Good Morning!

Every morning I like to drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the view of Lake Michigan from my apartment. The lake shimmers with a different color each day. It gives me a daily moment of solitude and reflection that I am so fortunate to be able to enjoy. If I get up early enough I can watch the sun rise over the lake.

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Buddy likes to join me. He REALLY likes to join me. He will come running, full tilt, jump up on the sofa next to me and hurl his little body next to me with such abandon that it sends coffee splattering in all directions. He is so happy to start his day with me that I just have to chuckle.

Well, good morning to you too, Buddy!

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Favorite Places

photo (7)We all have our favorite places to be. A place where we think, dream or perhaps relax.

One of my favorite places to be is up high looking far over water. I am living in a favorite place right now in a 20th floor apartment overlooking Lake Michigan. Perfect.

We all have our favorite spots. Sheldon Cooper, in the TV Show, The Big Bang Theory, explains his special spot on the couch as, “In the winter that place is close enough to the radiator to remain warm, yet not so close as to cause perspiration, in the summer it is directly across from a cross breeze, created by opening windows there, and there, it faces the television in an angle that is neither direct thus discouraging conversation or so far to create a parallax distortion…” Everyone else knows not to sit there.

And where is Buddy’s favorite place these days?

Tucked in next to the toilet.

It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood poems:

Halfway Down by A. A. Milne

“Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
it.
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
where
I always
stop.

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
Anywhere!
It’s somewhere else
Instead!”

That’s OK Buddy, if that is where you want to sleep, so be it.

Modesty

Buddy has definite preferences regarding where he likes to take his morning walks.

He likes to walk along the dog-chin high plantings at the front of our building or behind the tall pine trees on the corner, or better yet, in the doggy-thigh high pachysandra. No walks along the sidewalk here, he likes to walk on the wild side.

If he sees a dog, he stops, sits down and watches until it passes by.

Until today I though he just liked all of the interesting smells, having moved here from Michigan, where he would roam free in the back yard. I thought he preferred the grass under his feet.

But as I watched him this morning, I realized something.

He is modest.

He is used to the privacy of his own back yard, and doesn’t want anyone else seeing him “doing his business.”

This brought back memories of showering in middle-school locker rooms. I remember other girls with their perky little chests and petite little figures confidently showering while I lurked in the corner in frumpy flat-chested misery.

I get it Buddy. Sometimes a guy just needs a little privacy.

Let’s see if we can find you a bush.

Multi-National New Millennium Pen Pal Dog


Do you remember having a “Pen Pal” in elementary school?

This was a popular program in the sixties. You would look through a list of addresses of other available pen pals and then write letters to one another. Yes, you used paper, and a pencil and a stamp!

I selected a British pen pal, of course, because I had a huge crush on Paul McCartney. I also kinda sorta thought that I just MIGHT have been switched at birth with Princess Anne, and would be returned to England when I was eighteen. Thus, having a British Pen Pal would give me insight into British culture. See? I was thinking things through.

Buddy is now a Multi-National New Millennium Pen Pal Dog through his blog. Blogging takes Pen Pals to a whole new level, sort of like the Blog Olympics. I try to explain this to him, but he doesn’t understand what I am saying because when I talk all he hears is:

“Cpihshakepoininaitreatadjfoijgoforawalkapofjgoodboycookiejpoadrideinthecar.”

His map reading skills are sorely lacking as well. However when I check our Word Press “stats” that keep a record of the countries of people who read his blog, each day shows a reader from a different country. Buddy has pals all over the world!

This shouldn’t surprise me. It is all about “world domination” in the McIntyre household. My sons used to play the game “Risk” when they were younger. If you aren’t familiar with the game, the object of the game is “world domination” by occupying all the territories on the game board.

I like the concept of “pals” better than “world domination.” But anyway you look at it, I must confess, every day I check the stats to see if someone from another country has checked in on his blog.

So, thanks for reading! Oh, and if you know someone from Germany or Italy – would you pass this along?

Buddy doesn’t have a pal there.

Yet.

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Chicagoans take their Halloween decorating seriously.

This isn’t the suburbs with its Martha Stewart inspired decorative gourds, bronze-dipped pumpkins and cute witches that look like they smashed into a tree on their brooms.

