Drastic Measures

Did I tell you Zoe makes me sick?

Well, maybe it isn’t her exactly but I puked up my breakfast this morning (Mom called and woke Dad so he could drive and pick me up from our walk, as I first puked on the walk) and was queasy all morning with frequent bursts of vomiting. With the heat index over 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) and all the changes I’ve had to endure of late, you may just think I am over reacting.   But in fact, it was my master plan to get some alone time with my parents.  Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate this time would be spent getting my temperature taken, rectal exams, x-rays, blood draws, and the camel 🐫 pack of subcutaneous fluids.   Maybe my Dad is right and there are easier methods for getting 1:1 time with my parents.  The upside to the whole day is that Zoe seems to be respecting my personal space more than anytime in the past week.

Excuse me cutting this blog short rather short as I am still not myself.

Hopefully, tomorrow or Sunday I’ll be feeling well enough to put some videos of Zoe and me playing in our backyard…or at least I’ll have Zoe update you on how i’m Feeling


– don’t sweat it, I am not so miserable that I don’t smile:




The Sharpest Tool

I’m not going to disparage my new sister, she is great at wrestling and boy can that girl eat.  But my mother may have not have chosen a dumb as a stump dog but I am pretty secure in my position as the top intellect in our casa.

She has other good traits…like the recognition that the table in our backyard is the best perch in our dominion. This is the first place I went when I arrived on the scene and Zoe was right there with me during her first minutes in our backyard:

But the girl has a lot of energy that has completely worn me out.  My parents, pet sitter and vet were all a bit concerned about my demeanor recently…my normal level of mischievousnous being somewhat lacking.  And to be quite frank, I have been a little down without Sammy around and not sure where I’ll fit into the new hierarchy of our pack.  But mostly, I am exhausted with all the energy it takes to keep up with Zoe and battle over toys, treats, bones, parental attention, etc. etc.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress and who will be a permanent part of the pack…Zoe or Parker (sorry scribe).

The Tempest

A Dog Named Ouzo

Ouzo is an anise (black licorice) flavored liquor.

Sambuca is an Italian anise flavored liquor.

In case you are unfamiliar with the story of our names in the pack, they are all derived from alcoholic beverages – thanks to our neighbors handing my parents a book they had of “dog names” that happened to be a bartender’s guide.  Thus Sammy  “Sambuca” and “Banana” Banshee were christened.   My parents thought this was particularly hilarious – having just moved to the North Shore where they felt everyone had everything.. they fell for the fact that there might be a book of dog names.  Thus, subsequently we have had The Montana Tornado, a vile concoction of about every hard alcohol known to mankind, then I came along and carried on the “stormy” tradition that Montana established – a much tastier drink if I don’t say so myself: The Tempest.  Yeah, there is that whole Shakespearean literary reference there too which is pretty cool but likely lost on most, and then my nickname – Tempi (which most people think is Tempe) – brings back imagery of the Western United States in which Montana of course is also a part of.  Nevermind that my drink has Zwack in it, and my Mom thinks it is funny to say I am a zwack-job.

So what to call the new girl… (yes, I finally acquiesced and she will be a part of our pack), but what to name her?  Since Foxy was not going to work (even if there were a drink named that), as she didn’t answer to it anyway.  I am going to assume she is smart enough to eventually learn some name.  I am sure my Mom would never pick a dumb dog, even though she threatened to do it after meeting the Mensa dog TEMPI.  That would be me, for those of you under a score of 148.

We sat down as a family and started to brain storm.  So many options: Martini, Kamikaze, Bellini, Sake, Othello, Negroni, Chardonnay, ChardonnBe…and on and on.   Many of these came from texts from friends and the extended pack.

Finally we got the answer from my cousin’s daughter Eva:

“Hi this is Eva I like this dog name ouzo because I think it matches your name and the color she is so pretty that’s why I like the name ouzo.”

