Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Bethany, on the left, was the ultimate camera hog. Martin, center, had to look aside to avoid lens glare. Erin Joy on the right was grinning for her Mom.
Bethany and Erin could not sit up or talk.

Someone in our family has been disabled since 1974. That changes my perspective on a lot of issues. For example, I cannot understand how we can call ourselves a wise, liberal, compassionate nation when our own American genocide against unborn babies goes on without remorse.

Babies are the most wonderful gift from God, and being a father is the most fulfilling role possible. I wrote once before that all the time invested in the early days will come back with lifetime dividends paid, just like saving money. But the government cannot take it away.

I remember my mother reading Lassie Come Home to us, my sister bawling her eyes out at the happy and sad parts. My teachers at Garfield read to us as well, even though we could read. I read stories to our children, and Martin reads to his. I insisted on real literature, so we read Twain, Lewis, and Tolkien.

We are a three-generation Lord of the Rings family now. Josie's middle name is Tinuviel, and Danielle's is Eowyn. We half-expected our grandson to be named Gandalf. His middle name is Nathaniel - a gift from God in Hebrew.

Now that we live in Arkansas, we have many casual get togethers. On Father's Day we had Dilly Bars. Xander, Tammy, and I wax-washed the van. Xander also wax-washed the tree. Soon he aimed the hose at everything except the van, including his mother's legs. Xander wanted a squirt-gun, so Grammy fixed a squirt bottle with sudsy water in it. The van was finished, so Xander squirted the van and thoroughly washed one rose bush.

Josie gave Sassy a workout, leaving our tripod dog grinning and panting. Danielle watched her favorite videos on YouTube. Often the grandchildren and dogs cluster around the computer for games and entertainment.

We parted and met again by accident at the mall. Martin was using his gift card for computer equipment, but the grandchildren wanted to visit the bookstore. I dropped by to use my gift card for a Photoshop book. We met in the computer section of Border's.

Long ago, Martin and I hornswaggled his Mom into getting an Atari game computer, for its educational value. We wanted the games, but it was educational. Martin now taps on keys to get mainframe computers to process terabytes of data, among other things. He got me into computer science, and that got me into online teaching.

Now we discuss the future of publishing, which will be mostly digital.

Martin helped with my library, in Cleveland, many decades ago.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sassy Is a Neighborhood Star Again

Sassy took Anna to Sedona, Arizona.

Betty was Sassy's foster mother, after the amputation that made our dog into a tripod. Sassy's leg was useless and keeping her back, so that was necessary.

In Glendale, Sassy was a big hit with everyone, especially since we met many dog owners on the way to the park. Quite a few cats met Sassy too. Sassy delighted in sending them up trees and into garages, but never touched one.

At first Sassy was not meeting too many people. In Bella Vista, Arkansas, few walk their dogs. Little by little, Sassy has made a new set of friends. The mailman sent dog cookies over his car, from the opposite side window, getting them to land in front of Sassy. I wondered if he had been in artillery.

Sassy's main hobby is hunting squirrels instead of cats. We have not even seen a cat. Sassy will chase a squirrel up a tree or check out a ground squirrel's burrow. I am sure the pink spot on her nose was from getting too close to one.

"Let's go kill a squirrel!" means take a walk, but it starts out with a rapid sweep of the yard.

Sassy has an interesting clucking sound she makes when greeting her canine friends. Her main buddies are the neighbor dogs and Daisy. One mean little French poodle hates her and every human as well.

Sassy plays with our Sheltie Precious every day. They chase in and out the doggy door and do their mock fighting. Sometimes Precious is down, fighting for her life, grinning and snapping in the air. At other times, Sassy is the victim, getting the snapping jaws.

If I glance at them, the fight stops, so I try to ignore them and watch. They get especially happy and energetic during fights.

Precious smiles by opening and closing her mouth. Treasure, her companion, continues her cute little puppy routine, even though she is old. Treasure has two tricks - jumping on the bed and swiping at us with her paw to get more petting. When she does these tricks, she grins as if she just won Olympic gold.