Short essays by Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D., the author of TING AND I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion, published in September 2011 by Outskirts Press (Parker, CO, USA), available from outskirtspress.com/tingandi, Barnes and Noble [bn.com], and Amazon [amazon.com], in paperback or ebook formats. Please visit us at tingandi.com for more information.
Friday, October 18, 2019
UNDERSTANDING SASSIE, Goldie Sees Mike
Goldie was alone.
She missed the company of her
puppies. She had taught her puppies how
to hunt as a team, and this education made it easier for them to kill for their
food. Now she was hunting alone, and it
was necessary for her to go farther from the den to obtain her food. The nights were getting colder, and she no
longer had the warmth of her puppies to dull the icy hands of the night. She was lonesome and hungered for
comfort. As she traveled a greater
distance to hunt, she found the dirt road.
She discovered the black skins and, like Sassie discovered, that man was
responsible for the appearance of these black skins. It was easy prey and she took advantage of
the black treasurers that held food.
She wondered about a man that she noticed
came to walk in this area of the forest every day at the same time. He always seemed to be looking at the ground
and mumbling something to himself. I really love Millie! I know she wants to graduate college, but I
don’t think our relationship would stop her ability to graduate! Should I propose? What if I do propose and she says no? It will only be a few months until she
graduates. Does she love me enough to
Mike’s conversations with himself were
filled with confusing thoughts. He came
to this wooded area because Mother Nature helped him to think. He started to bring his lunch here, because
the wooded area was peaceful and comforting.
Unknown to him was Goldie’s presence.
Like Goldie, he was beginning to realize how lonely it was to live
Goldie sensed that the man was
troubled. She liked the fact that he
always left some of his lunch. It was as
if he knew there was a dog that needed to eat.
Impossible, Goldie thought, I would never let man see me! Man is dangerous!
Yet Goldie saw gentleness and compassion
in this man and wondered what it would be like to live with him. She was thinking about breaking her own
rule. Stay away from Man! She began to wonder, is this man really dangerous?
At the shelter, Sassie was getting more
freedom and more time with Ruth. She
kept hearing something about a Puppy Play Day.
Play is something that she always enjoyed. She missed the play with her brother and
sister. What did Puppy Play Day
mean? Would I be able to meet some new
Sassie heard Ruth and Jane talk about a
time called “Saturday,” but it meant little to Sassie. Sassie did understand that Ruth was excited
about something, and as she listened to Jane and Ruth talk, she decided they
were planning something fun.
Ruth was excited about introducing Sassie
to the Puppy Play Day that would be held on Saturday. Jane was explaining the rules and the fact
that Millie would be there to help new owners understand what puppy play
actions are good and what actions needed redirection.
Jane was smiling and laughing as she
thought about past play dates, I have many
toys, I have places for the puppies to hide if they want a time-out, and the
owners are given directions for proper redirection or protecting a puppy’s
personal space or their wish to hide.
Jane went on to describe one of the recent
puppy play dates. “Everyone was
laughing and enjoying the moment.
Outside, the weather may have been miserable, but the noise of the wind
was unnoticed as we watched the puppies play.
That day there was a group of four German Shepherd puppy siblings that
were chasing each other around the large room.
Dog toys were scattered throughout the area. Some of the other puppies were chewing on
balls, ropes, and things of every shape and size. A mixed-breed puppy was shaking a fluffy toy
squirrel that squealed, much to the delight of those who wanted to steal this
At one point, three of the German Shepherd
puppies decided to lie down to rest.
However, the fourth puppy wanted them to continue the chase game. He picked up a snake toy and shook it in
front of the three resting puppies. It
was a temptation they could not ignore.
The chase game began again with everyone wanting to capture the snake
Jane told Ruth, “It is a fun time, and we
try to have a scheduled Puppy Play Day on the first and third Saturday of each
month at 6 p.m. If the weather is bad or
there is a holiday, there will be no play dates scheduled. Tomorrow is a Puppy Play Day. You can bring Sassie to this one if you’d
like. She will already be here at the
shelter; just come a little early and bring dog treats.”
Ruth was looking forward to giving Sassie
a nice adventure at this puppy play time.
With her permission, I am serializing a chapter a week, on this blog, near-final material from this novel by Helen A. Bemis, published by Outskirts Press and available through amazon.com: