Helping Dad Over That Hill

7 Apr

Hi Friends –

This past week was a good one. Dad had what many consider a milestone in his life, he turned 40 years old. Mom told just about everyone we met about it and everyone seemed shocked that he is that old. Dad thinks Mom just told everyone ahead of time so they could all act shocked at the news to make him feel good. (Shhh, Dad’s kinda haggard you guys. Why else would he need me? (Barking out loud!))  Since we all had to work on Friday, the day of his birth, Mom and I decided that Dad should have a “birthday weekend.” We started on Friday night by waiting for Mom to come home and then going out to a special dinner. We drove almost an hour to get down to Stonington, CT but it was worth it you guys. The food smelled delicious and Dad even knew the owners, and of course they loved me! Zack and Lynn are the best you guys. If you are ever close by you HAVE TO go to Zack’s Bar & Grille and tell them that Casper the Dane sent you. You will not be disappointed.

Dad’s nerves were a bit tested by the drive home because it seemed like a long drive back considering that it was raining just enough to make the roads slick. There was also the combination of either no street lights or old lights that are just bright enough to throw up a glare off wet asphalt and hide all the new spring potholes then provide no aid to driving at all. Add on other drivers who went to the extremes of either forgetting they were in driver’s seat of a moving modern vehicle on a major highway, driving like they had a Stanley Steam car or thinking that they had a Porsche 924 Carrera GTR at Lime Rock Park and you get some idea of how much fun that was.

We didn’t go right to bed when we got home though because Mom had a gift for Dad. The gift really surprised him because it was something that he mentioned in passing a couple times but only recently began giving it any thought. On top of that he said it was only really on his mind because Mom said one of the human puppies might be interested. Mom bought him his very own acoustic/electric guitar! It is a very handsome Washburn and he’s quite excited about it! He had told her before how when he was about the age of the human puppies his parents bought him a ¾ acoustic but he got frustrated and never went back to it for his own reasons. In recent years Dad has adopted this “point of view” you may have picked up on this blog when we say that nothing is impossible and the word “can’t” has been stricken from the acceptable vocabulary of our kennel. With this view in mind, it will take some practice but Dad will be able to play the guitar. I can tell you this with confidence because Dad bought a road recumbent tadpole bike a few years ago just because he always wanted to ride and couldn’t balance a traditional 2-wheel bike. (For the record, he did learn to ride and had a blast. If anyone is in the market it’s for sale now and really nice.) Mom bought him a few extra’s too, one of them being a book to start with. He read several pages but with Lucy (the very old basement monster) on his lap he left the guitar in its case. The next day he picked up the guitar and started a lesson. I’m not sure what he learned about the guitar but what he did learn is that I’m skeptical. I backed away as if it had sharp teeth and a dominant presence. I sat halfway up the stairs just peeking around the wall at that thing. Mom and Dad both laughed, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to this thing.

Let me move on to Sunday; this is the day that I had the most fun. The sun came out and the breezes fell off a bit so we joked how we should stay inside, clean and do chores. My pack is really funny, ya know? So we loaded up, went out to breakfast and then talked about what to do for the day. We have priorities people and that is caffeine. After a good breakfast at our favorite place we decided on a drive up to the Berkshires. It’s a really nice area that we’d like to investigate more. By the time we got there Dad was hungry so we stopped at Sullivan Station Restaurant in Lee, MA. It is a really nice converted train station with good food. Mom and Dad kept a close eye when a guitar player came out to entertain us. When I didn’t react at all Mom concluded that I was OK with the sound of GOOD playing and Dad’s playing was the problem. She couldn’t wait to tip the guitarist and share the story.  From there we went to October Mountain State Forest, where we found an open area where I could run really fast and play in a small brook. Dad was really happy to see my puppy smile; it was great fun and I’m sure Mom posted the pictures the puparazzi took for you to see on-line. We loaded up again and took a trip over to the Lee Outlets find to Brooks Brothers and get some sweet deals. I know it’s a pricey, and well worth it, label but being at an outlet and adding in Mom’s employee discount  my pack can now look as sharp as a Dane.

The weekend was really fun and Dad was happy that I had a chance to run and play. I slept really well and everyone told me that I’m a good boy. I know that, but it’s always nice to hear.

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Hard Work

31 Mar

Hi Friends –

It’s about (past) time for an update in the life of this service Dane. I know things have been busy around our kennel and Dad was telling me how National CP month has come and gone and he hasn’t been able to share with you what he’d hoped to. I know he has at least two posts started and I liked where he was heading so I will try and talk him into writing them, no matter what the calendar says.

I know Dad likes me to share fun, positive, uplifting kinds of posts and doesn’t want to get bogged down with daily life and bore our friends with normal life, but I insisted that he start writing for me. He wanted to know what I was going to say since we’ve all been “just working” our tails off. I assured him that our readers are our friends and they like the “boring stuff” as long as they hear from us. I told him we need to talk and share everything, just like we promised.

This past weekend was stressful for me in a way that I’m not used to. Dad worked both days in the basement and he didn’t let me down with him. He was up and down but he basically made me stay upstairs, even when I kept telling him that I didn’t like this plan he ignored my whining because that is where the basement monsters go to get away from me. He finally broke down and allowed me down with him and a friend after he moved the cat’s food out of my reach and closed the litter boxes in a kennel crate, but since I never get to go down there it was all so new and they were moving a lot of boxes and tools we decided it really wasn’t the best place for me after all. Dad decided to put the gate back in the doorway and deal with my complaints from a distance. Mom told me that they worked really hard and it looks great. Dad said he will bring me down later in the week to check it all out. Dad and Shane (mostly Shane, for safety reasons) moved boxes up off the floor and on to shelves they had built together last year. They threw out so much it did a really good job at filling our dumpster and organized what they could. Dad’s only rules were that no tools would be tossed and nothing from Mom’s moving boxes since she needs to sort and decide if she can clear some items as well, once her semester ends. Dad was able to give some things away, moved a desk so mom has a space to be creative and sold a boat and motor that will help make our future move more manageable. He says he still has more to go, and wants to clear and organize more.  We also got a couple more shop lights put up so it makes the space a lot less creepy and easier to do laundry. Dad said he also wants staging space for putting in new kitchen cabinets. He says they made a great start. As the night wrapped Mom made everyone dinner and surprised him with early birthday gifts and a chocolate cake because our human puppies share time with their biological Dad and won’t be with us for the big day later in the week.  We shared this event with Shane, too. Dad was happy he stayed because he was so thankful for the help and to have such good friends in his pack. When Shane headed out and we put the puppies to bed I cuddled with Dad on the couch. I wanted him to know I love him so I put my head right on his lap. I never do this with him, I save that for Momma, but I don’t like any time away from Dad so I had let him know I understood, but didn’t have to like, the separation.

This morning as we were getting ready to go to the office Dad was telling me how he was feels like he needs more time to finish everything. I reminded him of something we talked about in the truck when Mom and Dad took me to Walden Pond and Concord Massachusetts last fall. It’s a quote from Thoreau, who said…”if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” I am confident we are moving toward our dreams. I assured him everything is perfect and there is no need to worry about anything.

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