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The World According to Star

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Dogspeed, Sweet Star

June 25th 2014 12:13 pm
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“Star? You smell funny.” JoLee sniffed all around Star, paying particular attention to her flews, and, well you know.

“Who are you?” Star’s eyes were big and round. She’d just come out of another really bad seizure. Her head weaved back and forth, and ropes of drool were hanging from her mouth. Mom was busy with handfuls of paper towels behind Star, while Dad sat right next to Star, supporting her. Mom got a cool washrag and started sponging Star off, because Star was panting like she’d just run a long, long way.

“Oh, c’mon. You know who I am.” Jo sat down and cocked his head to one side. “I grew up with you! I’m your Little Buddy, remember?”

“Tim?” Star said, faintly. “Tim, is that you, Little Buddy?”

Jo was very confused.

“JoLee, you’d best get away from Star for now, sweetie. She’s kind of confused and might not know who you are right now,” Mom said, as she gave him a reassuring stroke along his side. Somehow, it wasn’t reassuring.

“Elbie?” Jo said as Elbie came through the foyer, skirting the rug (we’ve been skirting all the rugs for days, maybe weeks, now). “Do you know what’s up with Star? She says she doesn’t know who I am!”

Elbie gave an expressive shrug. “I really don’t know what to tell you, Jo,” he said as he headed for his Observation Deck upstairs. “I do know that she’s been giving me funny looks lately - looks that make me nervous.”

JoLee got up in the Command Chair, where he could see everything without being in the way.

Mom looked at Dad - and they both had tears running down their faces.

“It just isn’t fair,” Dad said. “It just isn’t. We haven’t had Star nearly long enough.”

“We never have them long enough,” Mom replied. “But you’re right. She’s only 8 years old. It’s way too soon for me to have to make another book.”

Dad broke down altogether. Jo looked pointedly out the front door so as not to embarrass his Dad. Mom didn’t seem to mind, though. In fact, her eyes were leaking, too.

“Sweetie, I think it’s time,” Mom said.

Dad nodded, his eyes red. “Star can be with her sweet Winnie again,” he said. “She’s missed her since the day Winnie left us.”

Star looked up , her eyes beginning to focus again. “Are there any biscuits?” she asked. “Where’s the water?”

And she staggered off in her endless search again.


Musical Couches

March 25th 2014 2:05 pm
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Mom got up from the couch, where she had been sitting with Elbie and me, and went over to the Settle to sit next to JoLee. “Are you mad at me or something?” she asked, as she gave him a rubdown. He looked off into the distance. “Did I do something bad?” she asked, as she skritched him under the chin.

Then something on TV caught her eye, and she stopped petting him. As soon as she quit petting him, JoLee got up and went to lay in the Command Chair.

As soon as Elbie and I saw that JoLee had left Mom unattended, we got up and moved to where she was. I looked up adoringly at her while she smoothed my flews, and Elbie rolled over on his back so his tummy was perfectly positioned for a nice rub.

“It’s okay, Mom,” I said. “No matter where you go in this house, you’re loved!”


The First Day of Spring

March 20th 2014 12:22 pm
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“Star! Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?” JoLee was jumping up and down with excitement.

“I dunno, Jo - why don’t you tell me?” Jo’s grin was infectious, and I grinned right back at him.

“I heard Mom say that today is the first day of Spring!”

“So, is that why you’re jumping up and down like that?” Elbie asked. He’d just come in the back door and he was covered in pine straw and dead grass. He shook himself, and a cloud of stuff showered down around him, adding to the detritus already on the rug. “You look like you’re on springs, yourself!”

Jo stuck his tongue out at Elbie and turned back to me. “Well, you know what that means, don’t you?” He grinned even bigger. “Trips to the Lake, when Mom throws the Frisbee waaaay out into the water and we get to go swimming with Mom and herd her back to shore!” He jumped up and down again. “I’m so excited!”

I grinned back at him. “Oh, Jo - you’re so cute. It’s fun to see you so happy and excited!”

Elbie looked uncomfortable. “Um, I don’t remember any swimming shenanigans,” he said. He scowled. “I don’t like swimming. You can’t see into the water. There could be alligators in there.”

Jo body-checked Elbie, sending him sprawling. “You silly dog. We don’t have ‘Gators this far north!” He eyed Elbie’s stump of a tail. “But I can see why you’d be nervous about it!”

“Why, you, you,” Elbie sputtered. “Well, I never!” He stalked off, leaving Jo and me grinning at each other.

Jo cocked his head to one side. “Oh, yeah. The first day of Spring!”


Squirmy Wormy

March 19th 2014 12:48 pm
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“Nugh, nugh, nugh, nugh,” Elbie grunted as he wriggled back and forth like a little fish on his back in the pine straw. You could see his grin from the other side of the yard, it was that big.

