Complete and Utter Doggy Bliss

Have y’all ever wondered what complete and utter joy looks like? You have? Well this is your lucky day!

I give you Hannah, in the throws of absolute doggy bliss….

She had never seen snow before, and she wasn’t too sure she wanted to, at first.

It wasn’t long before she decided it was pretty cool and great fun to run in!

She ran around with the enthusiasm of a young puppy, and that’s saying a lot for this six year old rottweiler, who has bad hips.

She helped Dad measure the snow. Three and a half inches!

This is the look that says, “COME ON, ALREADY! QUIT TAKING PICTURES AND TAKE ME FOR A WALK!”

Can’t you just feel her excitement? She was literally kicking up her heels!

She was playing Peek-a-boo through the leaves…

…and then, “Just try and catch me!”

She tried a sneak attack on Dad…

…then ran around me like a banshee. This madness is commonly known as “the zoomies.” Rottweiler puppies are famous for doing this. Six year old females with arthritis…not so much.

I hope you got a smile or two from these pictures. Is there anything more goofy than a happy dog? Her joy was so contagious.  It’s one of the simple pleasures in my life.

How To Make A Dog Happy

This week’s Spin Cycle topic is Happiness.

“Dogs are obsessed with being happy”
–James Thurber

“I lie belly-up In the Sunshine, happier than
You will ever be.”
– Author Unknown

Thank God we have a dog, y’all. What else would we do with ourselves on an unexpectedly warm day in the middle of January, if we didn’t have this 105 pound pile of constantly shedding black hair rottweiler following us around with this look, which we call The Look,  in her eyes:

…which obviously says, “Are you Freaking People EVER going to take me for a walk?”

It was crappy day, after all. Which means we had just worked four, twelve hour night shifts in a row, so we were feeling like, well, crap. Poor Hannah had spent all four nights curled up in her chair, alone. I figured after four nights of torment, the three of us would enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine. Plus, she was giving me The Look.

It’s so easy to make a dog happy, y’all. “Do you want to go for a ride in the truck?” gets this look of joy. You can’t see it in the picture, but she was actually trembling with joy.

And that makes me so happy, y’all.

Hannah has bad hips, so getting her into the back of our SUV is a bit of a project. But she is very patient with Dad, as he lifts her up. She does her part, of course, by flailing around like an octopus falling out of a tree.

“OK, I’m all in, let’s go! let’s go! let’s go! I’m ready to splatter your windows with slobber and bark at all the other cars!”

“I take back everything bad I said about you guys. I love you, Mom.”

So, without further ado, I give you Hannah’s Trip To The Beach…

“Dogs are our link to paradise.”
— Milan Kundera

“All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog.”
—Franz Kafka

“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.”
— Samuel Butler

“To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.”
–Aldous Huxley

“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart.” –Author Unknown

“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”
– Milan Kundera

“In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semihuman.The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.”
—Edward Hoagland

“If the are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went”
–Will Rogers

I hope y’all all got happy on this little virtual walk with Hannah. I’ll leave you with just one more thought…

“Today I sniffed
Many dogs’ behinds. I celebrate
By kissing your face.”
–Author Unknown

You Capture My Year In Review

I’ve been trying to participate in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way)  It’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week’s was “My Year in Review.”

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then do your best to visit the other participants’ sites – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is Your Winter. Everyone will post pictures of what winter is like where they live. That should be interesting, don’t y’all think?

And yes, I realize that today is Friday. I wanted to have this ready yesterday, but I’ve been working 12 hour shifts all week. The last few weeks have been brutal, y’all. I feel like it’s been all I could do to just keep my head above water. Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve were spent working. The whole month of December was pretty much a blur.

Today is the first day of a seven day break for us. (We work really odd hours in case you didn’t know.) I’m hoping to get back on track in the next seven days with a lot of things; eating healthier, cleaning my pig pen house, trying on clothes I got for Christmas, putting away Christmas stuff (ugh!) managing piles of laundry, catching up with friends and family, getting reacquainted with my hubby and last but not least, blogging.

But today, I’m dedicating to doing as little as possible. If that means lying around in my bathrobe drinking Bloody Marys all day, so be it. Reminiscing about last year is a good way to start off the week.

In January, we had a rare sprinkling of snow. It hardly ever snows on the coast of North Carolina, and when it does, we all lose our minds, y’all. Everybody except the damn Yankees, like my husband, who have moved down here to make fun of all of us silly southerners enjoy our balmy weather.

