Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tugaloo

When I first wake up in the morning, I open the shade by the head of my bed. Sometimes I grab my breakfast, then climb back in bed to dine in the warmth of the bed, while studying the view from the window, as shown here.  That is my driveway, below is the boat trailer parking which is gently sloped, so it looks smaller than it really is, it's huge. Then there is the boat ramp, and the lake cove. For some strange reason, no boats have launched yet this morning, so the parking lot is bare. Some days they start arriving at 4am, especially if there is a fishing tourney. 




I try to post every day. But I lose days. How, I do not know. So I look and see that I am often writing posts, that get saved rather than posted. Some days just vanish and I am not sure where they went. I must have lived through them!  I think I  live in a time tunnel, going back and forth.  Some days I inexplicably write down the wrong year, a year in the future. I figure that is OK, it might mean I will live until that year for sure!


Oops!


Yesterday I did something so stressful, that I am still not right in the head. I had to work on a project that dredges up a part of my past, that I would rather just keep tucked far away. I haven't finished it either. I may take a break today, then work on completing it tomorrow. It's one of those things that has to be done, but the stress it heaps on me is just downright dreadful. 


I'd rather just bury my head in the sand, or drop a hammer on my toe, than to finish this  horrible torturous assignment. Yuck. 


To confuse matters further, I slept until 10am!  That is just not like me at all. I think my body was just wore out tired. I did wake up around daybreak, eating my light breakfast in bed, taking the above picture. Then I felt like laying down for a few minutes, but it turned into hours I guess. Even at 10am, the puppy was still sound asleep in his corner of the bed. We weren't up that late last night, but the stress just really got to me I guess. 


I don't know what the puppy's excuse is. 


He sleeps a long night, then stays in bed a few hours, after I get up. Once he is up, he is very groggy at first, not wanting to go out for awhile. He must have developed a bladder made of steel. 


This morning, he is real playful, rolling over, wanting a tummy rub, playing hide and seek when I try to put his harness on. So I grab his grooming brush. He stretches out on his belly with his back legs flipped out funny. He is double jointed in the knees. I brush him from tail to head.  He loves this. Then I groom his silly head. He tries to look oh-so-cute.  Now he is all fluffed out, looking rather larger than his diminutive 6 pounds.


One thing I have noticed since coming back to America, is the over-grooming of dogs. Dogs no longer look like dogs.  They have been so immaculately groomed, to resemble more of a stuffed toy dog than a real dog. Sure they look awfully cute, but I think some groomers have just overdone it a tad. Now I surely don't wish to anger any dog lovers here who spend a fortune grooming their dogs. 


I prefer to groom my own dog. I bathe him in the sink, towel him dry then let him finish fluffing and shaking.  Later on, when he is completely dry, I brush out his fur in both directions. I often finish with it going tail to head, then he shakes himself mightily until his fur is settled just the way he likes it. I don't snip or cut a thing. I spent months trying to feed this malnourished dog a healthy diet so he could grow some fur, as his was thin, dry and dull when I rescued him. 


I can't bear the thought of cutting any of his fur off. Except...  there is one place I do trim his fur. His private male part, seems to grow a very long bit of fur at the tip of it, that gets wet when he does his business of watering the forest, so THAT I do take a very careful snip at, to keep it shorter and thus not have the hassle of it getting wet when he does his watering thing. He seems to appreciate this.


He has a roguish look, what with his penchant for one ear up, one ear down. When I am out walking him in campgrounds, it seems the men are far more attracted to my dog than women, though plenty of women do fawn over him. I wonder if it's because he looks so wild and goofy with his all natural fur jutting out in odd directions, he certainly doesn't resemble a stuffed toy doggy. I guess it's plainly obvious, he doesn't see a professional groomer. 


Sometimes when we meet up with an overly groomed dog that is spotless, without a hair out of place, the groomed doggy looks very curious at Harley, as if to say "Dude, what happened to you?"  


Some folks tell me I should have him groomed, his fur cut and trimmed,  put a bow on his head. 


I cringe at the very idea. 


He's my precious baby who has brought a whole new dimension to my life. I am not sure I could trust a groomer, to do things to him sight unseen, so I just do my own bathing and grooming.  Harley is happy enough with that. I am happy enough, so that's all that matters.  


He tolerates his bath time, willingly, as he knows I try to keep it brief, yet I do give him a thorough washing with a generous rinse. Because he gets so cold, so easily, I make sure the water is just the perfect temperature, so as not to torture him in any way. I love my little puppy, wanting him to be happy, well balanced and clean enough that he doesn't repulse people. He is super friendly towards strangers, dancing for them, showing off, begging for attention and affection, as if I am horribly neglecting him. He does make the perfect park host!


I think he wanted a big family, but he got me instead. 
Last evening, while walking little Harley, I snapped this picture of Hartwell Lake.  This is the Tugaloo River section, further south is the big water, as they call it around here. The Tugaloo (pronounced Too-Gah-Loo) probably derives from an early Cherokee settlement called Dugiluyi, referring to the forks of a stream.

I always feel so close to heaven,  when I am in the Cherokee lands. 


This morning, it's chilly, another storm on the way. That figures. I have  the patio all set up for living outdoors as much as possible. I will have to put stuff away again.  


Harley and I went on a long walk in the woods this morning. Now that we are back home, is he napping on a pillow in his favorite chair, wearing a bright red doggy T-shirt.  Oh heck, let me just snap a picture of my favorite waste of time;  my puppy!


Harley loves to nap on this pillow in this chair in the mini-motorhome. The arm rests look askew, because the chair is reclined. I discovered one day, that when reclined,  it makes an excellent napping chair.  Recently, a friend of mine tried it out for size, and they too fell asleep for an hour!  It is actually the front passenger seat, that rotates around.  One day, while cleaning and organizing, this pillow was tossed on the chair. Harley immediately claimed it for a nap.  


Shhh... That long walk in the woods, wore me out!

I ran into a  couple with a dog, where the husband kept telling me out of ear-shot of his wife, that he thought their dog was overgroomed, that it seemed he came back from the groomers with an ear infection one week, a skin lesion the next, scratchy skin the next week and so on.  That all sounded kind of scary to me. 


Between baths, I often groom him with PawFume Spray. This makes him smell nice.  I do that mainly because he often wants to be held or picked up. Nobody likes to handle an odoriferous doggy, so this gives him a pleasant aroma, nothing overpowering, but that "just-bathed" smell. It works well, between bathings, I must admit. 


The yellow pollen just coats everything. My beast (the motorhome) is covered inside and out with yellow dust. I have been typing outdoors.  The laptop is just drenched in fine yellow dust. 


I was having pollen issues until I remembered to have a squirt of honey every day. Now the pollen isn't bothering me physically. So that is super good news. 


But huge gobs of it are all over the patio. No matter how much I clean up the mess, overnight it reappears. I even tried throwing it all in the garbage, wondering if I was cleaning up the same blobs of pollen each day, but no, new stuff appeared.  I checked the garbage and yesterday's pollen was still in it. 


Well, now I have moved back indoors. It's pouring rain so hard, that it's very dark, like the sun is about to set. It's 68F degrees and I feel really chilly. I know you are probably laughing at me!  My blood just hasn't got used to cold weather since leaving the Caribbean. 



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