Super Grover the Crime Dog

Photo by Angela Kirk

It’s easy to be lulled into the complacency of our daily routines. There is a certain comfort in predictability. You aren’t really prepared when something jolts you into a new reality, especially in the wee hours of the morning.

It started out just like every other day. Doc let me out at about 5:15 am just like she always does. As I was out in the yard doing my business, Doc was inside getting our breakfast ready before work. After awhile Doc came and opened the back door and called for me to come in. As I was meandering up the back steps I stopped right in my tracks when I heard a noise over by the fence.  I knew right away something wasn’t right so I turned around. I saw something moving so I immediately went into high alert growling and barking as I ran toward the fence. Doc couldn’t see what I was barking at because it was too dark, but I saw him. There was a man in the yard that didn’t belong there. As I shot through the dark toward the stranger the man became so frightened that he fell right into the weeds trying to get away from me. By this time Doc was aware that we had a trespasser on our hands.

I swear Doc doesn’t use the good sense she was born with sometimes. She stood on the back porch watching the man go through the back acre until he reached the street light where she could see him. Later she told me she wanted to get a good description and see where he was headed.Now most normal people would call the police at this point. Not Doc, she said we had to get to work. Luckily one of the  police officers we work with told her to go file a report. Duh!

After work we drove to the police station and met a nice officer that took our information. Of course I had to go along as I was the main eye-witness. The police asked me what I saw and then asked Doc what she saw. Then the police and the other staff gave me some good belly rubs.  One of the officers even asked Doc if he could take me home with him. Of course she told him no. It just so happened that a man fitting the description we gave them had been breaking into cars and had tried to break into woman’s garage that morning.

Later that day we got word that they saw him walking down the street and arrested him. Even though that man shouldn’t have been doing what he was doing we both hope he gets the help he needs.

Doc told me should couldn’t  have been prouder of me. I told her I was happy to protect her, after all we work as a team. Isn’t life is so much better when you know someone has your back?

Photo by Angela Kirk ” Animals are born who they are, accept it, and that’s that. They live with greater peace than people do.”

— Gregory Maguire

A Lesson In Patience

Photo by Angela Kirk

Just when you think you have conquered the life lesson of learning patience, something happens to remind you that you haven’t. I don’t mean to tattle, but Doc is a kind of hurry up and do it now kind of person. Let’s just say patience is not her virtue. I will have to hand it to her though, she realizes that about herself and tries to do better……..but let’s just say she has more work to do than she realizes.

On Christmas she received two flower bulbs. One was a  paper white (Narcissus) and the other an Amaryllis. She placed both of them in front of the window so that they would get plenty of light. The paper white grew fast and furious and within a few weeks was in full bloom. The Amaryllis bulb, well that was another story. We watched it and watched it for weeks on end until Doc thought it might be dead. Just when she was getting ready to throw it out she noticed that the leaves were starting to get longer. Every day we saw new growth, so she watered it, talked to it and it began to thrive and grow. It took almost 10 weeks, but over the weekend we came home to find that the flowers were starting to open. A few days later all of Doc’s nurturing and patience resulted in four big beautiful red blooms.

You know there is a lesson in all of this or I wouldn’t have told you this story. But the lesson is not only about the virtues of patience, it is also a metaphor for life. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to sit back, be supportive, nurturing and allow ourselves or someone we care about to grow without judgement. Now that can be hard to do as we all have opinions about how humans should live their lives, including oursleves.  But just likes Doc’s flower, if we create an environment that allows growth, beautiful blossoms will eventually appear.

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than you have in mind.” David G. Allen


Photo by Angela Kirk ” Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”

— Robert H. Schuller

Love Stinks

No one informed me that it was skunk mating season, but I should have guessed because I had been smelling what skunks consider their sweet perfume in the air. Let me tell you there is nothing sweet about it, it stinks. But to each his own, who am I to judge? Dogs like to smell each others privates to get in the mood for goodness sakes. But let’s get down to the meat of this story. You may recall that a few years ago I was sprayed in the face by a skunk that wandered under the fence. Did I learn from that experience? I will let you, my faithful readers be the judge.

Sunday morning I spotted my neighbor in his back yard with a long string attached to one of his trash cans. I watched as he slowly lowered it down into a window well. He would then pause and slowly try to raise it up. Being the nosy neighbor that I am. I couldn’t figure it out, so I called Doc over so that she could shed some light on the matter. Both of us stood there watching him for quite a while. Doc thought he may be bailing out some standing water due to all the melting snow and rain we have had lately. Soon we got bored and went on about our business.

After a while I was walking past the window and saw the trash can sitting in the yard and the neighbor was gone. ” How strange” I though to myself and then I saw the trash can move. Using my super canine vision I spotted a black and white hairy creature moving very slowly like it was stunned. I immediately started barking and growling to notify Doc and everybody else in ear shot that an alien invader was in our midst.

