On Being A Dog Owner

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I finally became a dog owner. I had dogs throughout my childhood, and loved them all. After all these years I felt I was responsible enough to own one, and I no longer have those urges to move across the country and start a new life on a whim. Yes, it is a change, my life now revolves around that scruffy white ball of fur. Gone are the days when I would take off for the gym, and come home 10 hours later because I become distracted by all the other things I need to do or want to do. All because I have to get home and make sure Henry did not chew up anything and he needs to be fed.

I want to make sure I give him the best and I try to be a good master. I decided to make the Henry homemade dog food. I Googled, I researched, and came up with rice, chicken, and vegetables. I would make a batch that would last about 10 days. Three day portions, then the rest was put in 3 day containers to freeze and use. This was such a production, and I felt satisfied that his nutritional needs would be met and I would never have to worry about ingredients. After 10 days of “loose stools” I gave up. He looked relieved when I opened the dry kibble and mixed it with broth. Treats. All dogs need treats. I am a label reader and I did make a decision not to buy products from China. I was in one store, and every product, with the exception of one came from China. Off to a pet store where I paid twice the amount for his chew toys, but I felt better knowing I had given him something I knew in my heart was safe

Which leads me to my next dog ownership “duty“ for no better word, poo. I cannot figure how a medium small dog can produce and leave so much. Not that I keep track of his output, it needs to be picked up before the gardeners arrive or the leaves do not get blown if poo is in the midst. So, at least once a week, the gloves and the ziplock bag comes out and I pick it all up. The dog trainer mentioned timed feeding=timed pooping. Well for the most part it really does work, he goes in the morning after breakfast. However, in the afternoon, I can pack up the dog, go for a ride, and what does he do upon exiting the car, he begins the humping motion to poo. He never does it in a convenient place, or around people who seem forgiving. It is like he does it to humiliate me, or perhaps it is a dogs sense of humor. I never imagined I would be walking after a dog and picking up poo. I used to laugh to myself when I saw people do this, and now it is me .

Then there is exercising the dog. My agreement with the adoption agency was that I would take the dog for walks, which I enjoy. Then a woman I met on the walk was appalled that we had not been to the dog park where he could run free. This left me guilt ridden so off to the dog park. I carefully read all of the posted rules on the fence and there we were. Henry does like to chase the other dogs, but lately, he would rather sit next to me on the bench or follow me as I stroll within the gated boundaries. He had a couple of negative experiences where smaller dogs nipped at him, and he did contain himself but he was not too happy. I learn a lot from the dog park people. I listen to their stories of vet bills that run in the thousands. I pray that Henry remains healthy and does not accrue a large vet bill. I explained to him I do not have insurance and he will have to rely on Dr. Google if something goes wrong. So, with those words I told him not to run in the street and get hit by cars, or fight other dogs.

I love the joy and happiness that Henry brings to my life. He is part terrier and sometimes I call him a terrorist. He has torn into the trash, ripped up sheets and pillows, but when you look at him as he slinks away there is still love in my heart for him. He does not mind his occasional bath and puts up with the lightly scented shampoo and then smells like a girl. He does not shake until I dry him with a towel, it is another thing to appreciate. I love it that Henry sleeps on the foot of the bed and patiently waits till I open my eyes to leap all over me, it is a delightful way to start the day. All I have to do is look at my dog, or even a picture of him on my phone, and I smile from the inside out. Yes, I love Henry with all my heart and soul.

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Mansion Chicken

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Last night I had Mansion Chicken. I have decided to boycott Mansion Chicken and Mansion Vegetables too for the rest of my life! What is Mansion Chicken? It is the price one pays for a very overpriced portion of chicken. Chicken that is so expensive, it must have been raised in a mansion to have that kind of a price tag. Come to think of it, I do not even recall my recent experience with Mansion Chicken to have been organic! What do I consider expensive? Let me explain, I am willing to pay for a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken WITHOUT a coupon. (Before you judge me, It is a once a year indulgence.) I have been known to buy a whole organic chicken to create a wonderful meal, I do wince at the price. I will buy a whole package of chicken without it being on sale. I do not have a problem paying for a fair portion of food. How much was my Mansion Chicken? $9 dollars for two Satay sticks that were ½” wide, by 3 ½” long.

