Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge- For Ollie

Todays prompt: Use “never again” in a poem

He kissed my nose.
The pup chose me.
I hugged him tightly
My heart pure glee.
We had a life.
A sacred long bond.
No before or after
Nothing beyond.
His face grew grey
His joy slipped low
I knew, one day,
To let him go.
Never again! I cried.
Can’t go through such pain!
But to honor his memory
I chose to love once again…

Missing my dear friend Ollie. 2004-2019.


Norah… rescued 2019


Camping Notes 5/6/13

I realized that on Mondays, I am usually overflowing with camp observations. Thought I’d share some, now and then.

It was the first gorgeous weekend of the 2013 season. Temperatures that I would happily keep year round, 70s, by day, and upper 40s, by night.


To the right, is our original site which my husband, Ed, had cleared and built. The whole area was thick forest when we began over 15 years ago. This is Ellen and Kory’s place now. (They weren’t here this weekend.)

We have a small Walmart sunken pond which is my first stop every weekend. It provides a wonderful vernal pool for amphibians. The visitors are fewer,so far, and  I have a good theory as to, why?


010It has been recently dry and the spotted salamanders and wood frogs migrate farther during rainy weather. Only the green frog “locals” and one mature Red Spotted Newt are currently present. This is a first for my pond. This week promises some rain but I’m afraid that their egg laying, for this year, might be over. 😦

So off to check out my plum blossoms. Last year, I was alarmed by how few honeybees had tended to pollination. This year, I spotted a few but the numbers are still dismal compared to years past. I’m hoping that our chilly Spring has not yet awakened the masses.


As the day progresses, I plan my garden. We have suffered for 4 years with a terrible fungus blight. This year, I plan to grow corn and I’ll be trying an above ground method for tomatoes using wooden skids.


Ollie, my Jack Russell, is the happiest camper. He’s able to run loose and dig to his heart’s content. He is now 9 years old and requires more breaks in the sun. Of course, he has his own chair.


Ed and I camp in an area that he prepared for our 5th-wheel. It is just below the old homestead and is our little piece of heaven.


Ed keeps very busy. He gathers wood and splits it, as well as, maintaining the lawns and building wonderful stone flowerbeds. His four-wheeler has all that he needs. Yes, a rifle and a chainsaw are both necessary here. Actually, Ed had arrived the day before I came. Our gas grill had been knocked from our deck and one (empty) cooler was out in our yard. Our friends, with a game camera, have evidence of a large black bear in our area. Coyotes and a fisher have also been spotted. We leave no food or garbage out to entice them!


I was pleased to see the first of Ellen’s tulips open. The daylight hours are shorter in the woods, so our campsite is a bit behind what we have at home.


I was also happy to see some forget-me-not seeds had taken where I’d hoped they would fill in on a banking.


I never fail to search our piece stone before we leave. It was quarried in Hudson, NY and has many seashell fossils from a time when New York was an ocean floor. I have always loved rocks! I’m thrilled to look for fossils and, sad that so many were ground up, too. I guess I would have never had the chance to find them if that had not happened.


So there you have a glimpse of the “good life” I find in the forest. I also had time to read in a lovely shaded area beside my dog.

Further updates will show my flower beds and garden. See you later!

Happily Ever After

February xxx 019My husband grew up in a pet-free environment, so when he married me, we had many battles over living with pets.

We will be celebrating our 35th anniversary in July but the pet angle was a great big “bone” of contention for the better part of those years.

To the non-pet people, they are messy, costly and really get in the way of vacationing .

To a pet person, they are comforting, fun, and who needs a vacation, when the pet has to be left behind?

It took many years (about 26) for my husband to finally “see the light”. I can thank Ollie, my Jack Russel, for this transformation. Getting Ed to accept a new puppy took cunning and some deceit (I came clean eventually.), as well as, a sister who was willing to be an accomplice. My need to have a puppy took top priority. My heart was saddened by my husband’s inability to recognize how desperate was my desire for a dog. I could not imagine why anyone, who loves me, would deny me something so critical to my happiness.

