Sunday

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

Christmas Eve night is always filled with excitement and mystery and last night was no exception.   When I was a kid, I remembered so well that I couldn’t wait until Christmas morning and didn’t want to go to bed.  When I grew up, Mom confessed to me that I was so excited; she secretly gave me a couple of children aspirin or Benadryl, maybe both and that was the way the dogs were last night, they couldn’t wait until morning.


We finally went to bed; the dogs cozied up on whatever bed they could get on, but they were mostly on mine.  As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was asleep.  When I drifted off, I was somewhere that I didn’t recognize.  Now, I’m sure it was a dream, but it seemed so real.  I was in my favorite place; dogs surrounded me, everyone was happy, playful and it was sunny with lots of wind.  I was in “my” heaven…

After picking up a ball that they brought me I gave it a few tosses, something seemed familiar to me!  I’ve seen that dog before, but this was a dream.  Time went on, and I saw several other dogs that appeared in and out of my dream that also seemed familiar.



My dad and I were best friends and very close, but after he had passed away, I would “see” him or so I thought.  Dad usually wore a floppy hat when he walked like some older men, but his was unique.  Many times I would be driving down the street near home and would see “Dad” and his hat, for a brief second I knew it was him, I just knew it was.  When I got closer, it was someone else but oh how I wished it was.  I knew it wasn’t Dads hat because the hat he had on when he died is in my Hope Chest where I put it that very day.  It’s in a sealed plastic bag with “his” smell, something I don’t ever want to forget.


As I ran and played with the dogs in the dream, they seemed so animated and playful.  At one time, I even sat down in the grass and let them lick my face like I always do with mine at home, it’s our special time.  In the dream, we would explore the meadows and streams and some even jumped in the water getting me wet just like at home.  As much as we would run and play, some kept looking at a dog in the far distance but always refocused their attention back to me because I had the ball.  I paid little attention to the dog because I focused on the delightful companions that were with me. 

After very little sleep, I awoke in a shudder.   I remembered the dream and even smiled because it was peaceful and pure.  I moved my hand and felt a warm spot on the bed with an indentation next to my head, but there were no dogs anywhere to be seen but what I couldn’t get out of my head was a smell I recognized that filled my head.

Growing up, I was a very active little boy, doing all of the mischevious stuff but much more, much more.  Fortunately, I got away with most of it and didn’t cause too much damage.  Two things directly take me back to my childhood, it was riding horses at my friend's farm and taking them into the lake to cool them off.  It was incredible to ride them bareback into the water and be on them when they swam, but what takes me back to that very moment is I remember the smell of the water, I don’t know why but it was fresh, clean and energizing.  The second was when I would play in the front of the paneled milk delivery truck.     


We would climb into the truck when they made deliveries to the house, and there was the smell of pipe smoke that was pleasant, and to this very day, if I smell that brand of tobacco now, I’m ten years old playing in that very milk truck with my best friend.  Past studies have shown that memories triggered by smells are more vivid and more emotional than those triggered by sounds, pictures or words and I do believe it.

Each dog of mine has a unique smell, but none are the same, and I didn’t know where "that" smell came from this morning.  There was black hair on the bed, it was warm to the touch, but the smell was what stumped me, but I know I have smelled it before.  The very morning Clancy passed away he crept into my bed, burrowing his nose under my arm and fell asleep.  As I watched him breathe and rubbed his head, he slept peacefully and dreamed… and Christmas Eve night, he watched over me while I dreamed…


Christmas gifts come in many forms.  To some, it is a baby that saved us.  To others, it is seeing and connecting with family.  Others it's stressful and depressing, to kids is presents and packages, but in the famous song “I’ll be home for Christmas"  the last line says, "If only in my dreams” is true... last night, I was home, and Clancy was too.  I was in his world and he was again in mine.



As I look back on my dream, I remember it was our rescue dogs that I  recognize, and it all came back to me.  While I was in "my" heaven in the dream, I was really in theirs.  Time had passed for them but it's not my time yet, but last night was so real, and in my heart, my Clancy Man watched over me on Christmas Eve waiting for his master to come home...  Merry Christmas.   Ken

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My little protector…


I have a four-legged guardian angel, and her name is Abbie.  Some may not be aware that she is the product of Clancy and Molly and was rehomed back to us on two occasions six years ago.  The second time, we just kept her because we loved her and felt sorry for her.  Nearly her whole life has been spent here on the farm, and we were the first and will be the last to hold her. 


For whatever reason, she is my dog.  Let me stop you there…  Elaine and I were sitting on the couch one night, and three dogs were trying to get into my lap, now Elaine would love to have a lap dog and may have one if my lap is full.  Elaine called one of the dogs over, and she begrudgingly went to her.  After a few minutes, she came back.  Elaine looked puzzled and said, “I just don’t understand it.”  “It’s simple,” I said, and she said “tell me”  This was my opening and I took it.  “They don’t like you” I laughed when I said it and then she did too.  The truth is I am their Alpha and they see me as the one in charge.  A dog’s mind is full of wonders, and at times I don’t think we’ll ever understand it all.