Living in a destination spot with clubs that celebrities frequent can be fun, and a little indulgent. Some of the perks that locals have are free admission to these venues, and open bars. The event I attend on Thursdays is free wine tasting’s, and each week they are held at a different venue. Most of these clubs offer the patrons half price appetizers or they have a special menu to offer the members. This particular place, and I will not name, but the Kardashian’s frequent when they come to town had a special menu. The price seemed fair, and we thought after we could go somewhere for dinner if we were hungry. We decided on the Tempura Vegetables for $4, and the Satay Sticks for $9. The price was a little steep, so we decided to ask the Playboy looking Russian waitress how many Satay Sticks came on the plate. “TRREEEE” she responded. We nodded our heads, and we could read each others minds that afterwards we will be going out to forage for food, because I know I would still be hungry. Our Mansion Chicken arrived, served on a china plate, a cloth napkin and engraved wooden chopsticks, however there were only 2 pieces. We questioned the waitress, who then sent over the manager dressed in a suit with an ear piece. He told us normally the appetizer is $13 , this special price we paid was $9, therefore we would get 2 pieces of Mansion Chicken. My friend told the manager she would not have ordered it if she had been told there were only 2 pieces. He remedied the situation by sending us another plate of 3. We were satisfied, 5 pieces for $9 was acceptable. We did laugh that the chicken was barely warm, so we decided at that price the Mansion Chicken, was still a disappointment.

Do not get me wrong, I realize there is a difference in eating from a street vendor versus paying the price for ambiance. I also expect perfection in service, preparation and presentation for Mansion Chicken and other foods. There is a fine line in the price point. For me, the dish must have some special flavor, presentation, or something that would not be easy to replicate at home. So, I will not order a simple appetizer, I am boycotting overpriced foods of any kind, from any place. My friends words will forever echo in my mind, “That chicken MUST have been raised in a mansion to be that expensive.” before I order from an expensive restaurant.

The Prophet

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The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It is reflective writing weaved into a fantasy that is beyond brilliant. It touched my soul and need to find Orphalese, the place I always search for… My history with the book has been interesting. I remember clearly the day my sister who was in high school was dating an “older” guy, he was 19, a hippy with wild red tangled hair. He gave her the book as a gift. I only looked at the cover, and being 4 years younger I thought she would join the Hare Krishna’s and I would see her dancing at an airport.

Years passed by, and as I got older I would find the quotes by Kahlil and I was always touched by them. Somehow the book never came across my path until I was in my late 30’s. I was taking a stress management class at the university and it was a selection on our reading list. It was divine intervention. Living in a remote area, and an LDS dominated region I did not expect to find the book. Someone suggested that I ask friends if they had copies. I asked at a party, the generation range as from people in their 20‘s the oldest one 86; this woman said she had the book, I went to her home and we searched and it could not be found. She commented how many times she read the book and found a meaningful quotes to use in a cards and writings.

I eventually ordered a used copy. It arrived, it was a 1948 edition. The book is set in Original Old Style , the paper is textured, yellowed, the binding is loose telling me it has been read many times. Inside, the cover, “To Elsa, from Mabel 1948” with a quote from the book. I often wondered who they were, and what inspired Elsa to give Mabel the book. My copy is now 63 years old. How many people have held this particular book? My mind wanders, and it never fails to come up with scenarios over the decades. I have read it in times of joy, and in times of sorrow, and the book never fails to comfort my soul.

You may wonder why I chose to write about this book. It has been setting on my desk, as I have needed it to find solace in my pain. It’s black binding and gold lettering resembles a Bible to me, and yes, it is like my Bible, and guide. Today I noticed a stamp, “Used Book” My first thought, how unfortunate that someone stamped this book, it could be valuable, and with the stamp it would lessen the value. My thought process gently transitioned, and I smiled, realizing, yes, this book is used, and valuable.