Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I trotted along side momma as she walked to the barn, the horse's goody bucket swinging to and fro. Jumping over rocks and keeping pace with momma was fun, she always keeps her eye on me; and says, "Come on Mattilda...get those little legs pumpin!" I have no idea why she calls me Mattilda, she knows I'm a boy, but every time she says it she smiles, so I don't mind. As we round the corner to go in to the barn momma puts down the goody bucket and lifts me up in her arms. "Don't want to startle the horses Mat," she says.
As we step in to the barn we see our friend John tending to the horses. John waves a big 'hello' wave to us and beckons us closer to the stall where he is bent over feeding a bottle to a little foal named Dolly. We watch as Dolly suckles on the bottle. Momma's face is all soft and gentle as she looks in to Dolly's eyes. I am quiet, and just twitch my nose at Dolly trying to take in her little horsey smell. She's sweet as she eats. When Dolly finishes her bottle, John settles her in to her clean stall and puts a little soft blanket on top of her.
John is Dolly's momma. Well, not her actual momma, her real mom was named Tulip. John is Dolly's surrogate momma since Dolly's real mother, Tulip, passed soon after giving birth to Dolly. Momma says, "It was Tulip's time." Momma told me she thinks Tulip knew that Dolly would need a momma, and so she went about sweet talking John. John is a big strong farmer who likes to wear bib overalls, and he sings salty songs throughout the day. But every day, without exception, even on Christmas, John takes care of the horses, brings them their food, walks and waters them, grooms them and gives them special treats. Johns makes a good momma for Dolly; and since John's daughter is away at college, Dolly makes a good daughter for John. Tulip was smart and chose well.
Momma gently puts me down on the dirt floor of the barn, motioning me to stay close to her. She gives John a good morning hug and shows him the goody bucket we brought. John smiles and together with momma, and without a word just the soft sounds of the horses tails swishing, they take small pieces of apples and feed the horses. I slowly move with them as they make their way around the barn giving special treats to the horses; and every now and then John or momma leans down and gives me a little piece of apple too.
Everything has its season. Tulip had hers, Dolly is having hers; and together me, Momma and John are having a little season, just sharing in the stillness of the morning. Sometimes a quiet moment, with a sweet slow pace is the most glorious thing you can share with someone.
With lub and blessings,
Sunday, May 8, 2011
I try to run away from her, sneaking out the doggy door, only to realize, every time like a new discovery, that we have a fenced yard. Momma comes out to the backyard calling my name. She starts off by singing a happy little "Mattie...." and if I don't respond, ends up letting out a sharp-toned "Mattie!" I run around the back yard, back and forth, zooming around..... run, run, run, and then it turns in to fun and I run in to my momma's arms, forgetting that I'm actually trying to run away from her.
When I run to her, she lifts me up high, laughing, and says, "rub a dub dub, I see Mattie in the tub!" Oh no! Next I know she's scrubbing me down, with scentless, shampoo, in the tub. I sulk. Sad-faced in the tub. All wet. But soon I'm out of the tub and being blown dry to my regular fluffy self. "Rub a dub dub..." I'll show her, I think, "next time I won't run in to your arms!"
Soon we're off to the hospital, where I get my little yellow vest that identifies me as a therapy dog. "Apples Only Please!" That's what the patch on the right side of my vest says on account of my kidney problems. And, off I go, to visit the little ones who are waiting for their treatments. Every time I go I see Dr. Nancy, who greets me, gives me a few little apple pieces and introduces me to some of the smaller children first.
I sit with the kids and they take turns brushing me and getting me to do tricks; and walking me around the little courtyard if they are up to it. Sometimes, when their tummies can take it, they eat and I end up with oatmeal, fruit, and often sticky candy goop stuck in my fur. My momma picks me up at the end of the day - she's all smiles, plays with the kids some, and takes me around to say goodbye to the staff. They wave bye and I wag my tail in response.
Momma sings, horribly off key, with the radio all the way home. "You Shook Me All Night Long," from AC/DC seems to really get her going. I stick my head out the window, sniffing the air, and am happy to have spent time with children, and look forward to the fun waiting for me at home.
No sooner do we walk in the door, momma says, "Rub a dub dub Mattie!" Yipes! Not again! Out the doggy door I go with momma chasing after me. We re-enact the morning's seek-and-go-find-Mattie events, and it always end the same...me in the tub, getting the days adventures scrubbed out of my fur.
The day ends, routinely, with me getting blown dry, eating my dinner and cuddling up in a blanket, next to momma on the sofa. "Mattie, you bring such joy to those little ones. You are a blessing to them." Really? I thought I was the blessed one - I get to see their wonderful little faces, their smiles. I get to meet their families, and share in their journeys as the little ones, some times struggling to do so, try to get better. I look at momma, and see that she is blissfully unaware of her error. Sometimes momma gets it wrong, but I won't tell her - I'll just snuggle up to her, content in the knowledge that I am the fortunate one.
With lub and blessings,