Well, there was a power issue. “Who’s the boss?” plagues many marriages. BUT, it was mostly due to the fact that he had never felt the bond of a dog. He couldn’t place any importance on an “imaginary” need.

Then came Ollie. The little guy and Ed became fast friends. Ollie would lean against Ed and beg to sit with him. I would refer to Ed as “Daddy” and pointed out how much Daddy was missed by Ollie.

All things considered it was a very successful effort. Yes, I’ve gotten my way but the best part is having given Ed the love of a dog.

Now I catch Ed talking to Ollie on a regular basis, “What do you think of THAT, dog?” is a heart-warming phrase repeated daily. Ed invites Ollie under the bedding at night too. “Come on dog, want your blanket?” (For you wise guys-NO, he’s not talking to me.)

Above, they are pictured in a familiar camp posture. A man, a beer and his dog…Happily ever after. 😉

Emergency VS Competition

Been up most of the night with my dog. He seems to be having an allergic reaction to his antibiotics. He’s being treated for Anaplasma a Lyme Disease type of blood bacteria.

At 3:30am, he became extremely nauseous and spent an hour outdoors eating grass and vomiting. By 5:00 am, I called the animal hospital where he is a patient. The answering service said that they’d page the doctor. Minutes later, the answering service called back and said the doctor was unavailable and to call the Emergency Vet Service (stationed over 45 miles away). I did call and described his symptoms. (In between times, I had looked up canine reactions to antibiotics.Severe reactions were dangerous and could lead to anaphylactic shock and seizures,sometimes death!)

By this time, I noticed that his face was swelling! (A symptom of the worst reactions.) The emergency vet asked me to bring him in…I am without a vehicle and most likely an hour away. They then told me to find some Benadryl and to not give him any more antibiotic…yeah, I had already decided that!

To get to the point, I remembered that there was a newer pet hospital in town. By this time Ollie’s symptoms were stabilizing and my fear of him not making it to the 8:00am opening at our hospital, had faded. I looked them up online and found that they offer emergency care. HELLO! Why didn’t my hospital tell me? Could it be that the new hospital is considered competition?

I will be getting to the bottom of this at 8:00 am. If I am somehow wrong about them, I will post an explanation at the bottom of this….If I am right, there will be a scathing Letter to the Editor in our newspaper soon.

PS. Always keep Benadryl on hand!


Ollie at camp.

There is a tick borne bacteria that is similar to Lyme disease. I know this because my poor dog Ollie has contracted it. He’ll be fine as soon as the antibiotics take hold. Actually, the vet put him on pain meds too and last night he was his usual playful self for a short time.The hard part about suspecting that he was sick was that he’s a Jack Russell and bound to his life’s love to play and greet friends even while in great pain.

A few weeks ago, I observed that he was stiff and had a limp. It was not constant and because he plays so very hard, while camping, I assumed he’d over done it a bit. He is 7 years old, so I figured he is middle-aged and some times he was going to slow down.

He had been laying around more often the last few weeks but his poor appetite and low energy could have been caused by a heat wave that we experienced. None of us felt like eating or playing.

This last week, he was still a bit picky about his food and ate lots of grass. He woke me up one night to go out to eat grass, I knew he had a belly ache but it seemed to go away. Then on Saturday, he became very stiff. He hardly wanted to mingle with people we had over for a picnic…I decided, that day, that he might have Lyme disease, as I had thought about the symptoms over time and they just fit.

Yesterday, I took Ollie to the vet and she took a blood test that confirmed Anaplasma. The doctor said Ollie was in a great deal of pain and gave me something to ease it, as well as, antibiotics. She told me that Ollie was not running a fever and was not having frequent bowel movements which would have been a further stage in the disease. This made me feel better about my own diagnosis of him, at least we caught it early.

All I have to say is, darn those sturdy little friends of ours! They suffer in silence and work so hard to please us that we have to be brain scientists to know they are ill!