Well.  If that doesn’t just nail it down I don’t know what does…but then Eva and I have had some great times at my grandparents (her great-grandparents) house in Michigan.  The only downside is Ouzo doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue when one is trying to reprimand her for her bad behavior.   Nor does it fit the standard dog name that is two syllables and ends in an E sound – but Montana did fine responding to her name without these constraints.   Nevertheless, there were further conversations related to a possible nickname.  Then it dawned on us on an early morning 3 mile walk.  Zoe!  Ouzo ends with the first two letters of Zoe and it is also the Greek word for life.   This was all coming together nicely and then we noticed that Ouzo (aka Zoe) has white markings on her chest that looks like the Greek letter Pi:


Wikipedia:  “Although not a physical constant, π appears routinely in equations describing fundamental principles of the universe, often because of π‘s relationship to the circle and to spherical coordinate systems.”

OK.  Maybe with all her fur in random disarray following her bath you may have to squint to see the letter pi, I can vouch that it is indeed there – and something I aim for when we are in a full on dog-pile wrestling match.

To hammer home the point, my Mom brought home this bottle of wine from the store yesterday in preparation for a celebratory party for our neighbors down the street who are actually going to move despite our constant and fervent pleas not to do so…she also bought three great desserts none of which were offered to the rest of the pack!





So, welcome to the pack 3.1415926…

The Tempest

Footnote: I still retain the right to return her (and the scribe) for Parker 🙂



The Contestants

Thursday Evening, June 21st, 2018; Riverwoods, IL: Orphans of the Storm

Tonight I returned to the place where I was confined for weeks on end prior to when my parents and Sammy brought me home to become a part of their pack.   This place is awesome in how they help us puppies…and even some cats (exaggerated eye roll) who have their own wing.   However, I wasn’t sure why we were back here so shortly after Sam went off to school.   Had they had enough of me too?  Did my creatively destructive behavior push them over the edge and I had to find a new pack?  Granted, they likely told me over and over again why we were going to Orphans but I may not have been listening.

My Dad and I quickly walked by my former kennel and all the other kennels which were unusually quiet as all the dogs were hanging out on the inside part of their runs due to the massive rains we’ve been getting.  However, I did spot (and hear/smell) a few through the open back door.


Shortly thereafter, my Mother emerged with Parker.  Boy was I liking the look of this kid.   We met inside the meet area and hit it off right away.  Mom realized right away they brought out a different dog than the one she asked to have me meet but he was one they also liked so she felt it was kismet that she got Parker.  Just as we were about to really start playing the guy that worked at the shelter (and told Mom when they adopted me that I needed some serious training) came running out and said I was meeting the wrong pup.  What is wrong with this guy?!?  I did not need training, and I liked Parker…a lot!  But, as he explained it was either Parker or my Dad – as Parker gets a little put off by men once he gets home to his new family.  At first my parents brushed it off, but then it was pretty clear  – as a second worker explained to Mom – that if Mom were not a lesbian, which she did not think she was, this was not going to work; I guess there had been a few “incidents” with men.  Even though my Dad would probably be cool for Parker there are those NM and MI men and other men in between.  So, I had to sit down and weigh these options.  Dad – not a bad scribe, but he is also sometimes a bit preoccupied to help me.  Parker – a little smaller than me so I could probably still push him around like I did Sam.  Dad – knows how to get into the food pantry and refrigerator which often benefits me and my appetite.  Parker – a male which means I can still be the alpha of the pack (shh…I let me parents think they are alpha but really?).  Dad – takes me for a walk.  Parker – a handsome young pup.  And come to think of it, Mom also knows how to get at the food and is actually a more capable dog walker. About this time the shelter guy said that he didn’t want to be the cause of a divorce and he thought the original dog Mom asked for would still be a good match.   I learned this part later.  Well, as far as lesbians go, I just happen to know my parents have some friends that fit this particular demographic (both here and Ann Arbor) so maybe they can adopt Parker and we can still play!

So off Parker went.  What a bummer.  And not only did he disappear but a feisty young black dog, who I found out was going by the name of Foxy, was at the end of the leash attached to my mother’s arm.  Oh dear.   This could be a really bad sign.

