Ollie’s Nineteenth Week (Continued): Summer’s Rain Brings Rainbows

It came to me out of the blue, or perhaps I should say the gray. Whenever it rained, I had to sit by the door and wait while James put on his yellow slicker. Instead of wearing one of his hats, he’d don a baseball cap so his head would fit under the raincoat’s hood. As I drummed the nails in my paw on the slate floor, anxious to get outside, he’d place a water absorbent mat on the floor he’d been given by his niece, Liz Hartzman. (Thank you, Liz.) While I was still tapping away, James would get a huge, black umbrella out of the chinoiserie umbrella stand by the front door.

You’d think he was made of sugar. Oh, I mean, he is made of sugar. He has to be, he’s so sweet. (Where’s my treat? Good grief, I was only kidding. Can’t you take a joke? Score, a treat!)

Like I was saying, James was covered from above his head to his toes so as not to get wet when it was raining. Even the slightest drizzle would be cause for him to bundle up tight. Well, he does have a mind of his own, something I know about since I, too, have a mind of my own.

It was my mind, and being covered with hair that was mostly repellant to rain, that led me to enjoy wondering around in the rain. After all, a little water never hurt anyone. While I might have been anxious to go outside, it had nothing to do with why James thought we were going out there. No, indeed. I was in no hurry to do my business, as James calls it. There were too many other distractions for me to even consider relaxing and letting it flow.

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(Ollie with soaking legs, paws, and mouth – and beautiful China-blue eyes.)

Of course, I did learn early on that if I waited, it meant more treats for me. James took a behavioral course where he learned to use a clicker. When I do my business, he clicks it. When he clicks it, I get a treat. The size and amount of the treat, I’ve learned, depends upon how happy James is that I’ve completed our time outside. I love what that course did for James’ behavior.

You see, I learned that if I went right away, we’d turn around and go immediately back inside. However, if I waited, we’d not only stay out longer, but I would get a big reward for finally having gone. I also learned there was a limit to how long I could wait, depending upon how forceful the water was falling from the sky. It’s all in the timing.

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(Ollie’s first double rainbow on a gray day.)

Speaking of timing, have you ever seen a rainbow? The first time I saw one, there were actually two of them. That’s right, a double take by both nature and me. I lay there in awe. As for timing, the sun has to be at the right angle to reflect those vivid colors off the moisture particles in the sky. How do I know this? James told me. He’s so smart. (Score! Another treat for me!)

Well, getting back to the rain, James wrote a poem about how he hates it. I can’t say that I agree since it not only waters everything that grows, it also has the potential to end in a brilliant rainbow. Still, I love the end of this poem.

Here it is. I hope you like it.

RAIN

god how I hate a downpour
having to use an umbrella
            with a leash
while attempting to give you a treat
with that training clicker tool
to indicate a reward

god how I hate a shower
straining to keep us dry
            with only two hands
bidding you stay beside me
when at nineteen weeks
you have a mind of your own

god how I hate a cloudburst
having to cover myself with nylon
            with a zipper and hood
remaining for the duration
knowing at my age not to play in the rain
but at yours you have no idea

god how I hate a soaker
toweling dry your long hair
            with a loud blow-dryer
stopping you from biting it or
pulling away from the noise
providing treats to occupy your nibbling mouth

god how I hate the condensation
brushing your soft locks
            with they’re moist hair
keeping you from gnawing
unable to do it alone
feeding you more treats and praying

god how I hate a sprinkle
hurrying to return indoors
            with you’re bladder full
keeping one eye on the clock
the other on you to
catch an accident before it happens

god how I hate the rain
leaving the world soaked
            with it’s constant falling
striving to keep my shoes dry
with your paws getting saturated
having to repeat the toweling blowing combing and

god how I love you lying asleep
after being out in the rain
            damp to the core
knowing we’re at peace
while the hands of my heart
reach out and envelop you

It is a fact that James’ heart has hands. I know because I’ve felt them – warm and moist, and a little salty when I lick them. Come to think of it, everyone’s heart has hands. Some choose to use those extremities. We dogs know who those people are.

