A Moment In Time

Photo by Angela Kirk


A cold misty fog hovered close to the ground as we took our early morning walk.  It is quite peaceful in the park at this hour as few venture out on cold, grey mornings leaving us to take in all the critters that inhabit the park.

Both Doc and I were lost in our own thoughts when we rounded the corner where the pubic swimming pool is fenced off.  We approached the fence and longingly looked over at the water slide and the lazy river drained of water with leaves floating in puddles at the base.  You could imagine hearing the children squealing with laughter as they shot down the water slide.” I wish it was summer and we could go swimming, this weather stinks and I’m sick of the pandemic.” Doc said with sadness in her voice. I was also thinking about summer and swimming in the pool, when I surprised myself by responding ” Lets just  do the best we can and enjoy right now!” Doc snapped her head around and said, “You are so right Grover, what a smart pup you are.” Blushing at the compliment, I reminded Doc it was my job to keep her focused in the here and now.

As we resumed our walk and went farther down the path, Doc and I decided to go over by the pond. As we peered over the bridge we were surprised to see a lone crane standing on the ice. He moved a few steps when he saw me but deciding I meant no harm, he remained still. Doc and I stood and watched the crane for quite awhile just enjoying the solitude and the beauty of the moment. It was a great reminder of  what we can miss in this world when we aren’t living in the present.

Photo by Angela Kirk

Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.” Thich Nhat Hahn





How Cookies Saved the Day

Photo by Angela Kirk

January leaves us with shorter days, grey sky’s and cold weather. It can easily affect your mood if you allow it and before you know it you have a case of the blahs.

By Sunday after a few dark days, our mood began to match the weather. We were laying around like two big lumps and were starting to get on each others nerves, when Doc said loudly  ” I’m sick of this!” She then abruptly arose like a phoenix from the bowels of the couch and before long I heard the familiar sound of baking sheets, bowls and spoons being banged around in the kitchen.  Knowing Doc would need my expert supervisory skills I got off my duff  and went to her aide.

When Doc is baking its almost like she zones off into another world. With the precision of a chemist she carefully measures the ingredients and puts everything in the mixer until it is the consistency needed. I know better than to disturb her during this process, so I lay quietly near by watching in case something drops on the floor and I need to lick it up with my tongue.

After everything was mixed she put 12 perfect round lumps of cookie dough on each baking sheet and placed them in the oven. The aroma was intoxicating and I drooled as I waited for the cookies to be done.

Doc ended up baking for most of the afternoon. We had with so many cookies you would have thought the Keebler Elves had broken into our house.  We had dozens of oatmeal raisin , peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies cooling on wire racks all over the kitchen.

When Doc finally stopped  and took a breath she looked around with a pleased look on her face. I gazed back up at her and said, “What do you plan on doing with all these cookies, we can’t eat all of these!” She looked back at me with a puzzled look. “Well, she said, I guess I will give them away.” So she immediately got on the phone and she started calling people to either come over and pick up cookies or arrange a time we could drop them off.  You want to be popular with people? Make them fresh baked goods.

Now we did keep about a dozen cookies for ourselves, but by Monday we had given away all the rest.  And guess what else we got rid of in the process, our winter blahs. Maybe you can bake your blues away.

Getting Rid of the Old and Other Tales

Photo by Angela Kirk

Doc says the world is in an upheaval right now. Even she is a little more on edge lately. I do my best to keep her focused and calm and when I asked her what was wrong she told me that many humans are feeling anxious.

I guess every person, just like dogs respond to what makes them uncomfortable in different ways. Doc’s go to response when she is feeling stressed is to stick to a schedule and focus on what she can control. I swear the planets would be getting ready to collide and she would still stick to a plan.

So guess what Doc has me helping her with? Organizing and getting rid of things we don’t need and that includes my stuff. Right after Christmas she started by ripping things out of the closet and she instructed me to do the same things with my belongings. ” Make three piles, she said. One to recycle, one to donate and one to toss.” “Really! I complained, my toys and blankets don’t even take up that much room!”     ” That’s not the point Grover, there are homeless dogs at the shelter that can benefit from the things you don’t use.” ” Ok Doc,” I responded quietly. I knew I would just sound like a butt head if I refused after she said that.

Yesterday after we were done with work and some more cleaning she told me to get in the car. I didn’t know where we were going but heck, I was getting out of the house. We ended up down at the Ohio State fair grounds and got in a line of cars. When  I asked Doc what we were doing she told me she was getting her first COVID shot. I must have looked concerned because she told me not to worry that I would not be getting one. When it was Doc’s turn she pulled up and a very nice Fireman/Paramedic asked her a bunch of questions and then gave her a shot right in the arm. I was proud of her, she didn’t even cry like I did when I got my flu shot a few weeks ago. She was then instructed to drive outside and wait 15 minutes next to the red ambulance where there were paramedic’s in case she had a reaction.  When the time was up we drove home.

By the time we got back to the house I was worn out. After I ate dinner, I jumped up on the couch for a quick snooze and fell sound asleep.  This morning Doc work me up at 5:30 am.  When I asked her how she was feeling she said all she had was a little soreness in her arm from the shot.  We then went upstairs and started doing counseling at 6am sharp. Just another day that I am feeling thankful for.  

“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” Ralph H. Blum





A Thief in the Night

Photo by Suzanne Kirk

Although I don’t talk much about the relatives, I do have a cousin named Garrett that happens to be a cat. He lives way up in Michigan and apparently the winter has become so harsh and boring that my cousin has resorted to becoming a cat burglar.

His crime spree all started when Garrett’s human mom started to notice random items like gloves and nerf darts showing up at her house. Puzzled, she just thought some kids had left them in the yard while playing and didn’t pay much attention. But over time the items increased. There were hats, seat covers and one day a watch appeared. It didn’t take her long to uncover who the culprit was. The strange thing about it was that cats usually bring home dead mice or chipmunks to their owner, but apparently Garrett had not gotten that memo. Garrett had decided that ordinary rodents were not good enough for his humans. No, he went straight to high ticket items he though his humans could use.

At first his human went door to door trying to return the items. She even made Garrett write apology notes to the people he stole from and made him swear he would stop his night time thievery. I know that Doc would be appalled if I engaged in any kind of stealing and I would have some big consequences if I even thought of trying anything like that. Apparently the cats in Michigan run wild.

So to make a long story short, Garrett continued stealing, so the only thing left to do was a public shaming. His human went to the sign shop, had his picture placed on a big carboard sign with a note that said “I borrow items from open garages and yards. Please check this bin if you are missing gloves, hats or nerf darts.” The sign is on the mailbox out by the road so that everyone can see it and check for any stuff they are missing.

I guess that’s how they resolve things in Michigan but I told Garrett not to even think about stealing any of our stuff when he comes to visit. It’s shame to think that I would need to frisk my cousin on his way out the door.