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 Woofer ideas

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Abe F. March
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Age : 78
Location : Germany

PostSubject: Woofer ideas   Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:49 am

For Betty:  I received the following email from a friend.  Don't know if it is true, but thought it may give you some ideas about a Woofer story:


 
Cheyenne -"Watch out! You nearly broad-sided that
car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?" Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle. "I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving.  My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.  Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back.
 
At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?
 
Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.
 
The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
 
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.  At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived But something inside Dad died.. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
 
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.  Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick We began to bicker and argue.
 
Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.  But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.
 
The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article....."  I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
 
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me.  I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.  Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly. I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.  As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"  "Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."
 
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly. Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.
Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"  Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw...  Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. 
 
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet.  Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends.. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.
 
Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.
 
The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.  And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."  "I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said. 
 
For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter... his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father.... and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.
 
Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live while you are alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance. And if you don't send this to anyone -- no one will know. But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.
 
God answers our prayers in His time... not ours...      AMEN…..
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Woofer ideas   Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:53 am

Beautiful and very touching, Abe.  Thank   you.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Woofer ideas   Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:54 am

What Alice said. I emailed it to my husband, and he enjoyed reading it too!

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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Woofer ideas   Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:12 pm

What a beautiful story, Abe.  Thank you for posting it.
It reminds me a lot of the story of Old Laddie.  I will post some of it here.  And, I will make the story free on Amazon starting tomorrow.
Love, Betty

 
Old Laddie
By Betty Fasig
 


 
 


All rights reserved; no portion of this book may be reproduced without the prior written consent of the publisher.
Copyright Betty Fasig 2004
Published by Betty Fasig


OLD LADDIE
It was late Sunday night. Wooffer and his mom were watching television. Wooffer was straddled across the back of the couch. His mom had one elbow propping up her head and was about to nod off into sleep when a definite knock came at the front door. Wooffer is very quick, and was at the door barking and snarling (just in case) before his mom was out of her chair. She looked out the peep hole. She could see nothing but lawn. Cautiously, Wooffer’s mom opened the front door … and there sat a very large, very hungry, very old Collie dog.
Laddie had not always been old. Since he was just a pup, he had lived with one family. The two children in the family had grown up and gone away, and the only mother he could remember had died. No one was left at home except the old man. The old man had never been very fond of Laddie. Laddie had done his best to make the old man like him, but he was a mean old man, and did not like anyone at all — least of all Laddie. So, one day, the mean old man told Laddie to get in the car for a ride. Laddie always did as the old man asked. He jumped into the back seat and the old man drove for a long time. After a while, Laddie fell asleep. He awoke with the old man prodding him in the ribs, saying, “End of the line for you, you old toothless dog! Get Out!” The mean old man dragged Laddie out of the car by his fur and then jumped back into the driver’s seat and sped away. At first, Laddie just stood there looking at the dust of the car as it sped away. Laddie’s first impulse was to try to catch the car. But he was old and could not run very fast. The mean old man and his car were long gone.
Laddie stood in the middle of that dirt road for a long time, wondering what had happened and what he should do next. As he looked around, all he could see was pasture and cows, and the dirt road in front and behind him. It was very quiet. The sun was beginning to go below the horizon and darkness soon covered the dirt road and the pastures. Laddie lay by the road, thinking the old man would return soon. But morning came, and then noon, and still the old man did not return. Laddie was hungry and thirsty. He got up and shook the dust from his fur and started off down the road.
At first, Laddie went at a trot, but the longer he walked the slower his pace became. His feet were getting very sore and he really needed a drink of water. It was evening of the second day before Laddie found the river. If he had still had the strength to do it, he would have leaped for joy. But he was very tired and so, when he found the river, only his heart leaped for joy as he slowly made his way down the river bank to get a drink. He stayed by the river that night, sleeping on his side, under a small bridge. Mosquitoes bit him all night, and when he awoke in the morning, his feet were swollen and his fur was wet. Laddie was very sad. He lay there thinking what he should do next, and where he could find something to eat — he was very, very, hungry by now.
Laddie limped up the river bank and came to the road again. This day he walked in the soft grass by the side of the road to ease his swollen feet. He was walking very slowly. The cows in the pasture came near the fence as he passed, blinking their big cow eyes and mooing among themselves about the “poor animal.” But there is nothing much a cow can do … or is there?
These cows happened to be in Lester’s Field. Maudie the horse and Ibie the ibis lived in the next field. Well, you know how cows can talk! It was not long before one of them just happened to mention to Maudie about a pitiful, starving, old dog that was walking along the road. Maudie wasted not a minute in telling her best-friend-in-the-world, Ibie the ibis. Ibie the ibis was off like a shot to find this poor, starving dog. Ibie is very good at finding anyone, and she soon flew down and landed right in front of Laddie. Well, Laddie was so tired and his feet hurt so much and he was so very hungry that he plopped down on his belly right in front of Ibie the ibis, and started to cry. “Please help me! Please!”
Ibie felt so sorry for Laddie. She said, “Come with me. I will just fly a little way, until you catch up and then a little more, and so on until we are there.” Laddie crawled under the pasture fence and followed Ibie all the way to Maudie’s dinner tray. It was full of sweet feed — molasses and oats and grain.  Maudie greeted Laddie with her best NEIGH and invited him to have dinner with her. Laddie had never eaten “sweet feed” but it was delicious and he ate until he was full. That evening, he stayed there with Maudie and Ibie while they told him of a dog named Wooffer that lived nearby. “Wooffer and his mom will know what to do. You just have to go and ask.” Ibie promised to show him the way. “It is not far,” said Ibie.
Laddie was ready to go right away. He did not care that it was dark and late. “Just show me where to go, and I will do the rest.”
Ibie walked across the road with Laddie, and right up to Wooffer’s front door. “Go on now! Just knock!” Laddie went slowly up on to the porch. He listened for a long time. He could hear the old familiar sounds of a family on a Sunday night watching television, with the lights on, and the warm sounds made him feel good.
He listened for a very long time before he “knocked” on the door. He heard Wooffer barking right away and said, “This Wooffer loves his family and will protect them! He would be a good friend.” Laddie waited and listened to the footsteps coming toward the door. He sat up straight and got ready to wag his tail.
When the door opened, there stood Wooffer’s mom with Wooffer in her arms, saying, “Be quiet now, Wooffer, it is okay. It looks like a lost dog has come to us.” She knelt down and asked Laddie where he came from.
Laddie could not tell her, but he wagged his tail and said, “Ibie the ibis and Maudie said you could help me. I do hope you can.”
Wooffer’s mom said, “You look very hungry and very tired. I will give you some food tonight and you can sleep here on the porch. Tomorrow we will hear your story and do what we can. So, get some sleep and no one will hurt you.”
Laddie was glad to hear her voice and what she said. He ate pork chops and went to sleep as if it was his own home. In the morning, he was still there, asleep on the porch, when Wooffer’s mom opened the door.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Woofer ideas   Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:15 pm

Good story, Betty.  You know how to bring those little critters alive with feelings that touch the heart of man.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Woofer ideas   Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:48 pm

This was my favorite story of the series, Betty, always bringing tears to my eyes.
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