A few days ago, I posted on Facebook “ So touching... Abbie always needs to be near me and wherever I'm at, she curls up next to my feet.”  and many people responded.   It’s so funny to watch her in action.  She loves to be where ever I go or sit.  She will take a position next to my feet, looking away from me and scan the room just to see if anyone is anywhere near.  If there is not, she will jump into my lap but if someone is near, she will give that low guttural grrrrrrrrr and stare.  She thinks she is so bad and she is one of the smallest dogs we have. 


At times I have even seen Clancy made a wide birth around my chair because she is protecting me from any and all harm in her mind.  If only she and I are in the family room and any dogs start down the steps, up in my lap she jumps so no one else can get there.  One of the cutest things I do to get her excited is out of the blue; I will go grrrrrrr and she will too, looking around to see who is getting near but no-one is there.  I do it again and so does she and then I bark and she will too.  She is such a hoot and loves me with all of her heart.  Every morning and night, she will come to my office and put her head between the armrest and seat waiting for a hug, which she gets.  Last week, knowing she wanted to be as close as she can be, I picked her up and sat her on my desk while we read emails together. 


Abbie is a sweetie to me and what sealed her fate here at the farm was when she came back to us the second time, I was lying on the bed, she jumped up and laid next to me.  But what really captured my heart was when she scooted and pulled herself right next to the inside of my arm, putting her head on my chest, letting out a big sigh...  She was home.

Abbie is doing well with her illness...   Ken




Monday

Have you ever?...


Have you ever, is a question that I ask if you have a Border Collie, I’m sure you will answer the question with a yes!

Have you ever sat down in your favorite chair just to relax and a Border Collie was in your lap within seconds? I know I have because my little stink pot will be next to the chair and even in front of it where I can’t even recline the chair yet.  I also feel like a human dog bed that moves from spot to spot, just for them.


Have you ever sat the remote for the TV down while you were sitting and they see or hear the noise it makes, and they know they are going outside, and they run to the door?  Then you own a Border Collie.

Have you ever picked up your shoes and started a frenzy of dogs scrambling for the door and while you were trying to tie your shoes, five tongues were washing your face while four others were turning circles at the door?  Then you own a Border Collie.

Have you ever tried to write on your computer or laptop and a cold nose pushes your hand up off the keyboard over a million times and you learn to type with one hand just so you can rub their head?  Then you own a Border Collie.

Have you ever turned off the TV for bed and the dogs wake up from your lap or dog bed and beat you to the bed and you shake your head and wonder where you are going to sleep?  Then you own a Border Collie.

Have you ever been woken up from a deep sleep with a tongue trying to clean your nose whether you needed it or not?  Then you own a Border Collie.


Have you ever has a snack and not been surrounded by several dogs want their share with you?  Then you own a Border Collie.

Have you ever gone up or down a set of stairs and been nearly knocked down by a pack of very eager dogs  trying to win the race?  Then you own a Border Collie.



Have you ever been down in the dumps with the world against you and you feel no one cares about you?  Have you ever needed someone to talk to and hear your problems without passing judgment?  


Have you ever looked into the eyes and seen the soul of another and seen love, compassion, kindness?  Have you ever seen that all is good in the world and it just can’t get any better?  Have you ever been loved by a dog without any questions and with ALL of their heart?  If you can answer yes, then you own a Border Collie…

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Sunday

A Big Weekend...

As most know, our Granddaughter spent the weekend with us here at the farm which she has done before.  There is always something to do with all the activities that we have available and chores to do. 


When I was a kid, we only had two TV channels, but when cable and video games came into play, everything changed if you were a kid.  My life was wrapped around family time, and playtime but the latter was the most important as we did everything as a kid.  Most every night, the neighborhoods kids stayed out till dark, doing everything from building a clubhouse with wood we acquired to building a dam in the local creek.  I won’t go into everything because I don't know if the statutes of limitations are over or not, but all in all, I was a good kid but stayed extremely active as we all did.

Today's kids are different because there is so much more to do and their attention is drawn to so many different levels.  There are more opportunities but more ways to be sucked into that vacuum of nothingness.  The one thing I can say is that with our Granddaughter, things seem different.  Right from the begging, she was introduced to things that are educational, fun and away from the devices that can trap your mind.  She is still better than me on an iPad or phone, but she is well rounded.


From her early life, she was introduced to things that were interesting and fun and even getting her own puppy, something I never had.  Dogs were not important to my parents so I never knew the fun you could have or love that they could give.  I credit this to Maddie's parents, my son, and Daughter-in-Law who has kept her interested in things of this world.


It is a pleasure to see her develop into a young lady with the interest of nature and animals, something some kids may not discover but hopefully, they will as I did.
This weekend was a hoot, and we had fun as we always do.  The dogs were great with Maddie, giving her kisses and even sleeping in bed with her.

  

It’s always a pleasure for her to visit and we enjoy the time with just her.  Last night, we watched old home movies of her dad and siblings when they were kids, and I’m sure she will have many questions when she gets home, but “Dad” will have to answer them…
When she got here, one of the first things she said was that she missed Clancy, I told her I did too, they were buddies...

Dogs and outside activities are great for kids.  It’s not that other things are not beneficial, but it just gives them a good perspective of life, and I know Maddy has received that.  I know there are bigger and better adventures down the road and look forward them...  
Brad, Angie, Maddie and her dog Katelyn 
Thanks, Mom & Dad for a great kid and being good parents...  Daddo...

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