As for the rain, James never has gotten used to being out in it. For me, it’s a time to splish and splash like I’m taking a bath even if it isn’t Saturday night. Oh, the simple joys of life have such pleasant reminiscences. To think, I’m still making memories when it rains.

In two weeks I’ll tell you about my early experience with pebbles and dirt. I’m not sure James wants to go there, but he did write another poem about that. Come back and see what he wrote. He said I could share it with you.

We hope you’re enjoying reading about my first year and the different poems James wrote. Let us know your opinion in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

 

Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated
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Ollie’s Nineteenth Week: Summer’s Surprising Golden Dandelions

I’m an artist. At least that’s what James called me after I painted the carpet. You see, when I ran around outside in the fields and got dandelion pollen on my legs, I came inside and painted the rug with yellow stripes, streaks, angles, and curves. He called me an impressionist. Not only because of my artistic talents, but also because of the delightful impression I made (and still make, if I may be so bold) on people.

That was back in my nineteenth week. I have to admit that it appeared strange to me when James told me he didn’t like dandelions. I love the vibrancy from their golden flowers. At the time there were so few of them, while his garden (into which I am not allowed to step a single paw) had plenty of other yellow blossoms that didn’t interest me at all. None of them turned into magic fairy wands. Nor did their seeds explode into the air, twirling around in the wind.

Okay, so James claimed his yard was full of them, but I only saw a dozen or more. He called them weeds. Well, as everyone knows, a weed is simply a misplaced flower. (Credit for this expression goes to my cousin and James’ niece, Laura Tebbitt.) Regardless, I found them to my liking, especially when they became the enchanted puffballs. While I tried to gobble them down, James used his walking stick to whack at them.

Like dandelions do for me, I hope I bring pleasure into James’ life. He gave me a childhood of constant love and encouragement. (Score, multiple treats!) It’s true.

Well, around my nineteenth week I was beginning to sprout like a weed, or so James said. When I look at the pictures he took, I don’t see it. Do you?

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(Ollie at nineteen weeks, sprouting like a weed.)

Weed or not, dandelions are natures way of providing rays of sunshine on cloudy days. Their pollen is rather potent. It attaches to my hair, be it on my legs or elsewhere should I roll around on the ground. I don’t know why the bees and butterflies like it so much. When I try to lick it off, it doesn’t taste like butter, or honey for that matter.

James says he doesn’t mind brushing it out of my hair. I do laugh when the pollen is simply spread across my paws into a lighter shade. It’s either that or because my paws are ticklish.

Like butterflies and shoelaces, James wrote a poem about my interaction with dandelions. At the time he wrote it, I didn’t understand what he meant at the end of it. Now I do.

Here’s that poem. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Dandelions

bright yellow attracts your attention
as the late summer’s rustic oracles
populate the yard and meadow

you run around them
turning your white slipper paws
the color of a vibrant sunrise

the radiance is licked off
as each day passes
until there is no more to absorb

puffs of powdery amulets materialize
magnetizing your curiosity
appearing to request you play with them

snatching these blow balls with your mouth
you want to carry them away
or swallow whole

puff – they disappear
as if the grass fairies
waved their magic wands

by your nineteenth week
long gone are the parachuting seeds
and the only thing sprouting is you

yet in the spring
they will return in abundance
as will you

my Old English Sheepdog pup
older
and wiser

Being older and wiser has its advantages. Still, it was so much fun when those fairy-wand puffballs were larger than my nose. I thought they would taste like cotton candy. (Okay, so that’s what James thought I thought. I’ve never had cotton candy in my life.) The thing is, they tasted like dust. So, of course, after trying a few, I gave up eating them.

