Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Father, Daughter and a Dog.

Post 751 ~ ~ ~ Sunday, 28th August, 2011.

Hello My Friends ~~ My thoughts and prayers are with all those who live on
the East coast of America in danger from the Hurricane Irene. I sympathize
with families who have lost loved ones and I do hope the damage and loss
of life will be less than predicted. It has certainly changed so many lives,
with the closing of airports around the country and the Subway in New York.
I hope that the evacuations have saved many lives.

The weather here is pleasant and I am doing well at present. As I have a long
story I will get straight into it.

The story tonight is "A Father, Daughter and a Dog," sent by my friend Kim.
Thank you Kim - I hope your world is fine.
This story was written by Catherine Moore. Hope you enjoy.

"Watch out. You nearly broad sided that car" my father yelled at me. "Can't
you do anything right?"
Those words hurt more than blows. I turned my head towards the elderly
man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump arose in my
throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was
measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.
Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad
in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts . . . dark
heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of thunder
seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being
outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature.
He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions and was placed often. The
shelves in the house were filled with trophies attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log,
he joked about it but later that same day I saw him outside alone straining
to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about advancing age,
or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance
sped him to hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen
At the hospital, Dad was rushed into the operating room. He was lucky, he survived.
But something in Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow
doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and
insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left
alone. . .
My husband Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped
the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was
satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon
I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to argue and bicker.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman
set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session, he
prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the month wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it
was up to me to do it.
The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of
the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem
to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just
read something that might help you. Let me go get the article..."
I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a
nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression.
Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility
for a dog.
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a
uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils
as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long
haired dogs, curly haired dogs,black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying
to reach me.
I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons - too
big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of
the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down.
It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats, but this was a caricature
of the breed.
Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted
out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention.
Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog, "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook
his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in
front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to
claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up
tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror "You mean you're going to
kill him?" "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for
every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision.
"I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.
When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize
out of the car when Dad shuffled on to the front porch... "Ta-da. Look what
I got for you Dad." I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust, "If I had wanted a dog I would
have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that
bag of bones. Keep it. I don't want it."
Anger rose inside of me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded
into my temples. "You better get used to him Dad. He's staying."

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me Dad?" I screamed. At those words, Dad whirled
angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate.
We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled
free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my Dad and sat down in front of him.
Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw . . . .

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the
anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging
the animal.
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer
Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long
hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks
of streams, angling for trout. They even started to attend Sunday services
together. Dad sitting in Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the ext 3 years. Dad's bitterness
fad ed,and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then one night I was startled
to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing in through our bed covers. He had never
before come into our bedroom at night.I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran to
my father's room Dad lay in bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly
sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying
dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on.
As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole,I silently thanked the dog
for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks the
way I feel, I thought as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for the
family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made
filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad
and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show
hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without
knowing it. "I've often thanked God for sending that angel,: he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen
before.: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article , . . .
Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter..... His calm
acceptance and complete devotion to my father.. and the proximity of
their deaths. And suddenly I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

God answers our prayers in His time . . . . . not ours.
Now to find some short jokes - first couple sent by my friend Warren.
One my brother posted, but I am going to post it too. Thanks Warren.

Housework was a woman's job, but one evening, Janice arrived home
from work to find the children bathed, one load of laundry in the washer
and another in the dryer. Dinner was on the stove and the table was set.
She was astonished.

It turns out that Chuck had read an article that said, "Wives who work
full time and had to do their own housework were too tired for sex.

The night went very well. The next day, Janice told her Red Hat friends
all about it. "We had a great dinner. Chuck even cleaned up the kitchen.
He helped the kids do their homework, folded all the laundry and put it
away. I really enjoyed the evening."

"But what about afterward?" asked her friends.

"Oh, that ...... Chuck was too tired."
Johnny's Maths Test. Again, thanks, Warren.

Teacher : If I gave you 2 cats, and another 2 cats and another 2 cats,
how many would you have?

Johnny : Seven.

Teacher : No, listen carefully, If I gave you 2 cats, and another 2 cats
and another 2 cats, how many would you have?
Johnny: Seven.

