Saturday, October 6, 2012

More Dobie Tales (not tails)

I’m writing this blog entry while in our Virginia home. My husband and I have the family home, the house we will likely retire to a little coal-mining town called Appalachia, Virginia. Yes, there is an area called Appalachia, but there is also a town by that name where my hubby was born and raised.

The Greens moved into this house in 1950, when Joe was just eight months old. His oldest brother was born in 1937 and one more Green was added to the family in 1960 bringing the grand total of seven children for Roy and Mary Ruth. In fact, the last child was born on Mary Ruth’s 45th birthday. And he was not a surprise baby either! Some folks call them “uh-ohs” or “surprise blessings” but David was planned. Roy asked Mary Ruth one day if she missed having a little one around the house (Joe was 10 years old by this time) and she said she did.

“Why don’t we have just one more?”

“Alright,” said Mary Ruth and next thing you know...David was on his way! His arrival came a little too early and he struggled those first months. But all the while, his mother ‘kept the faith’ and Dave grew to be a strong and healthy member of the Green clan. He is now one of seven undertakers in the family, with the latest one being the fourth generation in the funeral business.

Joe and his oldest brother are ordained United Methodist ministers, so you could say the Greens are a ‘full-service family.’ They can marry ‘em and bury ‘em!!!

My hubby tells people that the hardest thing I had to get used to when we married was learning to sleep in a bed with a lid on it. (Remember that this is the same man who proposed to me in a cemetery, asking me if I’d like to be buried in the family plot!) His daddy saw me putting my makeup on by the light of the kitchen window one day and told me if I handed him my brushes and laid out on the kitchen table he could make me look really natural...just like I was asleep! He was a funny guy so his son comes by his humor honestly.

Back to the house...
We inherited this wonderful old place after Joe’s mother went to heaven in 2009. I think the house was built around 1920...big brick structure with two floors, a full basement and wonderful old attic that is fun to explore. The house has good bones. After the rest of the children got the furniture and things out that they wanted, Joe and I began to move many of our things into the place. It is really special to sit in the living room and look around. Some of the furniture that I inherited from my mother and daddy is mingled in with his parents’ furniture. It gives me a warm feeling to see it all together like that...kind of like the two of us!

When the family gathers here now, it is so meaningful to Joe and me because this is what his parents enjoyed...having a house filled with family, lots of activity, laughter and music.

The only one in ‘our family’ who doesn’t seem to feel content here is our dog, Dobie. When we come up once every thirty days to spend a night here for insurance purposes, he usually travels along. He’ll follow us around as if he thinks we’re going to suddenly leave him here. It’s kind of the way he acted when we first moved into our new home in Cleveland, Tennessee but he finally became contented there. Here...not so much.

It’s almost 3:00 in the morning as I’m writing this. I fell asleep around 10:30 last night and slept soundly until about an hour ago. My sleep patterns have been that way of late. Sure hope this stage passes soon because I enjoy a good night’s sleep and miss having them!

Dobie seemed to know that I was awake and moved around on his chair, rearranging the blanket he is now comfortably curled into. But not long after I awakened, I sent him into a frenzy of ‘poodle proportions!’ All I had to do was mention two magic words in the form of a question.

“Go outside?”

Suddenly he did his little routine that he does each time the question is asked, which is licking his lips...running around in circles...and yipping. Sometimes he cuts such a shine, running in circles even on top of us, that we can’t stop laughing! And we’ll let him go on and on and on, which is kind of mean on our part because he probably really needs to GO!

Why does he lick his lips when he’s going out to do his ‘business?’

I don’t do that.

Joe doesn’t do that.

Do you?

Dobie does it because he knows that when the deed is done, he will get a treat! And he’ll launch into the routine again after he is finished with the job until he gets it.

No one ever gives me a treat when I do my business. If they me, I’d be bigger than I am now because I do my business a LOT!

Dobie is crate trained thanks to our son-in-law, who suggested it when we purchased the poodle. Best idea ever! (Andrew's had other good ideas since then, too.) But the other night, the pooch brought a whole new meaning to the term ‘crate trained.’

Our coffee table is an old chicken crate. My father thought that was a really dumb idea when I was out in the driveway scrubbing the feathers and other stuff out of it. But even he admitted it was a cool idea after seeing it in front of our sofa.

It’s filled with character now...water spots, scratches (that blend in with the ones that were already there) and crayon marks. I smile almost every time I notice them because my little girl (who is now a graphic designer for HGTV) put them there while diligently coloring in one of her coloring books or sketch books.

There are two places in the crate where ‘rungs’ are missing (...those posts that are in place to keep the chickens in place). Well somehow, Dobie squeezed himself in thru one of them the other night. Joe and I were looking around calling him and he wasn’t coming to us. We didn’t see him right away but heard this little pigeon-type noise coming from the crate. Yes, he makes a pigeon sound. Strange for a dog, I know...but look who is owners are! Looking down, there was this pitiful poodle laying in the chicken crate with no hope of escape. We tried coaxing him out by putting our hands next to the spaces where he’d obviously gotten in through. He wouldn’t budge. Finally, Joe brought a treat to the crate. Dobie began going around in circles and licking his lips right then and there before convincing himself that a treat was worth the risk of squeezing through his tight spot.

Even in the chicken crate he did his little routine!

That night Dobie brought a whole new meaning to the term being ‘crated trained!’

Remember...if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!

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