through.”

I only wish that that were true.

“A little more sniffing
Right over here…
Wait what just moved?
Oh, this is great, I see some birds!”

I wish that spring weren’t stronger than words!

 © 2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved


  1. "I wish that spring wasn't stronger than words!" I LOVE that last line. As the "mom" of a mischievous Schnauzer, I was drawn to your slice today. I also wrote about my dog today! They certainly make excellent characters in the stories of our lives. I really enjoyed the poem and your story. I hope your bumps and bruises are healing!!!

  2. Oh, I love that we're sharing similar dog poems today.
    And I really hope you heal up soon!

  3. Ha! This is my Sophie, too - and she's not a puppy anymore, either. Well done, Donna - you told a story and created a poem today, and each gave another view of life with a doggie.

  4. Donna, you took too many spills and I understand about the rotator cuff. I have been nursing mine as well. Your dog sounds like a very strong companion. How wonderful that she was content to help you get up off the ground. I like the build up in your poem.

  5. Ugh to all your injuries! That sounds rough. Good luck training your pup this new way. I enjoyed your slice-of-life poem.

  6. Oh, Donna, I'm sorry you've taken so many spills! Hope you're feeling better! The image of your dog heading off for one more sniff is so familiar to me. My beagle is a champion sniffer!

  7. Oh Donna, be careful. I hope that this is the last I hear about those accidents. Some dogs just have a tough time staying focused, especially young ones. It seems that you've made a good start, & the collar will make the learning stick. Your poem said it well and love that last line.

  8. Donna, I am feeling for you with your injuries. You must be bruised all over. My tailbone is finally tending toward the healing side of things, but I am being very cautious. You have captured the curious dog in your poem.

  9. I hope you heal quickly, Donna. I used to think about getting a dog again if for no other reason than to get me outside and walking. However, my daughter got a smallish large dog and the times I've taken her on a walk it's been excruciating--stop and start and stop and start and stop again. Not a lot of exercise there!

  10. Yeegads, what a week! Sounds like your pup is a sweetheart (albeit an excitable one with a powerful sniffer). Wishing you some quality healing time, Donna.

  11. "...a different kind of fragile" indeed! So sorry about those nasty injuries. At least you still have your sense of humor and a lot of empathy. I enjoyed seeing this adventure from your dog's point of view.

  12. I latched on to the "different kind of fragile" phrase, too - in many ways this is such a playful post but I know injury pain ain't no laughing matter. :0! Sending a prayer for solid healing! Love the poem - anyone who runs in the canine world recognizes your lively subject! Hugs to the pup, too.


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