Mountain Dog

In a day’s time, Roberto Tiberius has gone from puppylike couch dog to doe-startling Rotweiljäger. It’s the mountain air, I tell ya, it has filled his canine lungs with the remembrance of his natural abilities, the truest call of the wild.

Bobby kayaked with us up the New River, tussled with a HUGE year old Griffon-Labrador mix, chased a birthday girl and her friends all over the lawn…who is this guy? We’ve been together since June 2012 and I feel I’m still learning about him.

This morning, we meandered up the road by our cabin for a Sunday morning constitutional. It was a sweaty climb to the top and a relieving bounce back down to the cabin. Bobby led the way back.

Suddenly, a fury of barks and growls emanated from the cabin area. A scared-shitless wide-eyed white-tailed doe bounded from the trees onto the road where I stood. I quickly entered into a “don’t trample me” mantra while sharing Bob’s barks to warn her to stay away from me.

Bobby clipped at her like a gambler chasing a sure bet, delicately curbing her down below. He took off into the treeline. I knew he was alright because he was still barking. By the time I had changed clothes, Bobby was back in the cabin.

I ♥ my dog.

 

Two Plates Two Bowls Two Glasses

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This is where/I don't live anymore/because LOVE lives somewhere else./So I go./This is 'goodbye'.

Today the lake water has taken on a pumice hue. Ripples close in like busy worker ants towards the inlet, dumping froth along the coastline. Bitter, the air, the overnight drop in temperature simultaneously welcome and abhored. This morning instead of sipping a cup of coffee I puff on my glass bowl. There’s much work to do, but a cold front means stiff joints and I simply cannot lift couches and move TV stands without healing smoke to start.

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Bobby's favorite activity was to sit here and watch the water fowl.

A commotion across the room distracts me from the lake. The grey flannel blanket undulates madly, then melts into the mattress. I return to nature-gazing with a smile on my face, thinking of the fiery Ace of Wands Spirit played the other day. Lust; Fire; Passion. Through the Two of Swords Spirit told me, ‘turn that big brain of yours off and let love happen!’ Oh that it is, for sure. I did pull the Princess of Swords. Unfinished struggles. Uncertain proceedings. It was a message about my health. Yes, I nod as I inhale, we’re gonna be experts in self-care this year.

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Kitchen, done!

There’s furniture to get rid of, boxes to pack. Walls to paint back to standard white. There wasn’t much hung for decoration until just this past year. Four years at this address, but I only felt like nesting once I had a relationship…oh I get it now. The Ace of Wands had always been in play. Good one, Spirit!
Down to two plates, two bowls, two glasses. Two houses will condense to one, and hearts will grow three-fold. Goodbye Southside, hello Suburbia!
Time to wake the sleeping beast…

Playing With Shadows: Roser Park, St. Petersburg

Mountain Livin’

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New River, North Carolina

View From Above

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Appalachian Overlook, North Carolina

Into The Woods

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Appalachian Overlook, North Carolina

The Courtship of B. Tiberius and Delilah

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I figured Mean Ol’ Roxie had a baby.

I saw a small-bodied dog standing at the patio sliding door staring out at us during our evening constitutional. Later that week, the middle-aged woman I called Roxie’s Mom (even though we’ve been neighbors for three years), was sitting out on the patio with the baby.

“Oh, Roxie had a baby girl,” I assumed.

“This one’s a new one,” she corrected, then did a slow inhale before saying, “we had to put Roxie down.” The careful delivery of those words meant she wasn’t quite resolved in sharing such a sad announcement. I could sympathize; I was in her position last year when my old man Bear passed.

Oddly, I clutched my chest and gasped at the news. “She was sick?”

“Had stomach cancer these past two years.”

Ah, I think to myself, all this time I thought Roxie was being an ornery cunt towards me and my dogs.

“She was a good dog. I liked her very much.” That was true. I remember years ago, Roxie chasing Bear from her side of the lake all the way over to our side, up the stairs and to the doors. She was goofy and playful, but very large, too large to be an apartment dog in my Self-Righteous Dog Mom Opinion (SRDMO).

I reached over the fence to touch the young bitch’s face. “And who is this?”

“Delilah,” Delilah’s Mom said. I heard a smile in her voice.

Delilah is a gorgeous tawny American Pit Bull Terrier with a black mask and nose. Only 11 months old, yet she’s already fully grown, according to Delilah’s Mom’s vet. Sweet and slightly shy, I take a liking to her. She reciprocated by licking my hand.

But Roberto Tiberius was in L-O-V-E. My fluffy, messy American Cocker Spaniel pushed his nose up to hers, tail wagging a 1000 miles a second, wishing the white cross hash fence wasn’t separating their four-legged bodies. Then his tail stopped moving as they gregariously rubbed snouts and faces against each other. Ooh, intimate! Bobby T and I wish them a good evening then continued our walk around the lake, Bobby T adding a bit of a skip to his gait. Aww, puppy love!

Wednesday I had Bobby taken to the groomer for his seasonal shave down. Would you like a cologne? the groomer offered. Why not? Bobby, now sleek in his mini-Laborador cut, showing more George Clooney-esque salt-and-pepper around the haunches and face, got spritzed with the dog version of Davidoff Cool Water.

Saturday morning we ventured out on our constitutional. I’m used to me and Bob being the only ones out that time of the morning, so I typically let him off leash. Normally he’s sniffing and hunting about in a zigzag fashion, but this morning, he’s walking rather delicately, kicking out one set of feet forward, than the other, in a tight quarter march, in a straight line, until he came to a deliberate stop, then lowered to his seat and sat perfectly still. Thinking he’s signaling to me he’s spotted game, I’m looking around for feral cats or coons or some aquatic life but there’s no one, just us on the crushed seashell and sand trail.

Through the branches of the squat Cabbage Palm a few meters ahead, I noticed movement. Normally Bobby would go forward and pursue it, but today, oh no, he sits very still. Doing the dog equivalent of licking fingertips then brushing them over eyebrows, Bob presented his face to the sky, shook his ears, and yawned just as Delilah and her mom cleared the tree and joined us on the trail.

How’d he know??

Delilah stopped walking at the sight of her friend. I shrug to her mom, then stepped aside, after all, I don’t want to cock block a Cocker. 😛

Bob lowers to his stomach, flattens against the ground, and stretches his lean, freshly cut body out towards her.

I smack my forehead.

He wags his tail so fast it’s a blur. Delilah is clearly smitten but shyly walks back to her mom. I let them lead off and Bobby sighs, I mean, literally, both nostrils went “hooompf”! On the walk home, I bust his non-existent balls.

“BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Really, Bob? Reeeealllyyyy?? Puttin’ it all out there LIKE A HO! Aaahahahahaaa!”

They do make a cute couple, though. I give the relationship my blessing! 😀