Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tucker, the Dog Who Played with Ghosts - A Halloween #ThrowbackThursday

Lately I've been re-visiting some of my old blog posts for Throwback Thursday.  Today's tale is about Tucker, the original Talking Dogs blogger and it is pretty perfect for Halloween.

Without further ado, here's A Talking Dogs Ghost Story, originally published for the Monday Mischief blog hop on October 26, 2014.

When another pet blogger put out a call for spooky pet ghost stories, it reminded me of Tucker's story.  Though not really scary, it certainly adds some Halloween flavor!

You may remember Tucker as the original Talking Dog.  Though he lived here in Missouri, he spent most of his life with us in southside Virginia.

We spent a few years restoring a 256 year old three story plantation manor house there, then enjoyed it for quite awhile.  Including visits from former residents.  Very old former residents.

We had been there about a year when we realized we weren't always alone.  When "they" were visiting, we'd be in the kitchen (first floor).   Usually it began with the faint whiff of pipe tobacco odor.  Then we could very faintly hear music (flute or recorder) and it was Colonial era music.  Sometimes we could hear voices, clinking of glassware, all very soft in tone.  All of this was coming from the original dining room (right above where we were.)

When these incidents began, Tucker would become quite excited and race up the stairs.  He might pause on the second floor for a bit, but would then madly skitter up the next flight of stairs to the third floor.   Always to the large room that was the children's bedroom in Colonial times.

We could then hear him racing around and playing.  The times we followed him, we'd find him happy as can be.

There was never, ever an evil feeling or vibe about any of this.  It never felt threatening in any way.  I always liked to think the former residents of our home liked what we were doing to their house.   They obviously liked Tucker and the feeling was mutual.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Do Animals Grieve - I Say Yes

Jeffie and the Dog Daddy
Today marks the one year anniversary of Jeffie's death and tomorrow will mark two weeks since my husband Gary's death.  Naturally, I'm thinking about grief.

Awhile back I wrote about missing Jeffie and Kim (Team Beaglebratz) left a comment which included:
" I was wondering something - is there a chance your other dogs would still be grieving a little - or were they never close to Jeffie?  Just a thought."
My answer is yes.  Especially Rudy.

And it got me thinking about other animals we've lost and the reactions of the ones they left behind.

I firmly believe our pets do grieve.For both their animal and human companions.

I shared Tim and Tom's story with you last week (Burying Tom and Going Home)   Our Belgian draft horses Tim and Tom spent their whole lives together.  Born on the same farm and matched up as a team, they ate, slept, worked and played together.  When Tom died at age 29, Tim was present as our vet administered the euthanasia drugs.  He was present as we buried him 

And Tim stood guard at Tom's grave for weeks sending heart breaking whinnies into the skies.  Tom was never the same and there was never any doubt he spent the rest of his own life missing his partner.

Tim (left) and Tom (right)

When we lost Cakes this past January, Ditty - who never even bothered to answer Cakes whinnies for her - spent more than a week in grief.  Calling for her friend.  Like Tim and Tom, Ditty and Cakes had spent their whole lives together.

Most of our dogs have been present at the deaths and burials of their canine friends.  There has always been a very subdued mood and they've always spent time visiting the graves.

Rudy has lived through the loss of Tucker, Lucy Jeffie and now Gary.  He was really just a puppy when Tucker was dying.The last two days we most often found Rudy sitting vigil with Tucker.   He still visits Tucker and Lucy's graves.

Rudy sitting vigil with Tucker.
Rudy and Jeffie had a very close relationship.  We'd jokingly told Jeffie that Rudy was his puppy, but Jeffie took that very seriously.  Rudy really did become his.

I started to say that Rudy hasn't been the same since Jeffie died, but the truth is that he hasn't been the same since Jeffie became ill.  Both Rudy and Rosie were very upset, nervous and worried.  Rudy more so.

And when we came home without Jeffie - after that fateful mad dash to the vet when Jeffie died in my arms before we could get there - neither Rudy nor Rosie looked for him.  

They knew.

Since then Rudy has become more my dog than ever.  He's been by turns what I would call depressed and what I would call manic.  When we're outside playing he pretty much goes crazy.  I have no doubt his misses his hairy brother and the rowdy play they loved.
Rowdy boys Rudy and Jeffie

These days both Rudy and Rosie are missing their Dog Daddy.  They periodically check the house for him.  Rudy sometimes stations himself at the front door watching for him.  They examine and sniff things that were his.
Rudy waiting and hoping.

Yes, they're definitely influenced by my own angst and heartbreak - in all these instances of lossHowever, their behavior leaves no doubt in my mind.

Do animals grieve?

Unequivocally, I say yes.   

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I Will Always Be With You from All Dogs Go To Heaven | Dog Song Saturday

Those of you who've been with us for awhile know that sometimes we share music videos with songs that are not technically dog songs (song written about dogs.)  Today is one of those days.

I Will Always Be With You is performed here by Sheena Easton and Jesse Corti and comes from the movie All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.  The video is a tribute to "man's best friend" and a plea to adopt older dogs.

Sit. Stay. You might want to grab a tissue as you enjoy I Will Always Be With You. Then fetch some more genuine dog song music videos at Talking Dogs.  You'll be surprised at how many we've collected over the past few years.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Burying Tom and Going Home #Throwback Thursday

As I think about the coming day when I will spread my husband's ashes upon the graves of his beloved horses, I remember when Tom died and want to share with you a poem I wrote at the time about burying him.

It was years ago I wrote this poem.  We live on a different farm now and Gary's ashes will join horses that joined us later in life than Tom.  However, I have no doubt that Gary was welcomed "home" and I like to think he's mowing hay or plowing with the horses he loved right now.
Gary waving from the hay mower with Tim and Tom. The dogs are Sherman & Spanky

Our Belgian draft horses, Tim and Tom, spent their whole lives together.  Born on the same farm and matched up as a team, they ate, slept, worked and played together.  

When Tom died at age 29, Tim was present as our vet administered the euthanasia drugs.  

He was present as we buried him 

And as we mourned, so did Tim.

Tim stood guard at Tom's grave for weeks sending heart breaking whinnies into the skies.  Tim was never the same and we had no doubt he spent the rest of his own life missing his partner.

Burying Tom

Before we covered him with the sheets,
we pillowed his head on fresh cut cedar boughs.
And carefully arranged his legs
that ran like fire across these fields.
A thick covering of cedar boughs,
their feathery softness more for us than him.

Stepping out, we lean hard against the shovels,
our breath coming in frosted clouds,
then gather ourselves and continue with picks and shovels
down through the ice and snow
through thick oak and thin persimmon roots.

Before we shovel him out of sight, we talk to him.
We invent our own mythology, his and ours.
We tell him when it's our turn
to enter the darkness, unlike that fierce dog
who guards the gates of Hell,

He'll be the welcoming one
at the dim edge of the other side.

When we are still stunned and smelling of earth
he'll come and lead us the way he did
when we took our long hayrides
and he turned us out of the tangled woods
into the wide bright fields
toward home.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pound Dog Rescue Song by The Fastest Poodle - Dog Song Saturday

How about a little rockabilly for today's Dog Song Saturday?  Check out The Pound Dog - Rescue Dog Song from The Fastest Poodle and featuring The Wolf Rock Band.

We completely agree:  rescue animals make wonderful pets!

Sit. Stay. Tap your paws to The Pound Dog Then fetch more dog songs and music videos at Talking Dogs. You'll be surprised at how many we've collected!