Diary, musings on life, people, interests. Posting my poetry

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Location: Lacey, WA, United States

I have a Certified Artist/Teacher degree with the National Society of Decorative Painters. Taught decorative painting, color theory, calligraphy and other art related classes for 12 years. I enjoy using my artistic talents, especially to update furniture and repurpose found items. I am married to the world's most wonderful husband. We celebrated our 48th anniversary this year (2016). We have raised six children, three boys, three girls. Have 10 grandchildren. Through the NSDP I have paintings in the White House, Blaire House and Smithsonian Institute. I was given the honor of being the Chair of the Pacific NW, "Breeze and Brush" Decorative Painting Convention. What fun we had! I like keeping healthy and enjoy life. I love humor and people. God has been good to me!

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Jenny came to our home as a puppy in June of 1976. She was a little short legged ball of black, white
and tan fur. A friend of one of our children had found her abandoned and couldn't keep her, of course one of our children said we would be happy to take her in.

In retrospect I'm so glad that we did, it turned out that Jenny was such a blessing to our family. She was well behaved and one of the most faithful and loving companions any family could ever have. She was born some time in April of 1976 and lived with us until her death in August 1993, 18 years of love, play and devotion.

As a pup she came to us very lethargic, full of worms and fleas, needing a bath and veterinary care. It wasn't long before she was healthy, had her shots and was spayed. She was full of the usual puppy habits, chewing, crawling all over you, hiding under the bed, as pictured above when the kids played hide-and-seek with her. She would always find them.

She was a smart dog, very gentle and quiet yet energetic. It didn't take long for her to learn that she was not to leave the yard. I would put her in the driveway and tell her to stay then return to the house and watch her from the kitchen window. If she headed down the driveway to the street I would go out with a piece of rolled-up newspaper and lightly hit it against my hand and say "Jenny, come back!" I would tell her to stay and go back inside. I never hit her, she didn't like the sound of the newspaper. It took a little over a week of repeating the procedure three or four times a day and from that time on she never left the yard, there was no fence. She would either lay on the driveway or walk to the front yard and lie on the grass under the tree.

She loved to play with the kids and was ecstatic when they were all in the back yard with their friends playing ball or just hanging out. Von and Amy were her buddies. She was walked every day, went to the vet for her yearly booster shots and checkups, had her teeth cleaned and like most dogs, didn't much like the trip there.

Jenny loved camping, she went through her teething cycle at the campground chewing on small branches. She would walk with the kids through the campground, go hiking with us, loved the water and would swim even when it was cold. I especially remember a time at Sun Lakes when Amy was on her float and Jenny swam out to see her and almost dumped her in the lake.

She would see a squirrel or Chipmunk and take up her position under the tree with one leg raised, looking up, her ears perked up and absolutely still. Of course the animal would have been long gone but Jenny would maintain her position forever.

Mushrooming was a favorite time for her. We would be hunting and cutting mushrooms and she would be sniffing and meandering through the brush in her own little world.

She loved the beach and would run like the wind across the wet sand with Amy and Von. She would lay patiently while Amy and Von buried her in the sand, except for her head. They would finish and then take off running down the beach. She would squeal and dig herself out, run after them and be so excited when she caught up.

We had a cat named Ernie, he and Jenny had a special relationship, they would nuzzle each other and Ernie would groom Jenny by licking her head and ears. Ernie would lie in the middle of the livingroom carpet on his back and reach out to Jenny. Jenny would lower her front quarters and make small barking noises as she would move in a circle around Ernie. Ernie would rotate, on his back, in a circle. They would play this game every other day.

When the kids had a rabbit named Pepper we would put him inside a small wire fence in the back yard to give him a little freedom to move around and have some fresh grass. Jenny would hop into the enclosure and lick him. She would lie down on her stomach and babysit him. We would sometimes find them just laying in the grass next to each other.

When Jenny was five years old we took in a pregnant calico cat that the neighbor was going to dump, we called her Mama. I had the flu and pregnant Mama and sick me would lie on the couch together and commiserate. Jenny seemed to sense that this cat was pregnant, she would lick her.

We bought a book on cat pregnancies, prepared a 'Queening bed', a cardboard box with a clean blanket in it, cut down on one side to enable the pregnant cat to get in and out easily. We placed it in a spare bedroom, that was unused, where it was quiet. Amy, Von and I brought Mama into the room and put her in the bed so she would know where it was. She sniffed around and left, not too interested.

When mama's time came to deliver Amy was home with a cold. It was early morning and Amy and I were sitting in my bed while I read to her. Mama came into the bedroom and was emitting low 'meows', I lifted her onto the bed and she layed down between us. I continued reading and reached down to stroke her and I could feel the hardness of her abdomen. I told Amy that she was in labor and would have her kittens that day. Amy was excited and I think a little scared. I think Mama was also a little frightened, after all, this was her first experience with birth. Mama got down from the bed and went to the door of the spare bedroom. I opened the door and she immediately went to the Queening bed, got in and laid down. She hadn't gone near it since I had brought her there a month prior.

She had four kittens and was such a good mother. We moved the litter box, food and water into the 'nursery'. As the kittens matured and began moving around other arrangements were made to contain them with a very large box lined with papers. I was sitting in the living room one day reading and Mama came in, jumped up on the end table and behind the couch. I didn't pay much attention to her until she did it a third time. When I looked behind the couch, there were the kittens, it was time to move out into the world.

I didn't need a second reminder. I blocked off the cold air intake holes of our fireplace with cardboard (the openings were small enough for the kittens to enter and get caught) I placed an old sheet on the carpet in the livingroom and placed the kittens on it. Mama layed there content and happy to be out of the room. You're probably wondering what all this has to do with Jenny?

Jenny would lay down on her stomach with her front legs outstretched so only the pads of her front paws touched the edge of the sheet. She would watch the kittens and shake. Mama wasn't sure if she should trust her, these were her babies and she was protective.

Every day Jenny would lie in the same position and I noticed that every other day she would get a little closer to the sheet until her paws were resting on the edge. She would stretch out her neck and try to smell the kittens, and she would shake. As I sat watching one afternoon Jenny went through the same routine only this time she was able to come in contact with one of the kittens. Mama was watching intently. Jenny sniffed the kitten and then gently licked it's head and back. For the first time since the kittens were born, Mama got up and left them. It was as if she said, okay, you'll make a great kitten sitter. Now I have some freedom.

Mama wanted out, it had been weeks since she had been outside. Do you know how hard a decision that was letting her go outside? I was so afraid she might not come back or something would happen to her. Everything worked out just fine. Jenny would kitten sit and Mama would always come back after her outing and take over again.

We found good homes for three of the kittens and kept the little striper, named her Samantha and had many fun years with her in the family. Until the day that Mama died she aboslutely loved that spare bedroom. Don't tell me animals don't know anything!!

We took Jenny on trips with us and once stopped at a station to fuel. The kids went inside to use the restrooms and buy a candy bar. I took Jenny into the vacant lot next door to relieve herself, she was casually sniffing and walking around. The fueling was done, the kids were back in the car so I said "Hurry up Jen!" She immediately did her job, headed back, got in and up on the seat, one of the kids put their sun glasses on her and she sat calmly looking out the window at the attendant. He commented "Man, that dog minds better than a lot of kids I've seen!" We all laughed - Jenny didn't see what was so funny.

Jenny has a special place in our hearts and memories, we loved our Jenny, she was a special dog.

Our youngest daughter, Amy, and her husband named their dog Jenny in honor of the original gal.

God Bless!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see a you do a watercolor of Jenny.

6:04 AM  

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