February was spent worrying about our love tree. We call it our “love tree” because when we first met, it was just a little stick in the ground, basically. There was some discussion about whether or not to just pull it up. But when I revealed to Jeff that a former boyfriend of mine had said that this tree “would never amount to anything”, Jeff decided to dedicate his life to making this tree grow.

After much fertilizing, it is now taller than our house. But we may have fertilized it a bit too much last year. As you can see in the photo, it developed a nasty split right down the middle of it’s trunk last winter.

March brought a chance to enjoy a golf getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jeff and I got a terrific deal on Ebay. We stayed two nights at a resort, played three different golf courses and took in a show at The Palace.

April was spent getting ready for my first grandchild! I gave my son and his girlfriend an Eco Baby Shower and almost went crazy in the process. You can read all about my ordeal  here. Amazingly, I found enough time to blog about it.

In May, my darling little grand daughter, Freya, was born.

Also in May, my oldest son, Kyle, not only graduated from college, but he and his wife, Erika, found out that they were finally going to have a baby! What perfect timing!

In June, we made the painful decision  to take the chain saw to the “love tree.” Jeff loped off half of it, hoping it would continue to survive –  as strong as our love for each other has. Six months later, it appears to be doing fine, just a little on the crooked side.

July was spent going on vacation to Busch Gardens and hanging out at Wrightsville Beach. This is one of my favorite photos we took this year. This is Jeff’s daughter and her friend, fighting the surf. These two fourteen year olds from Upstate New York were more than happy to spend the summer down here,working on their tans…

…and their texting skills.

In August we hosted our annual chicken spiedie dinner. It was my mother’s birthday, and she enjoyed playing patty cake with her great grand daughter, Freya, who was getting so big!

In September, we took the girls back to New York and spent some time outdoors with our rottweiler, Hannah, enjoying the last bits of summer.

October was a hard month. My son and his girlfriend moved to another state 800 miles away, taking my precious little grand daughter with them. They brought her over so we could say good bye.

The cooler fall weather in November inspired us to try out our golfing skills at a beautiful golf course, Lockwood Folly Country Club in Shallote, NC.

And the end of the month, on Thanksgiving Day, my grandson, Kole, was born! Another baby, another blessing!

December was spent getting to know this little guy! I took a week of vacation after he came home from the hospital to stay with Kyle and Erika and help out with Kole. And, of course, I have spent countless hours trying to capture this adorable face with my camera.

Hannah in Sepia

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This is my rottweiler, Hannah. She is my big velcro dog. I think she looks pretty good in sepia, don’t you?

I’ve just discovered that Mary the Teach has another photo blog, besides Ruby Tuesday. It is called Sepia Scenes. Every Wednesday, she posts a picture in sepia, and invites everyone else to do the same. She also has a tutorial on her blog on how to produce good photos in sepia. I you are into photography, like I am, go on over and check it out.

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Dog Owners Have Feelings Too

spincyclesmallI’ve told y’all this story before. But it seemed perfect for this week’s Spin Cycle topic, “Pets.”  So, I’m telling it again doing a re-run because I’m southern and we love to repeat ourselves it’s a subject that I’m passionate about.


IMG_0049I love my dog, Hannah. She is like my own child. She is the “baby” that my husband and I could not have. We really feel that way about her. If, God Forbid, we were to ever get divorced, I’m sure we would fight over custody of her.

Now I realize there are folks who are not dog lovers. I don’t understand it, but I know they are out there. What I don’t understand is how someone can dislike an innocent creature, who has done them no harm, to such an extent that they don’t care if they insult the owners. Because, let’s face it, y’all, owners are people. Usually people that these dog haters profess to care about.

So here’s my spin on this. And listen, if you love a person, try not to shudder when their furry child walks into the room. Really, y’all. It’s rude.

How Could You Not Just Love Her?

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This is my Rottweiler, Hannah, and me. We are lying on our tummies at the top of our stairs, waiting for “Dad” to come back.  Hannah has  hip dysplasia, an affliction that is,  unfortunately, common to a lot of rotts.  It makes it difficult for her to go up and down stairs and she requires alot of assistance. But she will endure all kinds of pain, if it means she gets to spend a little quality time being petted by mom and dad, while they watch TV in their Man Room. And getting a few bites of “people food” sweetens the pot a little, too, of course.