Teacher : Let me put it differently. If I gave you 2 apples, and another 2
apples and another 2 apples, how many would you have?
Johnny : Six.

Teacher : Good. Now if I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another
2 cats, how many would you have?
Johnny : Seven !!!.
The now very angry teacher : Where in the hell do you get seven from?

The now very frustrated Johnny : Because I already have a dam cat at home.
One from my friend Barbara called "Pink Curtains". Thanks Barbara.

A Blonde goes to K Mart to buy curtains. She says to the salesman "I would
like to buy a pair of pink curtains.
The salesman assures her that they have a large selection of pink curtains.
He shows her several pattern but the blonde seems to be having a hard time
choosing.Finally she selects a lovely pink floral print.

The salesman then asks what size curtains she needs.
The blonde replies, "Seventeen inches."
"Seventeen inches? asks the salesman. "That sounds very small. What room
are they for?"

The blonde says, "They aren't for a room. They are for my new computer
The surprised salesman replies, "But Miss, computers do not need curtains."

The blonde says, "Helllloooooo... mine has Windooooooows...."

One from the paper . . . .
A young boy approaches a policeman and says, "Please, Officer, my father
has got into a fight outside the pub. Can you help him?"
The policeman agrees and follows the boy around the corner to the pub,
where he sees two men fighting on the footpath.

The policeman asks the boy "Which man is your father?"
The boy replies, "I don't know. That's what they are fighting about."

Last one tonight is a quote of the month. by Jay Leno.

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding,
severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another,
with the threat of bird flu' and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a
good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

"Politicians and diapers need to be changed regularly - - and for the
same reason."

Time to close this post my friends. Take really great care and help
each other to be safe. Love and Best wishes to you all and may the
news be much better from the U.S. Cheers, Merle.

Post 751 ~ ~ ~ Sunday, 28th August, 2011.


Anonymous said...

Merle, I am so happy that you are feeling well.
The story was beautiful, and brought tears to my eyes. So often we feel that God is not listening to our prayers. I guess this is where "faith" comes into being.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us~~~

Big Dave T said...

My son lives in Washington DC and experienced both an earthquake and the hurricane this week. Neither brought any danger; they were more of an inconvenience than anything. But the media needs to blow these things a little out of proportion so people heed the warnings.

I liked your jokes and the story about the old man and the dog. I passed along your wine joke from last week's blog and my sister laughed so hard at work that people wondered what was so funny.

Granny Annie said...

After reading the father,daughter,dog story I could barely finish reading your post because my eyes were blurred from tears. Our dog too is an angel in disguise. She came to us as a stray and even insisted on staying through a hail of pellet shots. Thank goodness our animals know more than we do.

Dave said...

I had a hard time getting past the first story... beautiful.

Wonderful post as always Merle.

Jim said...

Hi Merle ~~ That was a nice story about Dad and Cheyenne and Daughter. It reminded me of Adi and how she helps take care of me.

Adi is too old for our long walks anymore. She still likes me to play keep-away with her and the Teddy bear.

I had heard the Johnny with the six more cats but had forgotten how it went. Thank you.

Patty said...

Good morning Merle, I liked them all, but especially the Janice and Chuck joke. See, men need to do more housework and taking care of the kids. Then they would know what it's like. We're all A-Okay here, hoping you are also. Love, Patty

Anonymous said...

Loved the first story about Cheyenne and Dad! And got a real chuckle out of the jokes...thank you so much for sharing Merle! Love and hugs, Theanne

Margaret Cloud said...

Glad you are okay. I could not help but shed som tears over the Cheyenne story. Your joke were great especially the housework one. Have a nice weekend.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Dearest glad you're feeling well...thank you for your thoughtful words to everyone. My daughter, Julie, had a housefull of people during Hurricane Irene; but she was so very damages, loss of electricity or flooding to her home. But everyone else around her were NOT so lucky. Everyone pitched in to help out...and things are pretty much back to normal again; but many still cleaning up after Irene. Take care... Love, Joy

LZ Blogger said...

Merle ~ I am sure that Chuck is not the first guy with that problem! Cute story. ~ j///b

audrey` said...

Thank you for sharing so many inspiring stories and jokes with us. The first one is very good. In God's time... :)