This time I met her outside the meeting pen.   Immediately I recognized her scent but it took me a moment to place it. Then it came to me.  Last Saturday, when my parents returned from lunch at Norton’s Restaurant, they not only smelled of awesome cooked meats, but I detected (on both of them) a certain canine odor I had not smelled before.  Definitely not mine or Sammy’s…or for that matter any of the other dogs in the neighborhood – all of whom I have documented and categorized in my scent mind.  As I was processing all of this, we headed off to the play area.  Did I mention this was the exact same exact place I met Sammy?  We sniffed each other and then I gave her my patented lip snarl.  She took a baby step back but really didn’t back down the way other dogs have in the past.  Hmmm.  About this time, I started foaming at the mouth.  My parents quickly googled this fact into their devices and found I may be stressed/anxious.  No sh… Wait a second.  I won’t debase myself with vulgarities but really – they really couldn’t figure out that going back to my place of holding prior to finding my pack AND meeting some potentially domineering female dog would stress me out???

Well they ended up switching their approach, and took us for a walk around the grounds.  Boy did we get along much better on the walk.  We even found the same things to sniff!!!!

Foxy and I were even able to sit side by side as we got praise and treats.  And don’t think it escaped me that her tongue flopped out the side of her mouth like Sammy’s did.

After the walk, we went into another exercise area that I had not been in before that had all sorts of environmental enhancements such as ramps, AstroTurf, balls, etc.  At this point we were allowed to go completely off leash and chased each other around and around the pen.  This Foxy was a bit more of a challenge than I am used to.  1) Sammy couldn’t keep up and mostly flopped on his side if I got too close; 2) Snowy has game but because of our size differential, it usually worked best if I was under a table, chair, or Ottoman when we wrestled.  In this instance, Foxy took me out a couple of times so I was either thrown on my back or side.   Don’t worry, I returned the favor.

After all this activity ended, she was taken off to her kennel and I got to go home.   And boy was I exhausted when we got there.  But it is okay as I enjoyed my new cool bed that is supposed to be for outside but is inside until it stops raining.

Friday Afternoon, June 22nd, 2018; Riverwoods, IL: Orphans of the Storm (again)

My parents got home a little early on Friday as the shelter closes at 5 PM.  I was so ready to meet Contestant #2.  After I realized that not only was I able to return home with my parents but I also got to sleep in bed with them I was really looking forward to seeing what else the shelter had to offer.  Could it be Parker?  Or Mistic, who was a real beauty?  A big boy out of the mold of Sambuca.  How about Mia?  She was a docile little cutie that was very Montana-esque.

Once again we all piled into the Elephant and headed off to Orphans.   The rain had tapered off some but everything was still very wet when we arrived at the shelter.  Although the plan was for Dad to drag me to the back area again while Mom got the applicant for admission to our pack, I was pulling Dad to the front gate, ready for more interviews.   Again, the outdoor pens were quiet and devoid of dogs so I had no chance to suss them out myself.   As we passed the front door, Mom peeled off to get my potential new friend while Dad and I continued toward the back…where we waited patiently in front of the pens.



Finally I heard some activity off to my right…but this just turned out to be some kennel dogs getting a chance to stretch their legs.  Back to waiting.  My toes were crossed I would see Parker again.  Or Mistic, Mia.

Then there was someone coming down the walk with my Mom and it was…WHAT?  Foxy again?  What happened to a second contestant?  Off to the pen for the four of us.  No snarling today.  No foaming.  But what I thought was more than obvious, no real love either.  So I played the game for a while.  Showed the appropriate enthusiasm and indulged the whole pantomime of the so called meet and greet.  Charades being one of my favorite games, this was no problem for me.  Finally, the event was over and we headed back toward the main door/office area.  I was getting my speech prepared.  “Sorry Foxy, although you were an exceptional applicant and displayed many positive features that we are sure will get you adopted shortly, we have chosen to go with another dog at this time”…even though I knew we hadn’t identified this pup yet.  I was about to raise my paw to give her a pup-shake and start my spiel when my mother came out with a bunch of paperwork and what looked like a receipt.  No way.  There is no way they did this.  Right????