To get her up the stairs, one of us has to go ahead of her and call her. One of us has to get behind her and push her bottom as she painfully pulls herself up. Getting her back down is even more of an ordeal. I walk down backwards,  taking each step slowly and stopping on each one, to pat the previous step and call her. Hannah will come down one step at a time, with careful little hops, pausing to look at me plaintively between each step. When she finally reaches the bottom, she jumps onto the waiting area rug with a little triumphant flourish and a wag of her nub, as if to say, “I made it one more time, Mom!”

So going up to the Man Room, to spend the evening watching a movie, is quite a production at our house. Once up there, Hannah has to stay until we come down for bed. If we make a quick  trip down for a potty break, she lies at the top of the stairs in utter despair (we call it the “Great and Powerful Sadness”) until we return. I love the expressions on her regal face, and this one always gets to me. Who couldn’t love her right to death, y’all?

My stepmother, that’s who.

Twice a year, my daddy, “Pa Bill”,  and his lovely wife, Shelba, travel six hours from their mountain home… to visit us, ya’ll. They know we have a dog. They know her name is Hannah. They know we love her just like one of our own children. But, when they show up for their Royal Visit, my stepmother, who acts like every dog in the world  is a  snarling hound from hell, ready to tear her limb from limb, will call Hannah “it” or “he”.

As in, “Ah’m asceered to go in the house, ’cause Ah’m asceered It will bite me!” This, as she stands firmly rooted to the spot, outside the front door, refusing to come inside, until we assure her, multiple times, that the dog is not even HERE! It is at grandma’s house for the evening. Then she’ll ask, “Are you sure he’s not here?  Ah’m afeared of Rock-wilders and Ah’m allergic to dawgs.”

We’ve gone down this road before, y’all.  Back in the beginning of our dog ownership, we tried, during the Royal Visit, introducing our sweet, adorable Hannah to her “step-grandmother.” To describe it as a “disaster” doesn’t even come close, y’all. After watching Shelba shudder and convulse every time Hannah even looked at her, we decided to put her in the bedroom and shut the door. Well, you just don’t do that to a dog who goes into mourning every time you go downstairs to take a pee break for a few minutes. Naturally, she tried scratching on the door.

SCRATCH on the bedroom door.

Shelba almost faints. “OH MY GOD, BEE-ILL!” She clutches my dad’s arm, in terror. “What was that?”

“It’s just Hannah, scratching at the door,” I explain, trying to stay calm.

Hannah hears her name. SCRATCH.

Shelba practically jumps straight off the couch, clutching madly at my father. “AH’M AFRAID HE’S GOIN’ TO GET ME!”  she wails.

Hannah, hearing all the excitement, decides to bark. A very polite bark, but still.

By now Shelba is all but having a nervous breakdown. She’s shuddering, she’s trembling, she’s probably wet her “bloomers”. My dad is staring at me accusingly, as if I am the perpetrator of a diabolical plot to drive his poor bride mad.

“She can’t get out! She’s not going to bite you! She just wants to come in and say hello!” I try to explain.

“Ah just don’t know why you’s cain’t put him in the yah’rd,” Shelba says, tearfully.

“Well,” I say. “We don’t have a fenced in yard and our homeowners association won’t let us put a dog outside unless there’s a fence or she’s on a leash.”

“Well you could tie hit to a tree, couldn’t you?”

“No Shelba. It’s December. It’s 30 degrees out there. I’m not putting Hannah outside in this weather and TIE HER TO A TREE!”

Hannah hears her name. SCRATCH.

At this point, I made an executive decision, y’all. I decided that I would never, ever, as long as I live, put myself through this scenario again. So now, when Pa Bill and Shelba come for their annual Christmas visit, Hannah gets to go and spend the night at Grandma’s house. Hannah has been going to Grandma’s house for at least three years now, and Shelba still stands in the front yard, afraid to come in, until we assure her, repeatedly, that the vicious “Rock-wilder” is not here.

img_0150Funny thing is, Shelba, bless her heart, doesn’t mind our cat. And to tell you the truth, the cat would probably bite her quicker than Hannah ever would. Shoot. To tell you the truth, I’d probably bite her quicker than Hannah would. Not that I ever would, or anything, y’all. I’m just sayin’.

Bathtime for Watery Wednesday

Puppy Bath

This is for Watery Wednesday. My rottweiler, Hannah, doesn’t look too fierce here. She was getting her first bath.

waterywed2b1Watery Wednesday is hosted by 2sweetnsaxy at Eyes, Mind and Heart. It’s so easy, even cavemen and southern women can do it! Just post a photo, on Wednesday, y’all, of something with water in it. Then link back to Watery Wednesday so other folks can enjoy your photo! That’s all ya gotta do, I swaunee.

A Thousand Words Thursday

So, I found another photography meme called A Thousand Words Thursday. It is hosted by Jen, at Cheaper that Therapy. I think she’s on to something, myself. The idea behind this one is to post a picture that is worth a thousand words. On Thursday. If it’s that easy, I’m all for it, y’all.

Here’s my picture for the day. Her name is Hannah, and she’s my baby. And yes, she’s one of those mean old Rottweilers. Can’t you just tell she’s viscous, from the look in her eyes? Y’all can fill in all the thousands of words that go with it by yourselves.

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Y’all can see lots of other folks photos, that are worth thousands of  words by visiting here. Be sure to leave lots of bloggy love!

atwt

I “Do Not Qualify” to Adopt a Rottweiler

smaller-hannah
Yeah, it’s pretty shameful.
Y’all know I own a Rottweiler, Hannah, that is just like my own child. My mother-in-law had this portrait done of her. It was a  Christmas present this year for my husband. We have it hanging over our mantel.  To say we adore this animal is an understatement. She is five years old, now, and when she eventually goes into the great doggie heaven in the sky, we are both gonna be blubbering idiots.
Well, recently, we got this hair brained idea, y’all. We decided that maybe it was time to get ourselves another puppy. We’d really like to give Hannah the opportunity to teach another little Rottie gal all she knows about bein’ the Most Spectacular Dog in the Entire Universe.
I hate to admit this, but we might’ve  made a few mistakes when we got Hannah. We found her online, from one of those backyard breeders. We didn’t realize, at the time, that gettin’ a puppy from a less than conscientious breeder was allowin’ them to continue to stay in business, thereby producing less that desirable specimens of the breed. Much to our dismay, our beautiful girl has hip dysplasia, and it ain’t pretty, ya’ll.  One day we will have to have her put down. And, of course, it goes without sayin’, we can’t breed her.
So this time around, I thought we’d do the noble thing, and rescue a puppy. One that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance at havin’ such committed and adoring parents, like us two fools. I found this Rottweiler Rescue outfit online and what’d ya know, they had the cutest lil ol litter of Rottie pups! Five little girls and five little boys! They even had a video camera set up to film their antics and you could watch them everyday on You Tube.
Well, naturally I fell in love with these pups. I wanted one so bad. I mean, what’s not to love about a Rottie pup? This is Hannie when she was little.
l_7ee118439270b81a3ad3ecd3ec167b36
See what I mean, y’all?
One thing I noticed, and this is important to keep in mind, is that all of these puppies had had their tails docked. Which was fine by me, I think Rotties look better with their cute little nubs.
So right away, I filled out their “Application to Adopt”. It took me almost two hours! I couldn’t believe all the stuff they were wantin’ to know! They asked about everything, and I do mean everything. What was the square footage of our house, and how many people live in it? What ages are they? How many hours do we work per week, how much do we make, who’s our vet, what’s his address and phone number and if we’ve had this vet for less than a year, what’s the name, address and phone number of out previous vet, and why did we change vets? They asked if we would ever consider a Rottweiler with a tail, and I answered No. Because I really just wanted one of the ten cute, lil puppies that had already had their tails docked.
I’m now convinced that adopting a child from China would be alot easier.
A couple weeks went by and then I got this email:
Dear Ginger,
Thank you for your application unfortunately in order to qualify, you must know your animal control laws. You state that you don’t know of any, you can familiarize yourself with animal control laws by going to their website or just calling up and asking for a copy of them.  It is very important when you own a dog that you know these laws, especially with owning a Rottweiler.
Also, you state you would never adopt a Rottweiler with it’s natural tail.  Unfortunately, this is rescue and unless their tails have been docked at under 3 days old, you have a Rottweiler with a tail.  In rescue we are about saving lives and not their looks.
Thank you and best of luck in finding a puppy.
ARRF Coordinator
Well now, excuse me all to hell, y’all, but that was just rude! Was she accusin’ me of not wantin’ to save Rottweiler lives? And the comment about their looks. That’s kinda snooty, considerin’ that they’ve already ruined the “looks” of the puppies they’re advertising all over You Tube.
So I wrote her back, and then she wrote me back, with more of her rude comments highlighted:
Dear Suzi,
I just wanted to take a minute to respond. Obviously, I can find all of my county rules and ordinances concerning animals and Rottweilers in particular. I was trying to be truthful, when answering your questionnaire. I do not have every rule memorized. But I understand that dogs require a leash, animals cannot run free except in designated parks, they must be registered, they must be up to date on their vaccinations. I would do all of these things, anyway. I already own a Rottweiler, and have had her for 5 years. I love her DEARLY and it is insulting to me, to have it implied that I would break a law, or not care properly for my dog.

***Nobody “implied” you would break a law, and if you can so easily find your ordinances, then a) why didn’t you, and b) why would you state you do not think you have any ?

As far as the tail business goes, I understand that you are not in the business of docking dogs tails. I realize that you are “saving lives”. I think it should be obvious to you that I am also interested in saving a life, by applying to adopt a dog from a shelter. I have nothing against dogs with tails, it is just my preference in Rottweilers. I also prefer to adopt a puppy. In looking at your website pictures, I see that you have a variety of dogs, some with tails, some without, some older dog and some puppies. I was trying to express my preference, and if that makes me a horrible person and not fit to own a dog, so be it.
***The question was would you adopt a dog with a natural tail and you stated “no”  If it is only your preference, then you would have stated yes, but a no implies no. We have to discount the applications where people state no because a lot of our Rottweilers have their natural tail, when you  state no to the natural tail, there is always the chance that people will get the tail amputated and mutilate our dogs, so it is a standard denial as we must always protect the health and well being of our dogs.


I am amazed that you would pronounce someone as unqualified to adopt one of your animals with no other evidence to go on. Have you really got that many folks offering to take them, and pay the adoption fees you are asking for? And are all these folks that much more qualified than my husband and I? This was my first attempt to get an animal from a shelter. I thought it was the right thing to do. What an experience, to get slapped down and rejected for not answering your questions correctly! Now I am wondering if I should just give up and not try.
*****We did not deny you with no evidence to go on, you filled out the application and in your own words, you were being truthful, that is our evidence, your truthful answers on the application.  And yes, we actually do have that many people that want to adopt our dogs and puppies and pay our adoption fee.  We actually have more applications than dogs.

By turning us down, you are shutting the door on a loving family and a great home for one of your dogs. And by doing so, you are letting down one of your dogs.
**** I am not letting down any of my dogs, as you have to fit our guidlines and qualify, so I would be letting down one of my dogs by allowing someone who does not qualify adopt.

I am attaching a picture of my rottweiler, Hannah. I want you to see that I have managed to take pretty good care of her and she is healthy, happy and loved. Thank you for what you are doing to help the breed that I love so much. I am sorry that my heart and my home do not meet your high standards.
***** These are not high standards, you should see what other rescues require for their adoptions.  These are regular standard questions to determine if your qualify for one of our dogs.  Obviously you take care of your own dog, we never said you were not qualified to love and care for your own dog, however, we do not approve applications that don’t meet our requirements.
Again, thank you and best of luck in your search for your puppy.

Well. Suzi, your whole “tone” tells me something. You migh be livin’ in North Carolina, but you’re obviously not from around here, darlin’. The part about us possibly MUTALATING one of your dogs almost made my head explode. (Is she SERIOUS, y’all? )
I guess we won’t be gettin’ another puppy anytime soon. The whole dern experience has left a sour taste in my mouth. I feel bad for poor Hannah, what with her havin’ such an unqualified, potential tail mutilatin’, requirement failin’ mother, like me. I guess loving the breed to the point of distraction, trying to be completly honest, and wanting to give a decent life to another dog counts as nothing.
So if any of y’all are thinkin’ about adopting from a rescue organization, be forewarned. Study up on all of your county ordinances, make sure you tell them that you’re willin’ to take any kind of dog they have, in any condition, and be prepared to be turned down anyways. There are homeless people livin’ under bridges down here, but a homeless dog must have the run of your house, and it better be big enough, nice enough and with enough square footage, y’all!
Oh, and also, you’ll need four real good, reliable references, who have known you for years and can vouch for your character…and a hefty $250 adoption fee.

How Could You Not Just Love Her?

img_05161

This is my Rottweiler, Hannah, and me. We are lying on our tummies at the top of our stairs, waiting for “Dad” to come back.  Hannah has  hip dysplasia, an affliction that is,  unfortunately, common to alot of rotts.  It makes it difficult for her to go up and down stairs and she requires alot of assistance. But she will endure all kinds of pain, if it means she gets to spend a little quality time being petted by mom and dad, while they watch TV in their Man Room. And getting a few bites of “people food” sweetens the pot a little, too, of course.

