Monday, May 11, 2009

Stories Live on Forever

We went to my sister's home for Mother's Day. We had dinner with her family along with my Mom and Dad. It was a pleasant time, as it always is, a time to share our news about recent events, review politics both globally and locally, talk about the environment and to share any good stories.
We had some really good stories this time.
(photo of our Border Collies - my beloved dog Sam and Dad's beloved dog Boots - now both deceased from old age).

I shared a story that I'd seen that afternoon on Animal Planet (love that channel). A cat had gone outside and wandered to a paper factory where it climbed in a drum. Workers closed up the drum and put it on a truck no realizing the cat was inside. The drum travelled across the USA (sorry I can't recall the name of the city it left from). Thousands of miles later it was in Chicago. From there it was put on a ship where it travelled through the Great Lakes, out the St. Lawrence River. Then it crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The drum was unloaded in France, put on another truck and taken to another factory. When workers there opened the drum they heard a meow. The cat was still alive and wearing tags with it's owner's contact info. Thirty (yes 30!) days had passed with the cat in the drum with no food or water!!! The cat was flown home first class and was happily greeted by its family and the TV news station.

Dad told a story about a man who walked his dog in the off leash park but his dog had climbed on a fallen tree stump close to the fence and then used that as a launch pad to hop the fence and achieve freedom. The man spent an hour chasing his dog and then gave up. Luckily the dog had tags and an hour later he got a call. His dog was found about 14 miles away. Talk about getting out for some exercise!

My brother-in-law talked about the problems with their dog hopping the fence at the back to chase raccoons wandering around at night time in the neighbour's yard. He's planning on creating an obstruction and making the fence taller.

Then I had to share Barry's blog story about his dog Lindsay ( who ate a funny looking dog treat which it later excreted when they were on their daily walk in the woods. The funny part is what happened when some other people came along and found the poop. You must read this story. It's pretty funny. My family totally enjoyed this story and the laughter was very gusty. We're a family of animal lovers, dogs in particular and we're also faithful dog poop picker-uppers just like Barry.

Then I mentioned how I knew Barry - or at least knew him through his writings and reading his blog. I told of his recently finding out about cancer of the esophagus and the surgery, chemo and radiation treatments planned for the near future. We all nodded about that one and grew quiet and Mom and I made eye contact and she nodded too. No words were needed. She has been through this one with thyroid cancer and knew a lot about it.

On the way home I became meditative thinking about how I'd shared someone else's story and how it had created enjoyment for the listeners. They may well tell it to someone else they meet along the way. I realized how important our stories can be. At some point we will all pass from this life as the great circle of life takes us through our time here but the stories, the stories can remain to be told and retold long after we are gone.
I noticed too that stories don't just have their life on-line in a blog with followers. They can grow outside of it and find life in the oral retelling of a great tale.
May these stories live on forever to encourage others, bring insight, share knowledge or just give a good belly chuckle when it's really needed.

And now I'll share one of Dad's funniest stories which I hope you'll share and enjoy with your dog loving friends:

I was sitting at home when Dad came by. He had just taken my dog Sam and his dog Boots for their daily walk. He brought Sam into the house which was part of the normal routine but what made me lift my head from my book and take notice was that Dad was stomping his feet. I could tell from his tense body that he was pretty mad.

"What's wrong?" I asked. He turned and headed for the door. "Dad, what's wrong?" I repeated, realizing he was not just mad, he was furious.

"I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!" he said and left without looking back.

There was nothing I could do really. Obviously something had happened on the dog walk but if he wasn't willing to tell me there wasn't much I could do.

A few days passed and Dad was again returning Sam from the walk. He was in his usual pleasant mood so I asked him what had happened the other day to make him so mad.

Finally he was willing to share.

Boots had a life long habit of eating things off the ground, things that most dogs wouldn't eat. Any Kleenex the the floor became a snack and he'd often eat Kleenexes on the dog trail. It seemed any Kleenex would do. He'd eat bark from trees and if he caught a rabbit or a vole it was an instant meal for him (I was NOT present when he caught rabbits because I would have stopped him).

On the day in question Boots had seen a used condom on the ground and he was determined to eat it. Dad was equally determined that Boots would not eat it and thus ensued a struggle where Dad tried to prevent Boots from eating a condom, while trying not to touch it.
Trying to stop Boots just made the condom more desireable and, yes,


Jan Mader said...

YIKES!!! What a horrible thing to eat, but what a terrific post! I loved it!!!! Your photos (and dogs)are/were amazing.

Have you checked out my new animal blog?

Love to have you stop by! Jan

Barry said...

What a joy to be reading along and find my little story about Lindsay bringing people to laughter!

And that was quite the story about the cat too! amazing!

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Oh this is a wonderful post Barbara. Loved the story of the pups!!
We all love our big ole teddy bear Barry don't we? I lift his name up every day..........
Great snaps of the pups!!!! Aren't they just the best? Unconditional love at it's finest :)

Steady On
Reggie Girl

Kat said...

Our Annie is like that. Not so much now, but when we first got her. I have a very weak stomach for some reason, and when she barfed up a pair of thongs (not mine,of course) the first day we got her, wel I 'll just say I was not a happy camper, and neither was my stomach. Ha Ha.

Kat said...

Hi Barbara, It's Kat again, and I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your comments on my blog. We have tons of honeysuckle, but only one of this red color. All of it is wild and I wish I could see just one honey bee on my place. With all the wild flowers and vines I wonder why they are not here.