Although 2020 has already turned out to be scarier than anything that could happen on Halloween, Doc and I are still looking forward to one of our favorite holidays. With the pumpkins on the porch, skeletons, witches and bats standing at the ready, we will greet the little beggars with candy and other treats.  The spirit of All Hollows Night will persevere, not even a virus can mess with that.

Doc already bought a boat load of candy and tonight we will start putting the candy in individual sandwich bags to pass out to the children. We have some Halloween themed masks to wear and Doc will put on her witch costume and keep her flying broom nearby just for fun. This holiday comes complete with a full moon and Doc likes to tell the little ones that she just flew in for the occasion. You should see the look on their faces as they warily take the candy and scurry off to the safety of their parents. One year a little seven year old boy looked her straight in the eye and said to her defiantly ” I ain’t scared of no stinkin witches.” In response, Doc told him with a big grin to come back later and she would take him for a ride on her broom. His eyes got bigger as he backed away. The poor boy is probably still having nightmares over that one.

Rituals and holidays are so important for us to engage in. Not only does it give us something to look forward to, but it hopefully brings back some good memories. Doc says Halloween helps her feel like a kid again. It reminds her of how she planned her costume for weeks, went to haunted houses, listened to ghost stories her grand father would tell, watched scary movies and went trick or treating with her friends. I just like greeting all the kids!

So however you are celebrating this year, stay safe and don’t eat too much candy. And if you happen to be outside at midnight, if you look up at the full moon, you might see Doc and I flying by on her broom.


The Grover Factor

Photo by Angela Kirk

One of the perks we get from staying home to work is that we can take our daily walk in the morning. Before the pandemic we had to wait until we got home in the afternoon. As a result, we have met more nice dogs and people than we new even existed in our neighborhood. The weird things is that all of them say that they have seen us walking together for years even though we have no clue who they are. Doc calls it the Grover factor.

Apparently they have been spying us through their windows. Not in a creepy way, but in a curious way. The humans remark that they are impressed that they see us walking in all kinds of weather, day after day. Then the next thing they always ask is, ” What kind of dog is that?” Doc is use to this question by now and lets them go on for awhile as they guess. “Is he a Wolfhound, Giant Schnauzer…..?” Doc always waits patiently until they finish and then she says, ” He is part Standard Poodle and part Labrador Retriever.” Then she waits again until they incredulously say “Noooooo Really?”  ” But he’s so big and his beard and hair is so long, he’s so different looking, such a handsome dog.” And with that Doc thanks them profusely for the compliment and we’re on our merry way.

It is my observation that humans feel the need to place labels on everything. I guess it gives you a way to distinguish things and have a sense of order. At times this can be beneficial, but be careful, labels can have a downside as well.  Labels can also strip away the special qualities that make us unique by putting us all in one box and then assigning negative or positive terms based on that. As for dogs, we aren’t in to that, we just want to sniff butts and play with each other.  Our lives are so much more simple as a result.

I like to believe that we are all unique in our own way and that we should celebrate what makes us different. Life is so much more interesting that way.



Voting and Flu Shots

Photo by Angela Kirk

It’s only Wednesday and already we have knocked a lot off of our to do list. Doc loves her lists and I have to say it does help to keep us focused and leave us with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Number one on the list was to vote early at the election board and then for Doc to get her flu shot. So Monday morning we rose early and I waited patiently as I watched Doc fill out her mail in ballot that she was going to drop off. I was surprised that it took her so long, but she took the time to looked up voting records for judges on the ballot and levy’s she was not familiar with. When I questioned why she was so diligent in her choices she said it was important to know who and what you are voting for and to never take that for granted. I nodded in approval at her explanation.

After a short drive we arrived at the election board and you should have seen all the people lined up around the building to vote early. Now I wouldn’t have minded standing in the line and meeting all the people, but Doc just wanted to drive through and drop off her ballot. Some nice poll workers were waiting by the ballot box, took her ballot and said ” you have officially voted.” They then hand us a sticker that said Ohio Vote that I have been proudly showing off to everyone.

Next we went for Doc’s flu shot. When we got to the pharmacy she texted them and they came out to the car. She rolled down the window and to my surprise they gave her a shot right in the arm while we sat there. Now that’s good service! It’s been two days and I have had to listen to Doc complain that her arm is still sore. Good grief! I get shots at the veterinarian and she never hears me whining like that.  I got to thinking that if I ran the world I would set up a flu vaccine station where people go to vote. That way you could get both things done at the same place. How’s that for a genius idea?

As for today, Doc has more yard work to do this afternoon as the warmer weather comes to an end. I know I only have a few more weeks left to get all my holes dug in the yard before we get a deep freeze and the ground gets to hard.

Well that’s all I have to report for now. Stay safe and well until next time.


Plan for the Present

Photo by Angela Kirk

Since being laid off from my therapy dog job at the end of March, I have had to learn to adapt to a new routine. I admit that I was always curious about what the other dogs in the neighborhood did all day while I was at work. Since being home day in and day out, the proverbial cat is out of the bag. They do absolutely nothing but eat, poop and sleep except for Wednesday when they howl along with the noon tornado siren. So pathetic. I quickly realized that that would not work for me, so the question then became, how do Doc and I settle in to a new routine when we have no idea what will really happen with the pandemic or when it will end?

Quickly I realized that I knew the answer all along and that I could help Doc in the process. Stay focused in the present. Learning to let go of planning for something that we don’t really understand can be a freeing experience. Humans get caught up in the what if’s and this type of thinking can quickly escalate into fear. What dogs instinctually do is only plan for what they have in front of them and adapt based on the information at hand so that they can sustain every day. I understated that staying present focused can be a challenge to the way humans think, but think of it this way, if you use your energy to focus on getting through each day the best you can, you will  have successfully weathered the storm.

Whatever happens, I know that Doc and I will face the unknown together. We always have each other and there is nothing better than that.