Tormenting Shorty the Wonder Dog





As we drove away from our house the other morning, my youngest child cheered enthusiastically from the backseat.  “Look, Mama, ibis!”  Sure enough, to the right of the vehicle was a group of them.  I smiled, proud my kids are learning to point out varying birds they see along the way, just like some of their great-great grandparents taught their grandmother to do, who in turn taught her children to do.

The next moment she asked, “What are they saying, Mama?”

I smiled again, laughing to myself.  I’m not sure if their great-greats taught anyone that.  In an effort to entertain my children, I tell them stories pretty often, and usually ibises and other birds we spot along our drives end up in my stories.  I tell them tales about the ibises spying on our house, to see when we leave so they can bother Shorty the Wonder Dog, our household hound.  They love these stories because they’ve seen how Shorty reacts to a flock of ibis, or any type of bird in our yard for that matter, and it is always a comical spectacle.  While Shorty might not have the same reasons, one thing is for sure, she is interested in birds.  From the patio door she growls and barks at them, and when I open the door she takes off like lightning, chasing them out of her territory.  After her mighty chase and from pure exhaustion at having worked her tiny legs so strenuously, she goes back to her bed, returning to dreamland.  The dog likes to sleep.  So naturally, when my child asks me what the birds are saying, I tell her they are watching us leave so they can go hang out in our yard and irritate Shorty, who is only concerned with protecting her family from the big bad ibises.

This morning, there were ten of them in our yard, and Shorty was dying to go after them, but I snuck out first and took a couple of photos.  I thought about my youngest child as I watched them.  What are they saying Mama?  The ibises seemed to tolerate my presence but studied me cautiously.  I’m quite certain they were discussing whether or not I was going to let them enjoy their breakfast in peace or whether I would release Shorty the Wonder Dog to disturb them.  So after a few minutes I went back inside, and did what all good pet owners would do I suppose, and I let Shorty out.  😉  Those birds were gone within ten seconds, and Shorty could go back to sleep with a burden lifted.  She had defended her family from the tormenting ibises.  😉

A birthday poem for my dad…

Sarah and Dad

A birthday poem for my dad…

You taught me how to scuba dive and how to water ski,
You taught us about survival skills and made me learn to buddy breathe.

You showed me how to pull a prank on unsuspecting old ladies playing cards,
You built the world’s best treehouses for me and my friends in our backyard.

“Jump in feet first, in case of logs!” you’d warn as you pushed me in the river,
And when I’d drifted ten feet from the boat you’d add, “Watch out for and sharks!” and make me shiver.

You taught me how to tackle my fears and how to say my prayers,
No matter how much our adventures scared me, Mom reminded me you were teasing, and I always knew you cared.

If I came home crying after a bad day at school or maybe a fight with a friend,
You’d smile and offer to beat someone up, immediately making me feel better again.

Whitesnake, The Cars, The Stones, CCR, and even ACDC,
You nurtured my love of classic rock and showed me what it means to be OCD.

Windex, Bleach, and Mr. Clean can be found in your favorite household stash,
You’d empty out indoor bins, putting everything in your “central outdoor trash”.

“Eat every bean and pea on your plate, and beans are the magical fruit!”
“Don’t take crap off of anyone, just give them the Standring Salute!”
“But be kind to animals and help those in need,”
Your advice was varied and interesting in deed.

When cheerleader tryouts had me too anxious to sleep, you said it’d be over with in a short while,
“You’ve got this Princess, just do your best and give them your winning smile.”

Some days you came home too tired to think, but we’d beg you to put on a show,
You’d help me with my math homework then sit down behind the drums and give us the world’s best drum solo.

It’s been years now since I’ve lived under your roof, but the memories have scarred me for life, wink wink.
Growing up with a dad like Dr. Mark, is a lot harder to sum up in a poem than you’d think.

So Dad, for your birthday on the 2nd day of June,
I want to thank you for being my dad and offer up your favorite tune…

‘We’re not gonna take it, no we ain’t gonna take it,
We’re not gonna take it, anymore….’

Sometimes when I start to have doubts or question my purpose in life,
I think of the dad who taught me to pray, to smile, and to put up a fight.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you more than I can put into words.