He got up and shook himself off.

“Lots of good that did,” I observed, laying in my patch of sunshine. “I think maybe one or two pieces of grass fell off.”

“Yeah,” JoLee chimed in. “Our yard is almost bare now, because it’s all on your back!”

We all laughed, and then Elbie went and pressed himself up against Mom’s leg. She absently reached down to pet him, her face turned up to the warming Spring sunshine.

We all laughed harder. Mom had been wearing black pants - but not anymore!



March 14th 2014 2:42 pm
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“Siiiighhhh…” I stretched out my front feet, then my back feet. Then I rolled over onto my back on my nice, thick bed of pine needles - my favorite place to lay in the back yard. I wiggled around some - those pine needles are the best back scratchers ever. I heard an odd little noise, and opened my eyes to see my little Mini-Me, Elbie wriggling like a fish on his back on another pile of pine needles, nearby.

“You sure look funny doing that, Elbie,” I said, lazily. “Gosh, the sun feels so good, doesn’t it?” I yawned.

Elbie stopped wriggling and looked over at me.

“Miss Star, you are a sight today, you know that?” He grinned, his tongue hanging out.

I stretched, lazily. “Why thank you, kind sir.” I let my head rest back on pine needly bed. “Thankyouverymuch.”

A cool shadow blotted out the sun’s rays.

It was JoLee, standing over me, laughing. He dropped the Sharkie on me. “C’mon, Star! Play with me!”

I growled. “No! Go away!” Jo grabbed the Sharkie and danced away, panting.

“You know why Elbie said you’re a sight, right?” He ran around the yard once and dropped the shark on me again. I squinted up at him.

“Just go away, Jo. I don’t want to play.”

“But, really! Don’t you want to know why Elbie said you’re a sight?”

“Not really.” (but I did, and Jo knew it)

“Just take a look at yourself.” He threw the Sharkie at me again.

“Don’t wanna.” I said. And then I looked down at my beautiful, satiny, brownieblack coat, and discovered - horror of horrors - that I was completely covered in pine straw!!

“Hahahahahaha!” Jo laughed as I chased him around the yard, Elbie close behind me.

I’m so glad Spring is finally back!


Dogster Daily Diary Pick

March 13th 2014 7:50 am
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“What’s this?” Elbie was tapping away on Mom’s computer. She doesn’t know he can do that; Tim used to do it all the time, and we never let on. I think being able to use computers must be a Terrier Thing.

“Star - it looks like your Journal has been picked as one of the “Diaries of the Day” on Dogster!"

We all crowded around Mom’s laptop.

“Don’t drool on it,” Elbie warned, pushing it away from JoLee’s face.

“I’m not! I’m (slurp) - well, maybe I was, just a little,” JoLee conceded, licking his lips. “I can’t help it. I was just outside munching on some Rabbit Raisinettes.”

What do you know?!? I’m famous!




March 6th 2014 2:48 pm
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“Mom’s home!” JoLee barked. I stretched my way off the Settle, grabbed the Squeaky Squirrel, and joined Jo at the front door.

“Hey, that’s mine!” He tried to grab the squirrel by the tail, but I turned my head just enough that he couldn’t reach it.

“Get your own squeaky!” I growled. Dancing with indecision, Jo looked out the door, determined he had just enough time, and ran into the living room to grab the Squeaky Ball.

“Hi, sweeties!! How are you all doing?!?” Mom sang as she came in the door. Elbie appeared at the top of the stairs and launched himself headlong down them - I have no idea how he keeps those little stumpy legs under him, as fast as he goes. Mom knelt, and we all gathered around her, tails wagging like mad (even Elbie’s little stumpy tail). Jo was squinting and smiling all at the same time.

(“That’s because of your Deadly Tail,” sez Jo.)

Mom took something from behind her back. “You’re going to be so happy, JoLee - look what I got for you!” She took out not just one, but TWO flexible fabric Frisbees for JoLee!

I didn’t know it was possible, but JoLee’s tail wagged even faster. He dropped his squeaky ball, and we all walked in a bunch with Mom into the dining room. She cut the packaging off the Frisbees, and then we all went outside for some fun!



March 6th 2014 6:37 am
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“tickatickatickaticka!” Mom said, urgently. “C’mon kids, c’mon!”

She unceremoniously hauled us behind her, like flotsam in the wake of a cruise ship, as she hustled back to the house. As she lunged for the door handle, she fell to her knees, sliding down the glass door. We crowded around her, worried that she’d lost her sanity as well as her balance. She finally got the door opened and ushered us inside, where she collapsed on the bottom step, panting for breath.

“Is everything okay out there?” Dad called from the kitchen, where he was making breakfast.

Mom panted, “I’ll tell you in a minute, once I settle down.”

