Category Archives: Pets

Prius

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

it’s been raining, and it’s about to rain again
but even dogs who don’t like rain, need walks
so Finn and I walk
down, around, through the park, back up and around
he sniffs the rain-green grass, I sniff the air
the smell of the wood burning stove
from the house on the corner
is my favorite

we cross the quiet street
on a diagonal
avoid a Prius silently coming closer
finn loves the sound of a Prius
it’s the sound of someone coming home
he stops at the corner, head turned
wags his tail
sits at perfect attention
won’t budge when I ask him to
I don’t have the heart
to force him, show him I’m boss

the Prius parks
the man stares at us
Finn’s tail keeps wagging expectantly
I want to explain to the man
my dog thinks you’re his dad
he doesn’t understand that our Prius doesn’t come home anymore
that is why we are standing on the corner
staring at you
and the rain-green grass




#sol22 March 20 The Truth About Cats and Dogs?

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Theodore
Snuggling is his favorite.
He thinks that wherever I am, he should be.

Sometimes he sneaks up, investigating the couch, slowly walking towards where I am reading. This is a familiar dance. He knows he needs to be careful.

He isn’t the only one who thinks that wherever I am, he should be.

Finn
Snuggling is his favorite
He thinks that wherever I am, he should be.

Each time Theodore tries to sneak on the couch, he must think that this time I’ll be alone. But then he takes one more step and realizes, it’s not his lucky chance for snuggles. Finn thinks the couch belongs to him. He’s pretty sure I belong to him too.

But, when Finn is away, the couch belongs to the cats.

Talula
Playing is her favorite.
She can catch a pipe cleaner and loves to play fetch.
She’ll snuggle nearby and on her terms

She’s one smart kitty. She waits until Finn is distracted to get her couch time.

Then, when she’s sure he’s occupied, she jumps on the couch to hang out nearby.

The truth about these cats and dogs is that they would be bestest of friends if they stopped being so possessive about snuggling me. They’ll touch noses sometimes, and I’ve seen Finn bring over a toy and ask Theodore to play. He’s usually not in the mood, but I’ve also seen him play with Finn’s tail. They have so much in common. I think maybe they hang out while I’m at work.

#sol22 March 17 Imperfect Limericks

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!

Addicted
I wrote a limerick example as one way
To help teachers who write find a slice today
But now I’m conflicted
Am I addicted?
Or, is it maybe okay?

Teacher Writers
This March there are some teachers
For writing, they don’t sit in the bleachers
They know there’s a way
To Slice every day
They’re part of our schools’ best features

Speaking of School
There once was a year so academic
You couldn’t tell there’d been a pandemic
I’m kidding you know
It does totally show
Because the trauma is systemic!

Masks
All the learners in school wear a mask
It’s not really a whole lot to ask
But on Monday, it’s true
It’ll be optional for you
I hope the teachers are up for the task

Lunchbreak
Thought I’d come home for a quick little walk
Take the dog once or twice ‘round the block
But the cat dragged his butt
And there was poop in his strut
So I mopped and kept checking the clock

Leadership
I was happy to run a teacher-writers meeting
We were writing and talking, I was happily leading
Until I couldn’t unmute
That was really a hoot
My leadership? Unfortunately was fleeting!

Slice
I could just use the limericks I’ve already written
Imperfect, I know but still, I am smitten
I’m hooked for sure
And I’ve looked, there’s no cure
So I hope my limerick slices will still fit in!

#sol22 March 3

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by!
My house is quieter now-
               unless the boys are wrestling or yelling at each other or singing loudly for all to hear,
               unless the dog is barking
When they were babies, toddlers, preschoolers, I used to tell myself "you'll miss this noise." 
                I was wrong
I don't miss the noise.
               well, sometimes I do
I do miss the cuddles, the chatter, the little hands, the weight of a sleeping child on my shoulder
               the weight of a sleeping child on my shoulder

A quiet early morning
                 I remember when mornings started this early but  with crying, or drumming, or a Super Friends DVD so I could sit with my coffee
I sneak downstairs early this morning, trying not to wake the dog 
               I tripped on a boot on the steps, and heard his doggy yoga stretch begin
I used to be scared of the dark
                But somehow after betrayal, the dark isn't so scary
Outside, I breathe in the quiet and watch the dog sniff around
                Until a strange noise comes from the darkness of the street
                I watch my dog become more interested in the noise, and quickly bring him in
I've been expecting an owl
                That was not an owl
I wait until the sun is up to try going outside again
              The house is quieter
In this moment I am thankful for this mindful time to write
               I miss the cuddles, the chatter, the little hands, the weight of a sleeping child on my shoulder
               
              
                

A Slice of boundaries

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

It’s cold in the morning
I pull on slippers, and walk downstairs, still yawning
My 2 cats meow.
Luckily, the dog is still sleeping upstairs.

I want to give myself a prize for remembering to set the coffee timer last night
I turn the heat up a few notches, choose a mug, pour my coffee, sit on the couch
with just a few of my mom’s crocheted blankets.

There’s not actually time to be lonely
Talula, the tabby, is content to sit near me for just a moment
She allows me one or two quick scratches on her soft, soft head
Theodore, the orange and white nudging fluff ball?
He wants constant attention
It’s harder than you think to balance coffee, a cat and a phone
So I alternate: Sip coffee and pet the cat; Flip through emails and pet the cat; Sip coffee and pet the cat; Flip through Facebook and pet the cat. . .

I’m in love with quiet mornings on the couch, and time with my cats without my dog’s jealousy.
(Is this betraying my dog? I don’t know…)
It’s cozy here, but I have responsibilities
Theodore purrs and settles in on my lap
He doesn’t understand that I have to shovel, salt, shower, take the dog out, feed the dog…
All before making sure my kids are up and ready for the bus

I look at Theodore, content and fluffy and I know.
I know that it’s time to set some boundaries
As I apologize and stand up, he runs away, disappointed
A few minutes later he is back in his own bed, asleep

Setting boundaries for your cat must be a
stepping stone
to a life-time of healthy boundary setting –
Right?


A Slice from the Porch (with a Pooch!)

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

Up and bark and run and down. Repeat.

My dog won’t stop with the crazy barking tonight. I mean, the other dogs up the street won’t stop either, I think they started it. But it doesn’t matter. Every time someone walks by, or a bird lands too close, or someone is walking their dog on our street, or he thinks maybe a chipmunk is under the bush, Finnegan jumps off of his chair to leap into the yard and bark.

“He’s on a lead!” I yell. Mostly because I accidentally bought a clear lead. And invisible leads don’t instill much confidence in passerbys.

Maybe the dogs up the street are a bad influence.

Maybe I’m a bad dog mom.

Maybe he’s tired. He started with a new trainer today, and he had to learn new rules.

I’m annoyed, but I think there is probably a metaphor for life somewhere here: on my porch with my dog. (A porch pooch!)

I’m sure there’s meaning here because now that I’ve written it all out he has jumped back on his chair, given me a few weighty sighs, looked at me with droopy puppy dog eyes and he might, just might be falling asleep.

#sol20 March 9 A Slice of Mountain Mystery

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

The scene: A cabin nestled in the mountains, hours past sunset.

The facts: It was dark, it was late. We had enjoyed dinner on the screened-in deck and enjoyed the mystery of the noise we heard somewhere below the deck,  in the dark forest.  A few of us had spent some time looking into the woods to try to see what was making the noise. The kids were convinced it was a bear. I said, “It’s probably a rabbit. Stop worrying.”

There was one thing we had left in the van: Mr. Thought’s BiPAP machine.

Also, the dog had to pee.

Mr. Thought and I decide that we should go outside together. We had read the binder about the cabin — be watchful for wildlife!

We walk out with the dog and are about to walk up to open the sliding side doors when we see something in front of the van.

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We back back into the house before Finn notices, and we tell the kids to be quiet. We turn off all of the lights in the kitchen and look out the window.

“What is that?” we ask each other as we stare out the window.

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“It’s a bear.”

“Look,” I say. “It’s furry.”

The kids go berserk.  I mean, there is the crowding of the window, the loud shushing of others, the crying.

“How are we going to get your sleep stuff?”
“How will Finn pee?”
“Don’t go out there. You can’t go out there.”
“Call Animal Control!”

H says, “No. That’s just a rock! Look at the pictures we took before our walk!”

So we look at the pictures. But there only seems to be the wooden slab. No big rock.

Plus, it is furry. And breathing. And is that an eye? It is so hard to see out the window!

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Should we beep the van to make it move? But then we won’t know where it goes. Should we shine a flashlight at it? Is it sleeping? Should we knock on the window?

“Wait,” one of the kids says. Is this because I didn’t pick up my apple core?

Earlier, on our walk, we had put the apple core on the ground in front of our van – meaning to pick it up on the way back inside. But then we had forgotten.

Oops.

“Is it a rock?” Someone asks. “Or a bear?”

I text my parents.

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Mr. Thought devises a plan. He’ll go out the side porch to secure a door that is out there. This way, he can get a closer look – with screen door protection. I’ll stand by the window to get his thumbs down (It’s a bear) or thumbs up (It’s a rock!) and then we will know for sure.

The children do not like this plan. They can only think of bear attacks and death.

“Daddy. If you go out there and get killed by a bear, I’m going to be so mad at you!”

At some point, one of them googles what to do when you face a bear. They start reading us directions like “speak calmly, back away, do not run…”

We tell the kids to chill. Or maybe we yell at them to chill. I’m not saying it is our finest parenting moment. “Sit on the couch and let us figure this out, or go upstairs! We are the grown-ups!”

Then H remembers he has binoculars and runs upstairs to look from the window up there. The other kids follow.

“It’s a rock!” the kids shout, “It’s definitely a rock.”

But when L comes down and looks out the kitchen window again, she is unconvinced again.

We can see fur, and breathing, and is that an eye?

There’s only one way to find out. L sets her phone on the windowsill to capture the drama on video. Mr. Thought goes to the side porch. I watch as he slowly walks to the door that leads to the front.

Thumbs up.

It’s a rock.

A spotlight turns on from our movement, and it becomes obvious.

H says, “I told you! It’s a rock!”

Mr. Thought goes to get his stuff, I text my parents, they laugh.

We are so relieved – not only is it not a bear but now we have a story to go with the time our cat was missing right at the same time we had a mysterious large critter roaming our bedroom. . .

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#sol20 March 6 A slice in a Parking Lot

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge!
I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Listen, I admit it. I’m the kind of person you might look at funny in the parking lot of Trader Joes.

Listen, I admit it.  If I’m putting my groceries into my car, and I suddenly realize that I have been hearing a whining sound from behind me, I’m going to turn around.

Listen, I admit it. If I turn around and the whining sound stops, I’m going to pucker my lips out a little and start questioning the dog in the car beside me – the dog I didn’t notice before.

Listen, I admit it. I’m going to ask him if he just wanted attention. I’m going to say, “Was that you? Were you trying to say hello? What are you doing? You’re all serious now, aren’t you? Are you trying to pretend that wasn’t you whining a second ago?”

Listen, I admit it. I’m going to realize mid-speech that it maybe isn’t totally normal to be chatting with a dog you don’t know. I’m going to realize that people might not even see that there is anyone there – canine or human. I probably look like I’m talking to myself.

Listen, I admit it. After I realize this, I’m going to start talking again. “Oh!” I’ll say. “You are super cute even though you are trying to look all serious. What are you thinking about? Where’s your person? You’re such a good dog! A front seat dog!”

Listen, I admit it. I’m going to take a picture before I put my cart away…because look at that puppers!

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A Slice From my chair

Slice of LIfePart of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

 

From my chair (which is actually the nook of the couch) I see
Finnegan’s head popping up from my leg –
He’s just noticed the neighbor’s new puppy, Gus on a walk.
He will jump up any second, I think.
I can see Gus too.
But the light is getting dim out there.
The blinds should be closed by now.

From my chair (which is actually the nook of the couch) I feel
The heat of the fireplace –
I love to watch the flames, even out of the corner of my eyes.
I will turn it off soon, I think.
I can hear the sound of the fan too.
But it’s getting a little hot in here.
The fire should be off by now.

From my chair (which is actually the nook of the couch) I hear
The boys talking –
About bickering, “you can talk about bickering without bickering.”
I am told this as I type.
I can hear the oven beep too.
But I haven’t made the rest of dinner.
I should have fed my children by now.

From my chair (which is actually the nook of the couch) I see
Finnegan back on my leg –
Sleeping after his big adventure looking out the window.
I will have to move him soon.
He is all snuggled in too.
But I have to turn the fire off
And I need to feed the children now.