Next thing I knew, we were out the front gate and Dad and “Foxy” were piling in the back seat as I was prompted to take the shotgun position as Mom drove.  Now this is something I could get used to but did it really require the adoption of her?


Well the rest of the weekend included a trip to the pet store, many walks, a doggy-bath, some disagreements (a few major and mostly minor), conversations as to what the new one would be called now that I guess she is a part of our pack, many photos, videos, a trip to Starbucks (with a shared puppy shot), and all of this will be a part of a blog(s) coming soon to a theater near you.

The Princess Tempest

The Cards


WHOA. WHOA.  WHOA!  This post is by no means about the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team (who just so happens are often referred to as simply “The Cards”).  I live outside of Chicago and learned I am supposed to despise StL especially during the summer months…and maybe early fall.

What I was trying to tell you about before I was so rudely interrupted by The Scribe, was the cards we recently received from “The Lap of Love” and our vets (who I refer to as NBAC).

The first arrived a few days after Sammy left for college and came from the team who helped him move.  The card had some very lovely personal words from the attending vet, Dr. K.


They also posted this lovely tribute to Sammy on their Facebook page:

Although part of the services “The Lap” provides is contacting my regular veterinary clinic about his graduation, we stopped by on the following Saturday morning to drop off some goodies and a letter my Mother wrote to them (which was quite touching about all they did for Sammy, as well as our other pets.  They have always gone way above and beyond anything that could be expected to care for us fur babies).  She also sent a nice thank you email to Lap of Love who were just fantastic.  While she wrote these I slept with The Scribe while it rained rained rained outside.  One thing we have learned since Sammy moved on is that I am really good at sleeping!  And btw I am also housetrained (maybe mostly), but this story about me being disparaged is for another post.  Back to sleeping.  I am like super good.  But I digress…on the way home from NBAC, we stopped by Starbucks and I got a Pupaccino.  This time I didn’t have to share it, which was in one way really sad, but in another way I was able to polish it off in one go (although this time it was a smaller cup…what???).  When we got home, this card from the NBAC was in our mailbox with a special heartfelt message from Dr. K. (not the same K that I previously referred to).

To be honest, I’d give up all the Pupaccinos and  Pup-Peronis  in the world (I would have to think about steak) to have Sammy back and to be his young(ish) self, but we all knew he was no longer himself (even though he could still break out that killer grin whenever he wanted) and I realize there may be no better place to find oneself than college.  Take care my big brother.  Looking forward to running with you and the rest of the pack in the far off distant future.  My Mom is insisting I add “super very long” to the words distant future.  I will try to do as she says, even though that is bad English.

The Tempest

P.S.  Sammy may be fading from our lives, but not our hearts.  Our house seems empty, but our memories are definitely full.  AND…I finally ate both meals the last two days and am mostly back to my old self #TempiTrouble.  I think I am doing okay.


The Summit

Today I called a meeting of the minds to discuss the future of our pack.  This happened to coincided with parents cleaning out and washing our crates…as well as me.  The later I was not particular happy with but it did loosen up a bunch of fur that later in the day I was appreciative had been removed as the temperatures SOARED and humidity peaked.  Anyhow, for some reason, over the past year or so all my toys had accumulated in Sammy’s crate.  Therefore, when the washing commenced I realized I had a golden opportunity in front of me to gather my friends to discuss the following questions:

  1. Is the life of an only dog preferable to one in which I share the attention of my parents?
  2. If not, how long before I get a sibling?
  3. When the time is right,
    1. a) will I prefer a brother or a sister?
    2. b) what breed?
    3. c) how intelligent should they be (remember after I joined the pack, my mother said if we ever added another pup it would be dumb as a stump)?
    4. d) how old should said dog be?
      1. A puppy for me to train?
      2. An older dog like Sam?
      3. An aged match hound?

As you may have noticed, if the majority of us voted for the single dog household, this would be a very short meeting.

