01 June 2008

We have veered off the dog agility course again.

All right my friends! Did I open the can of whoopass or what? You guys keep hashing it out in there about the AKC. I will surely stay out of that for now because for all I know, you are all lawyers or in law school and boy have I learned not to get in an argument with you attorney types because of the whole whoopass thing. Here are a couple little things I thought you might like to hear today.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a memorial service for a super beloved elderly neighbor who died last month. She was one of those ladies who was sharp as a tack into her upper '80's and who lived a wild and eccentric lifestyle, most of which I didn't know about until the stories came tumbling down at the memorial. I just lived across the street from her for about 10 years and used to help her out with little things that someone in their 80's might need help with. And contribute to her wicked addiction to high end candy bars. Her memorial was up on someone's property in the mountains, and opened up with a bagpiper in a kilt marching super slow through the property, playing some of her favorite bagpipe tunes. I had no idea people had favorite bagpipe tunes, maybe some of you do and you are also attorneys and off you can go about that!

So have you ever been in close proximity to a bagpiper? He has on a kilt and knee socks and he blows on a tube in the side of his mouth that fills up the bags I guess and plays a little keyboard attached to the whole crazy looking rig and the sound is pretty unique. He had to be careful walking under the oak trees because those pipes kept whacking the branches, and somehow he could keep bagpiping and walking with his tiny little steps and tree branch smacking all at once. And someone had their dog in their truck parked up near the ceremony, and eventually, that dog figured out this was howling music and I thought, thank god I did not bring the small dogs and park up here and be racing out of this beautiful ceremony and down to the car hissing "STOP IT NOW YOU BEASTS!"

So there were so many pictures and stories and it was actually a happy event in so many ways to remember her and for some of us who didn't know her so well to hear about her colorful and wild past. And the photos, all these old photos when she was a young girl and so very beautiful and photos of the people who spoke when they were kids and now they were grandpas and grandmas. You look in the mirror sometimes and you wonder how that is going to work out, then you see a grandpa in his clean navy blue sneakers and checkered shirt and baggy khaki pants and his socks sort of falling down, and his photo from the time they had to sneak around the great aunts to clean up the whiskey bottles and cigarette butts and you wonder how that was ever possible. And you are thinking, maybe he had those same sneakers on THEN too? And now his head is so wide and speckled and he can only move with tiny little steps like the bagpiper.

So we stayed a little longer than we thought we would, and were late for Timmy and there he was, spinning around and had an accident and was just there still spinning when we walked in the door. Boy did I feel bad for Timmy. The only way he can show you he is upset is by spinning and panting and pacing and when it's really upset, turn into running and bashing into things. He's had a few bad days again, Timmy, days that might end up with a tranquilizer and I ask him again, "You still OK here? You still want to stay?" Maybe he can't answer just then, but then later on he might come and lay down under my chair and collapse there with his head on my foot.

I found this picture of Timmy. It might look like I am training him, but I think what I am doing is having an art show. Except for that Karl is somewhere off camera, doing all the work because likely a motor is broken, and it is likely in the middle of the night and likely the show opens the next day. And Timmy was at every moment of every art show, sometimes sleeping in a corner on a piece of cardboard while I was up on shakey, half assed scaffolding I made myself out of ladders and a table and a trash can lid painting a wall pattern or maybe he was running around barking for no good reason except we were boring him or maybe he was being a model dog, in the actual opening where probably no dogs were actually allowed.


Elf said...

When Remington had cancer and I knew that his time left with me was really limited, I went back and got out all his younger photos which were before digital camera-ry and scanned them in and I wrote little captions for them and put together a web page and wrote down everything I could remember about him from when he was young and hiding whiskey bottles and wearing navy blue tennis shoes and all that, because I thought that after he was gone I wouldn't be able to stand doing it and I was right, I really did run out of words for a while after he was gone. A bagpiper would have been nice but all he got was my tears and some web pages.


Gussie said...

bagpipers are pretty standard at weddings & funerals here in scotland and a piper's lament fair sends shivers down my spine. and the dogs do howl.