Now the green leaves, those are a different matter. While they don’t taste as good as the grass growing in the hay fields, they are tasty when they first arrive in the spring. James says they add a kick to a spring salad. Being older and wiser, I know that I don’t want anyone kicking me, especially when I’m eating.

Come back in two weeks and I’ll disclose how I feel about rain. Not that it’s a secret. Only I’m covering one topic at a time. Oh, yeah, and James wrote another poem about rain and me. He said I could share it with you.

We hope you’re enjoying reading all the different poems James wrote during my first year. Let us know your opinion in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated

Ollie’s Eighteenth Week (Continued): Chasing Elusive Butterflies

There came a day when I discovered things that flitted around in the air. They arrived in colors that looked delicious to eat. We all know sweet, sugary things come in bright, bold colors. All, that is, except chocolate. Of course, I am never allowed to eat chocolate.

James said these fluttering things that were about the size of my nose (okay, some were larger – remember, I’m eighteen weeks old) are called butterflies. The very thought of eating butter makes my mouth water to this day. Have you ever gotten hold of a used cob of corn that’s been doused in golden butter? No? What? (James says I need to stay on topic.)

As soon as I would spy these flying, slender-slabs of butter, I would begin the chase. They had an advantage. They could fly higher than I could jump. Another benefit they possessed was their capacity to change direction in a nanosecond. I, on the other hand, once committed to a direction was required to follow through. Their soaring and darting abilities were enough to make me even more determined to gobble one down.

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(One that got away.)

It wasn’t as if every time we went outside I found a butterfly to challenge. Still, when I did see them, and the biggest ones started appearing around my eighteenth week, I would charge. It would have been nice had James tried to help me catch one or more, but all he did was laugh. What was so funny? I don’t know. He said I looked adorable dashing around after them. To me, adorable earns a smile, not a laugh. Just sayin’.

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(Ollie giving a little attitude – just sayin’.)

Well, James had so much fun at my expense he wrote a poem celebrating my inability to catch even one of these little critters. I remember the first time he read it out loud. He thought I was sleeping. I admit that I didn’t find it funny at all. No siree bob.

Today I think it’s a sweet poem. I especially like the part about butterflies being toys. It was great fun trying to snare one. Anyway, here’s that poem. I hope you enjoy reading it.

BUTTERFLIES

running with abandon
through the newly mowed
or tall grass
you frolic
dash
jump
at the white
yellow
multi-colored
butterflies
hoping against hope
chasing against chase

darting left
then right
changing direction
the winged creatures
flit
flirt
flutter
up
down
overhead

at eighteen weeks you relish the joy
in a flash it passes
into the grass or
doubles back over your head
never even aware it‘s being dogged
searching for nectar
pursuing a mate
while you hound in vain
or for the fun of the hunt

it’s merely amusing
an exercise for you
for what would you do with success

a moment of pleasure for me
bringing a smile to my face
as I watch you romp
with a spontaneous toy
brought by Mother Nature
during early autumn

James tells me it was better that I was running after butterflies than cars. Of course, we live more than half a mile from the nearest road, so, even if I wanted to chase cars, there are none around. That is except for the occasional visitor.

A butterfly never did make its way into my mouth. After they disappeared in the fall, it wasn’t until the following spring they reappeared. By then I had lost interest in them. Well, truth be told, I did begin going after them again, but gave up the chase quickly when I remembered how industriously they acted at escaping. Besides, they are one of the more beautiful wonders of nature.

Also, James told me that birds don’t eat them, particularly the monarchs, because they taste bad. Now if he had only told me that when I was a youngster, I might not have bothered to try so persistently. Then again, I might have. One of the things we’ll never know.

Stick around, and in two weeks I’ll tell you about my experience with dandelions. Of course, James wrote a poem about that as well. I’ll be happy to share it with you – with his permission, that is.

We hope you’re enjoying reading all the different poems James wrote during my first year. Let us know your opinion in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated