Thursday, March 5, 2015

Must love…….dogs, children, husbands, life

Every morning we awaken at three, yes three AM, and take inventory. Mikey? He’s 15 years young and can’t make it up to the bed any more, but is curled up on a blanket in front of the sofa. We thank him every morning for still being with us to continue to charm us.

Wesley? Yes, he’s right where he always is, between the two pillow mountains. Freddie worries all night that he’s going to crush him, but Wesley’s too smart for that. In our 51 years of marriage, I’ve been the sleeper and Freddie’s been the worrier. He was always the one who got up with the children when they were sick. He thought I was so grumpy that I was going to destroy them.

Willie? He’s doing his Tibetan Spaniel thing, the job he was created for: warming our feet. After thousands of years and thousands of miles, he still thinks he has to do his job. He doesn’t understand that in Florida we don’t need foot warmers, we don’t even need blankets, but DNA is pretty strong stuff.

I was just reading in a description of the Tibetan Spaniel: “If you want an obedient dog, a dog that you can walk off leash, a dog that will come when called, the Tibbie is not the dog for you. Please think carefully before you fall in love with a beautiful, adorable Tibetan Spaniel puppy. It is a highly intelligent animal that will bond very closely with you, but it will not be your obedient servant, and it will be convinced (perhaps correctly) that in most circumstances it knows better than you.” (from

The description fits Willie perfectly and it also fits our middle child so his middle name is “Paige.” William Paige is named after Elisabeth Paige-- her personality is the mirror image of his. How can he be so much like her? Liz lives 3000 miles away and they’ve never met.

Naming dogs has always been fun for us, but Willie’s the first one whose name came from one of our children. Wesley’s name came from a near accident. He’s also an adopted Tibetan Spaniel. He bolted from our motor home the day we picked him up. Without a name, all I could do was shriek, as he ran across the Winn Dixie parking lot. 

Fortunately, he was traumatized, stopped in his tracks, and I threw him back into the bus. His name came from the young man at the checkout counter. (We still haven’t mastered the art of the self-checkout.) I looked at his name tag and asked if we could name our dog after him, eliciting a big grin. So Wesley became Wesley James McGillicuddy

Mikey, our 15 year-old "Who Knows What’s" name came from our neighbor. He’s the one who found Mikey on the street when he was five weeks old and, knowing we were softies, presented the tiny, matted, flea and tick-infested creature who had all kinds of diseases, to us. Mikey grew up to be so special that if we could, we would clone him. 

Our Tibetan Spaniels came from Adopt-a-Pet and we can get others with similar personalities, but how can we get another Mikey? All we can do is be thankful for the years that he’s made us smile.

The Budha Dog in the picture is the symbol of the project that Liz and I are working on. We’re trying to name him, or her. Check out the ways you can meditate with your pet at It will enhance your life.

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