Oh no.
And I have to tell you, it is getting pretty spooky out there.

Buddy has been a little reluctant to go for a walk recently.  This is a dog that is afraid of plastic bags for Pete’s sake, so the ever expanding array of ghosts, goblins, zombies and other spooky creatures that are taking over the neighborhood are enough to scare ME let alone a little sixteen pound wimpy dog.

Before we even get outside he has to navigate past a pretty creepy looking “butler” that is currently residing outside of our next door neighbor’s apartment and it pretty much goes downhill from there.

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Winter Is Coming

“Winter is Coming”
Stark Family Motto from Game of Thrones

Buddy just might think he is a squirrel.

I am basing this observation on his recent behavior of “hiding” dog treats. He thinks they are hidden; however they are in plain sight. I am not going to bring this to his attention, because it might embarrass him.

Everywhere I turn around I happen upon a little doggy treat, in the corner of the room, hidden behind a plant, under a pillow on the bed.

This really doesn’t bother me except for one thing.

I think he is doing this because winter is coming. Of even greater concern is the fact that he hasn’t done this in the past.

I am afraid that he knows something on an instinctual level that, yeah, WINTER is coming. Not the somewhat-warm kind of Chicago winter we had last year, but the frozen eyebrow, up-to-your-knees-snow-hang-on-to-your-hat-windy kind of winter.

I think you are right, Buddy.

Winter is coming.

Listen

Buddy tries SO HARD to understand what I say to him.

I think when he hears me talk, this is what he hears:

“Cpihshakepoininaitreatadjfoijgoforawalkapofjgoodboycookiejpoadrideinthecar.”

With apt attention, he turns his head side to side, trying to decipher a snippet or catch a phrase.

Somehow, we communicate my Buddy and me. Even if it only means to him, “If I turn my head side to side when she makes that funny sound, I will get a treat.”

Awww, that’s OK Buddy, do you want a cookie?

The Great Mum Challenge


Buddy, like most dogs, feels it is his responsibility to pee on every Mum plant.

He doesn’t take this responsibility lightly, and on walks around our Chicago neighborhood, seeks out and delivers on the promise on every mum plant he happens upon.

He may have met his match though, in the long row of mum plants in front of our building. The plants stretch out, seemingly forever, three deep, two hundred plants long.

Buddy has taken this on as a personal challenge, some kind of doggy endurance test. Every morning he starts at the end of the plantings, ready to give it his very best, but sort of runs out of steam half-way down the line.

That’s OK, Buddy. You gave it your best. I will give you an “A” for effort.

Maybe tomorrow.

My Little Stalker

I think I have a stalker.
My dog Buddy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love this little dog. But sometimes he can get well, a little creepy.

Sorry Bud.

He watches my every move. He follows me everywhere, even into the bathroom.
I am the object of his undying affection. He looovvvvves me.

When I wake up in the morning, there he is, paws on my chest, staring at me.

If I head to the kitchen, he is at my heels.
If I sit on the couch, well there he is, right beside me.

Oh, that’s OK Buddy. I love you too.

Blessing of the Beasts

I may not be really good at explaining theological concepts to dogs and children.

When my younger son was in kindergarten, he blurted out to me one day, “I don’t want to go to Heaven.” When I asked him why, he replied, “Well why would I want to go there? The place is full of dead people.”

I gave him the whole spiel…streets are paved with gold….reunited with people who have passed before you…be with God. But he wasn’t buying it.

He said, “Face it mom, they’re dead.”

Perhaps I will get farther with the dog. We are going to bring our dog Buddy to church on Sunday for the annual Blessing of the Beasts.I tried to explain this to Buddy but he doesn’t understand spiritual matters, because when I speak to him all he hears is: “Cpihshakepoininaitreatadjfoijgoforawalkapofjgoodboycookiejpoadrideinthecar.”

I tell him that God won’t bless the stinky and that I am going to take him to the groomer. After all, they say that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

So here he is, trying SO HARD to decipher what I am saying, clean and ready and at his “Sunday Best” for the service, which is two days away.

Let’s hope I can keep him from rolling in something stinky until then.

And let’s also hope that my efforts on both my son and my dog’s behalf will prevail.