As the Chairdog, I called the crew to order and we started with question #1:


As you can see, my peeps were rapt with my leadership and eloquence during my opening comments.


Toni, the meerkat (remember my slacker daughter?), may have gotten a little distracted by my Mom’s presence in the background but the rest of them couldn’t take their beady little eyes off me. [https://montanamomentstrn.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/a-life-of-leisure/]

Afterwards, we all sat together and posed for the traditional post-conference photo.  At first I was a bit peeved at Dad (who was pretending to be the official photographer for the summit) and I looked away as I felt my hair hadn’t been properly attended to after my bath.


But then I remembered as Chairdog I had a duty to the peeps.  So after a little help from the makeup crew, I was ready to shine and OWN IT.  Like I always do.

The outcome of the meeting?

Well that is a story for a future blog.

Happy Fathers Day!

The Tempest


Weather Report: June 9,2018

Part I:

“The waiting is the hardest part”
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tick, Tick…

Saturday was a tough day for the pack.  To see Sammy get all his stuff together and get ready to head off to college was nothing less than heart breaking.   But none of us could deny all the hard work and studying he did to achieve this accomplishment.  We always thought his intelligence was underappreciated by the college review boards but we always clapped (inwardly) when he was denied acceptance into any schools.   However, yesterday it was clear he was ready so we all sat around and supported him as he transitioned to the next stage of his existence.

As it turned out, the vet arrived first while dad was outside “talking” to our next door neighbor as the neighbor was unpacking his car with bags of mulch.   Dad initially went out to cut down some of the irises around the tree in our extension when the neighbor asked how things were going.  Both my parents had spent the last few hours piddling around with one meaningless task after another while Sammy and I puzzled over their odd behavior.  They kept trying to get Sammy to hang with them outside in the backyard since despite the forecast for rain all day, the skies had cleared, the sun came out and the heat index increased beyond Sammy’s sensitivities.  I myself found a nice spot in the sun to relax.

What was my point?  Oh yeah.  The vet arriving.  Just prior to this while Dad was on one of these seemingly time wasting chores and mom was sitting on the chair next to Sammy, the neighbor asked how things were going but when Dad went to talk, rather than words coming out only blubbering, sobbing nonsense (and gesticulation toward the house and possibly the name of Sammy) came out of his mouth.   The neighbor, in his patient way (he has three children), waited until dad could compose himself to actually articulate that we were waiting for the vet to come and help Sam off to school.  Having two dogs (along with the 3 kids), the neighbor was appropriately sympathetic and compassionate even going so far to ask if there was anything they could get or do for our pack in this difficult time.   Dad, finally, got his emotions in check and said, “thank you, but we are going to be OK.”  They then started talking about the neighbors mulching effort, dad offering up our pitch fork, followed by general guy talk  about yard maintenance when the car pulled up with the vet inside.   All of a sudden Dad went from coherent (at least for him) to a gasping, sobbing mess again.   Our neighbor got the gibberish Dad was speaking – did I mention he has a 2 year old? – and excused my Dad as he went to meet the vet.

Then one of my favorite people, who isn’t but should be, a part of the pack arrived.  Our beloved pet sitter/dog walker Ms. A.   We met her when mom panicked after about 1 day of having Sammy and Banshee and did a Google search for pet sitters.  So, she knew Sammy almost as long as he was a member of our pack.  Dad went out to meet Ms. A., and again he went non-verbal, and pointed at the house and was able to choke out that Sam was still here and we were waiting until everyone was ready to send him off on his next adventure.

We were able to get Sammy on his Big Barker bed and get comfortable next to Mom.  Dad squeezed in next to them on the mini bed which was originally intended to be mine until I about doubled in size from when they got me.  Maybe my cousin Snowy would like it?  Anyhow, both my parents were on either side of Sammy and I rolled on my back basically wrapping my body around Ms. A’s ankles as the rite of passage continued.   The doc gave Sammy his feel good meds and as those settled in, stories were told of Sambuca, “Banana” Banshee, Montana, Boomer, Hassenpfeffer and the star of any story time: ME! The Tempest!!