To get her up the stairs, one of us has to go ahead of her and call her. One of us has to get behind her and push her bottom as she painfully pulls herself up. Getting her back down is even more of an ordeal. I walk down backwards,  taking each step slowly and stopping on each one, to pat the previous step and call her. Hannah will come down one step at a time, with careful little hops, pausing to look at me plaintively between each step. When she finally reaches the bottom, she jumps onto the waiting area rug with a little triumphant flourish and a wag of her nub, as if to say, “I made it one more time, Mom!”

So going up to the Man Room, to spend the evening watching a movie, is quite a production at our house. Once up there, Hannah has to stay until we come down for bed. If we make a quick  trip down for a potty break, she lies at the top of the stairs in utter despair and infinite sadness, until we return. I love the expressions on her regal face, and this one always gets to me. Who couldn’t love her right to death, y’all?

My stepmother, that’s who.

Twice a year, my daddy, “Pa Bill”,  and his lovely wife, Shelba, travel six hours from their mountain home… to visit us, ya’ll. They know we have a dog. They know her name is Hannah. They know we love her just like one of our own children. But, when they show up for their Royal Visit, my stepmother, who acts like every dog in the world  is a  snarling hound from hell, ready to tear her limb from limb, will call Hannah “it” or “he”.

As in, “Ah’m asceered to go in the house, ’cause Ah’m asceered It will bite me!” This, as she stands firmly rooted to the spot, outside the front door, refusing to come inside, until we assure her, multiple times, that the dog is not even HERE! It is at grandma’s house for the evening. Then she’ll ask, “Are you sure he’s not here?  Ah’m afeared of Rock-wilders and Ah’m allergic to dawgs.”

We’ve gone down this road before, y’all.  Back in the beginning of our dog ownership, we tried, during the Royal Visit, introducing our sweet, adorable Hannah to her “step-grandmother.” To describe it as a “disaster” doesn’t even come close, y’all. After watching Shelba shudder and convulse every time Hannah even looked at her, we decided to put her in the bedroom and shut the door. Well, you just don’t do that to a dog who goes into mourning every time you go downstairs to take a pee break for a few minutes. Naturally, she tried scratching on the door.

SCRATCH on the bedroom door.

Shelba almost faints. “OH MY GOD, BEE-ILL!” She clutches my dad’s arm, in terror. “What was that?”

“It’s just Hannah, scratching at the door,” I explain, trying to stay calm.

Hannah hears her name. SCRATCH.

Shelba practically jumps straight off the couch, clutching madly at my father. “AH’M AFRAID HE’S GOIN’ TO GET ME!”  she wails.

Hannah, hearing all the excitement, decides to bark. A very polite bark, but still.

By now Shelba is all but having a nervous breakdown. She’s shuddering, she’s trembling, she’s probably wet her “bloomers”. My dad is staring at me accusingly, as if I am the perpetrator of a diabolical plot to drive his poor bride mad.

“She can’t get out! She’s not going to bites you! She just wants to come in and say hello!” I try to explain.

“Ah just don’t know why you’s cain’t put him in the yah’rd,” Shelba says, tearfully.

“Well,” I say. “We don’t have a fenced in yard and our homeowners association won’t let us put a dog outside unless there’s a fence or she’s on a leash.”

“Well you could tie him to a tree, couldn’t you?”

“No Shelba. It’s December. It’s 30 degrees out there. I’m not putting Hannah outside in this weather and TIE HER TO A TREE!”

Hannah hears her name. SCRATCH.

At this point, I made an executive decision, y’all. I decided that I would never, ever, as long as I live, put myself through this scenario again. So now, when Pa Bill and Shelba come for their annual Christmas visit, Hannah gets to go and spend the night at Grandma’s house. Hannah has been going to Grandma’s house for at least three years now, and Shelba still stands in the front yard, afraid to come in, until we assure her, repeatedly, that the vicious “Rock-wilder” is not here.

Funny thing is, Shelba, bless her heart, doesn’t mind our cat. And to tell you the truth, the cat would probably bite her quicker than Hannah ever would. Shoot. To tell you the truth, I’d probably bite her quicker than Hannah would. Not that I ever would, or anything, y’all. I’m just sayin’.