” What on earth is the emergency? ” Doc asked as she ran into the room.  I pointed toward the trash can. ” Its a skunk!” she hollered like we were in mortal danger. ” Let me out!” I begged. ” No way”, she said. “Didn’t you learn your lesson the last time you got sprayed? ” There I stood frustrated as I watched the skunk slowly make its way out of the trash can and into the yard. It finally meandered around the side of the house out of sight, but not before it sprayed the side of the house as a warning.

Disappointed I looked up at Doc. ” I didn’t let you outside because you would have gotten sprayed, obviously you didn’t learn anything from the last time you got skunked.” she said.  Doc right, she knows some of us are so hard-headed that we need to learn the same lesson over and over until we finally get it. I guess it’s like Doc tells me sometimes; ” There is none so blind as those that do not learn from their mistakes.”

Photo by Angela Kirk ” We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

— Immanuel Kant

Snubbed by the Westminster Dog Show Again

Photo by Angela Kirk

Doc tried to distract me from watching TV for the last few days and it didn’t take me long to find out why. She didn’t want me to see that all of the “purebreds” that were competing for the top dog award at Westminster. This has been a long running pain in my gluteus maximus for years now and I find the rules to be the height of dog snobbery. The bottom line, I can’t compete nor can my friends because we are mutts. Now what do you think about that?

“Here we go again.” I heard Doc say quietly under here breath. ” I heard that!” I said back to her with indignation. ” Grover, we go over this and over this every year and you won’t let it go. Ever since you filled out the paper work and received a rejection letter from Westminster, you are insufferable when this comes on TV. It’s just not healthy to do this to yourself every year. Even if you were a purebred I don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would take to get you ready to win Best in Show. Besides, you’re neutered, they don’t allow neutered dogs. End of story.”

Maybe Doc is right. It’s kind of like a beauty pageant for dogs and the rules are set. According to your breed you must have ideal structure, color, perfect ear and tail placement and good temperament.

Seeing my disappointment, Doc sat down, looked at me and said, “You know Grover, there are rules for everything. You are certified as a therapy dog and you had to pass those standards.  You should be proud of that. Let’s put it this way, many of the dogs that go to Westminster would never be able to pass the therapy dog test. Besides, do you really want a bath and blow out everyday? They also use hair spray on your dog coat to make you look poofy.” ” Oh no!” I said back to her in horror. “You know Doc you’re right. I can just work at being Best in Show as a therapy dog. Every dog and human is good at something. It’s best to focus on your own talents than try to be something you’re not.”  ” Now you understand,” Doc said as she gave me a big hug.


Photo by Angela Kirk ” Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not that are worthy.”

— Thomas Merton

Love Is In The Air

Photo by Angela Kirk

Tomorrow is February 14, a day that is dedicated to love. Now you would think that everyone would be in favor of a day about love but I have already seen some people on Facebook trashing Valentines Day. What the heck humans! As for myself, I am all about love and to prove it, Doc is going to take me around work tomorrow to give out free kisses and hugs to anyone that needs or wants one. Now doesn’t that sound like more fun than being a hater?

Being the inquisitive canine that I am, I got to wondering how Valentines day got started. So I had Doc help me to get on the internet (it’s hard to hit the keys when you don’t have opposable thumbs) so that I could do some research and this is what I found out.

Valentine was a Roman Priest during the rule of the emperor Claudius Gothicus. Claudius persecuted the church and prohibited the marriage of young people. He based this on his hypothesis that soldiers would fight better if they were unmarried. Valentine wasn’t having any of that malarkey, so he married couples in secret because he felt that marriage was sacred and should not be prohibited.  Of course Valentine was eventually caught and imprisoned. In 269 AD Valentine was sentenced to beating, stoning and decapitation all because he laid his life on the line for what he believed. Valentines martyrdom did not go unnoticed by the citizens in Rome and now he is known as the patron saint of lovers. Not a very romantic story, but it does give you a little more perspective. The day is about more than flowers, candy and romance. It also made me think about love on a deeper level.

After I told Doc about the origins of Valentines Day I informed her that in honor of St. Valentine I will not be getting her a card or any candy this year.  “It’s  important that we honor love in its purest organic form” I said.  ” Oh really”, she responded with a note of sarcasm in her voice. ” In that case would you like to come with me to the pet store so that I can return all of your Valentine’s treats? ” I looked back at her with pure sadness until she relented.  ” Grover we can do both, she responded. Lets eat junk while cuddling on the couch and thinking of ways we can spread our love to others.”  ” Good idea, I said, I think St. Valentine would approve.”

Photo by Angela Kirk ” A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be so bad.”

— Robert Wagner