We gathered around her, trying to lick her face, making sure she was okay. She finally caught her breath and gathered herself together, and then unclipped our leashes and harnesses, giving Elbie a special, gentle rub to his little armpits, where his harness had grabbed him and made him yip as Mom hauled him along.

Then she told Dad her side of the story - but first, I’ll tell you ours.

We were walking along, minding our own business (and every other dog’s business - and you KNOW how much business gets left behind when people walk their dogs). We got to the entrance of the alley, and there was lots of peemail to read and messages to leave. That’s when Mom started her crazy business. That’s it. End of my story.

Mom’s story is a little different, though.

“We got to the alley behind that rental house on the corner, right?” she told Dad, who was leaning against the doorframe of the kitchen. “There was lots of poop all over the place - whoever it is that’s living in the apartment complex isn’t cleaning up after their dogs. Anyway, the kids were smelling all kinds of stuff, and I just let them. Then I noticed movement and when I looked up, there was a huge pit bull just standing there, staring at us! I ran all the way back to the house, hoping the kids wouldn’t see him - can you imagine the mess I would have been in? If Elbie had seen him, he would have barked at him for sure, and then Star and JoLee would have, too - there’s no way I could hope to keep them from getting into trouble. Lucky for me, they didn’t see the other dog.” She sank down into a dining room chair and held her hand out, which was still shaking, badly.

I walked up and put my nose in her hand. “Silly Mom.”

Jo came up and put his nose in Mom’s hand, next to mine. “We saw the other dog - he’s the one who left all the messages!”

Elbie came up, sat on Mom’s foot and leaned on her leg. “If he had wanted to start trouble, there would have been trouble, for sure!”

Good thing we’re there to protect Mom, right?


A Special Day

March 4th 2014 12:20 pm
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JoLee plopped down beside me on the bed, panting from his game of tug-o-war with Mom. He nudged me. “Star? Wanna play?” I gave him Winnie’s best “down the nose” look, turned my head and looked off into the distance.

He nudged me again, this time with the soggy squeaky toy he and Mom had been playing with. “Star?” I continued looking remotely off into the distance. He rolled upside down and looked up at me with a huge grin, tongue lolling out of his mouth. “Star?”

The little pipsqueak - he KNOWS I can’t resist it when he does that. I roared my biggest growl at him, and then we were wrestling! First I had him by the throat, and then I was on my back, squirming like an eel, with Jo nipping at my flews. I’m fast, I’m lightening fast! Jo doesn’t stand a chance against me!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Elbie jump up on the bed and press himself against Mom. She started giving him a good rubdown, and Elbie’s eyes almost rolled back in his head.

A special day? No, this is what happens every day when Mom comes home from work.

So I guess that means EVERY day’s a special day!



Mom has a Code!

May 3rd 2013 1:57 pm
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JoLee cocked his head to one side, his brow furrowed, as Mom blew her nose. He cocked his head to the other side as she blew it again. He looked truly worried.

“What’s up, Jo?” I was laying on the settle, all stretched out and comfy.

“Well, now,” he said, concern evident in his little voice, “This is odd.”

“What’s odd?”

“Mom’s nose is cold and wet. That’s great for me, but not normal for her. And she keeps making strange honking noises. And her voice sounds weird.” He whined softly and twined around Mom’s legs.

I sat up and looked at Mom. Her nose did look wet. Her eyes were red, too. So was her upper lip. She sneezed, and then I knew. She wasn’t sad, although she looks much the same way when one of us goes to the Rainbow Bridge. No, this was different.

“Mom has a cold.” I stated flatly.

“She’s cold?” Jo stopped twining and pressed himself up against Mom’s leg. “She does have on her warm fluffy pants and hoodie. Maybe we could ask Dad to make a fire for her.”

“No, she has a head cold. That’s different.”

How was I going to explain this one? I tried again. “Um, okay, when a human gets a head cold, they pretty much look like Mom does. For some reason, their nose gets all plugged up, and then their ears get all stopped up, and sometimes they get aches and pains. All they want to do is sleep.”

“Oh, no!” Jo’s voice verged on panic. “Is there a cure? Is she going to the Bridge? What can we do?”

I laughed at his discomfiture. “Jo, don’t worry. Mom will get better. We don’t have to do anything. A cold generally lasts just a week, and then she’ll be all better.”

“Does she know that?” JoLee wanted to know. “She really does look miserable.”

“There’s nothing we can do but snuggle her, Jo,” I said, as we followed Mom up the stairs. Mom crawled onto the Big Bed with a groan, and all three of us snuggled up next to her, JoLee on the left, me on the right, and Elbie right next to her feet, to keep them warm. Mom sighed, and the next thing we knew, her breathing was deep and regular. She was asleep.

“This is perfect,” I said. “Sleep is the best medicine! She’ll be cured in no time!”

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