Although there was a lot of sniffling and nose blowing – not sure why you people would allow all that stuff in your noses…it is no wonder your sense of smell is for [Poop emoji] – the stories were by and large humorous and joyful (at least those were the odors they were transmitting during their conversation) – since I did not pay any attention to the actual words as I continued to lay on my back.  Well that isn’t entirely true.  If I heard my name or the words “center of attention”, “food motivated”, etc. I may have tuned in momentarily until I realized I was not going to get any treats right away.

The final moment came with no sounds of anguish from Sammy.  Just the sweet smell of relief.   I tried to give the vet a kiss, as well as Ms. A and Sam but I could tell he was already gone.

I won’t go into the details of how Sammy went from our living room to his school bus, since to be honest, I was not paying too much attention as I had to continue to be the bestest hostess to Ms. A and make sure Mom was OK.  Suffice it to say, he caught his connection on time and we were all able to give him one last kiss and fur rub before he left.  I must admit, for a wee second, I thought we were all going on a road trip and started to board the bus before I was reminded I had years of studying before I was ready for college…MANY more years (have I mentioned I still am not very good at doing our daily homework?).  My parents aren’t too worried though since Montana was probably the best at it and she went to college way too soon (https://wordpress.com/post/montanamomentstrn.wordpress.com/300).  Dad says I can still be awesome even if I am an under achiever (and he should know…wink, wink).

Part II:

“And sometimes you close your eyes

And see the place where you used to live

When you were young”

The Killers

Just after the vet arrived I saw all my peeps from the neighborhood run across the front yard.   I was concerned they wanted me to come out and play at a time I knew I had to be there to give Sammy my highest praises for his great accomplishment.   But as quickly as they arrived, they disappeared again.  We found these on our porch when we took Sammy outside after he was all prepped for his limo ride to school.


Later, after Sammy had taken off, we were sitting in the backyard enjoying the day and possibly chasing a squirrel or maybe conversing with the neighborhood dogs.  This was about the time we heard a rap-rap-rapping at our front door.  Much to my relief it was not The Raven, Poe or anything sinister…in fact it was the complete opposite.  Three of my peeps had returned!  And in the hand of the middle one was a toy for me!!  More on that in a bit.

Dad grabbed my collar and opened the door.  The kids said, basically in unison, “We are sorry about your dog Sammy.”  Then one said we brought a gift for Sammy, and again as a chorus “It really isn’t a dog toy though”.   I didn’t seem to care and got very focused on my little treat while the children continued to talk to the guy restraining me from getting to my present which had been lofted over my head and was resting inches from my reach on the floor behind me.

Child #1:  “Why did you let you dog die?”

Dad: “He was in a lot of pain.”

Child #2:  “What’s pain?”

Child #3: “That’s when your body hurts.”

C2: “Like when I sprained my finger?”

D: “Yep.  Sammy was like that all the time.”

C1:  “Our dog when I was younger had a bad back leg and did this when it walked,” as she bent over, put her front paws on the ground and started kicking up her back paw.  I was thinking we might need to take her to the vet ASAP.

C3: “One of our dogs has trouble with her legs too,” as he looked a bit concerned that said pup might also have to go to college soon.

D: “Sammy was 15 years old and had a lot of other troubles too, so you don’t have to worry.” – at least this is what he hoped he said to quell C3’s anxiety but in reality I might have pulled him over a bit to get to my toy.

C2: “Did you take Sammy to the vet?”

D: “No.  He was sitting on his favorite bed in our house.”

C2: “Where is that?”

All three kids getting further in the house to see the place where Sammy took his last breath, a bit of awe over taking them.  I finally got my mouth on my newest and favoritest toy ever…at least since the one I got during the Tesla kid car festival that I still haven’t told you about.

“Sorry about your dog.” – all three as they ran back to their respective homes and I settled in with said toy.

