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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Maybe you are looking at it all wrong

Nearly everyone has heard the old adage, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." The generally accepted meaning being that you must have quality material to make a fine product.

I see the situation in a different light. Instead of focusing on what I can't do, I see a wealth of opportunity in what I can. For example:

If you have just the sow's ear, you either have bait for a trap to catch a fur bearing predator, or something that by itself will make your dog very happy as they chew it, smoked or seared preferably.

Should you be fortunate enough to have the entire sow, you have many options; you can sell the sow and buy the silk purse and more, you can keep the sow and raise many little pigs for market thereby increasing your wealth, or you can butcher the sow and from the products provided make leather for boots and clothing, and feed your family bacon and ham.

Why should you worry about what you can't do when you have so many choices of what is possible. Make Bacon and be happy!

We have an inch or two of new snow on the ground here in Fallon, Nevada, USA, which is already melting and making a muddy mess for the dogs to play in. Anna was just commenting yesterday that it was so warm that she wondered if we should turn the sprinkler system back on. No need to now, Mother Nature has watered for us.

Raising a new puppy is a challenge and can be frustrating when your example of what a dog should act like is an extremely smart Border Collie named Mikki. Especially when you have had ten years of her behaving like a grown dog should and the memory that she ever was a puppy fades. Sgt Mikki knows more spoken words than most politicians in the state of Nevada, and anticipates what her humans want so well that she appears psychic to others. Like all border collies she is an expert at reading body language, because herding requires that she anticipate her subject's actions.

Enter Hurricane Jessi, a smooth coat version of Border Collie and I believe a dog which has ADHD. She is just four months old and is doing very well for a pinball. When she jumps into my recliner, at my invitation, she is already starting the motion to jump back out. Age and training will solve most of her weird behaviors, I hope.

The task that has us on edge at present is teaching her to use the dog door. She merely has to push the flap with her face and it moves out of her way. Instead she smacks it with her foot and it swings back and returns the favor, hitting her in the face. It is humorous in a way, but not productive when the object is to teach her to go through the door.

It doesn't help that Mikki was already an adult when we installed the door and quickly mastered the action in minutes. I say it doesn't help, meaning that our memory is of the quick learning and not so much of the age. So we have to remind ourselves that Jessi is a baby and isn't necessarily as dumb as a brick. She is making progress and can operate the dog door, but needs the reassurance of a human hand placed near the door. She will crowd through with Mikki, and does realize that this is their portal. Time and experience will make it all work out. She does come when called, sits on command, and is almost there on sitting when she comes up to us, with only occasional reminders to keep the paws down. Patience human!

A note here for those who are interested in such things: I will not turn this into a political or religious forum, my beliefs are my own and you have the right to believe what you wish. It will serve no purpose to make this blog a battleground so let's not go there. Thanks.

Those of you who have read my stories may feel free to request your favorite to be featured on this blog. I do realize that many of you may not have had that opportunity and so I will give you three choices by subject as the title may not tell you enough.

1. attending a cotillion
2. spending a weekend at a Seminole Indian festival
3. witnessing a KKK rally

Cast your vote in the comments section for 1,2, or 3. Or email me if you are shy about writing here. The story selected will appear either Friday or Saturday depending upon my schedule.

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  1. I think 1 sounds good. The chance of that featuring in my life is below zero- the others are still possible. =)

  2. Jeeks, I never thought that I would attend a cotillion, it wasn't something that I even thought about. But all things are possible.

  3. All 3! but since I don't remember the cotillion story, I'll vote for that

  4. Thank you for the vote of confidence in my stories. I believe that the cotillion story was in the Neva-Mind during the period that you were not getting it so it will indeed be a new story to you.

    As an interesting aside, stories that I wrote for inclusion in the Neva-Mind faced word count/size limitations often making them shorter and less detailed than I would have liked. That restriction is not necessary here so there are stories available that very few have ever seen. "Kenya" and "Living with horses" comes to mind immediately.