So first off, my parents really should do something about the couch covers.  I mean this is getting a bit embarrassing to have my kid friends visit.  Secondly, this is the text C2 and C3’s mother sent us later Saturday evening:

“C2 told me before bed tonight, that she picked her white stuffed animal because it was the closest she had to Sammy’s color. 💙 and C3 said if Tempi every wants a buddy, kenadee and bosee [their pups] can play.”

If that isn’t the two nicest things I’ve ever heard.

Part III:

“The Sky is Crying”
Stevie Ray Vaughn

As the day began, the day ended with dreary skies and mist rising from the streets.  A weird day all around for a June day here in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  The morning had an ethereal feeling to it and this returned came night fall.   The only thing that was there in the morning that had disappeared by the evening was my dear brother Sambuca.  But is that really true.  Sure tears were shed, hugs were received and given but as I went out for the last time that evening I looked upwards and if that wasn’t Sammy looking down on our backyard (with that concerned look of his which he often had just prior to breaking into that big ol’ grin of his)….

Well maybe it was wishful thinking but I believe in my heart of hearts he had arrived at college and was giving me one more lesson.


One he and the rest of my pack learned when Montana graduated:  The world is full of great individuals who honestly look out for one another – whether they walk on two feet or four paws (in my opinion the better option) – the love and compassion we show one another is the positive energy that drives all innovation (my current favorite catch phrase), progress and creativity.  We can only hope that our current world “leaders” can tap into this resource in a positive way.


Everyday is like Sunday

Everyday is silent and grey”


The next day we were all still a bit out of sorts but as a collective, we decided it was important to get back to some of our normal activities.  So what better to do than go for a good long walk.   Once we set off we ran into our neighbor who was so kind to Dad when the vet arrived.  He kindly asked how we were doing and asked if there was anything we needed – including introducing me to one of their girls so I would have another canine friend.  So sweet and likely something we will take him up on when the opportunity presents itself.

The walk for us was much further than we typically go when we are at home and Sam was with us.  In fact, the last few mornings Mom and I have high stepped it around a lot of different streets than I’ve been on before.  She told me this is where she used to take Sammy and Banshee when they were my age.

Anyhow, on the Sunday walk, we were nearing home we came upon our another one of our neighbors – the recently retired electrician who is going to soon be moving southward with his darling wife – something we are seriously not happy about.  In fact, we had the great idea of giving their for sale sign to the guys who come around and collect scrap metal on the night before garbage pickup.  Unfortunately, those darn people down at the internet had already found someone willing to buy their current domicile.  Drats.  So we met up with Mr. M (who when my parents first moved into the neighborhood had the alpha male of the block Max).  Despite seeing that Sammy was not with us he engaged us on a very interesting conversation about electric vehicles, solar panels, and geothermal energy rather than the depressing topic of no Sammy.   Despite the fact that I really had to go to the bathroom, I sat down, and was fully engaged in everything everyone was saying.

Both of these interactions really helped calm me down.  First, it is OK to acknowledge what we lost when Sam graduated and secondly, his moving on doesn’t have to be the only thing we talk about.

We will grieve.  But we will also move on and take try and embody what Montana’s subtitled her blog:
“It is great to be alive.” [a phrase she first heard on WXRT in Chicago]

Did I mention I’ve been hunting squirrels? Now that is living!


I’d like to end on this quote which I came across while doing research for this post:

“A person’s life consists of a collection of events, the last of which could also change the meaning of the whole, not because it counts more than the previous ones but because once they are included in a life, events are arranged in an order that is not chronological but, rather, corresponds to an inner architecture.”

-Italo Calvino

The Tempest

RIP my knight – college can be an enlightening and tiring journey.


PS – I almost forgot!  I started this post with the words Tick, Tick not only to reference the agony of having to wait but to tell a story about one of the strangest occurrences from this weekend.  Mom found not 1, but 2 ticks on Dad which she promptly removed and squished.  Unfortunately, from my perspective, no blood was in those little pests.  These events makes me think maybe he (and not me) should be the one taking the flea and tick meds on a monthly basis!  But now that they are chew-able treats he’ll have to fight me for them 🙂