Back to The Ducky Diary

My brother spent most of this past week with us and Ducky was not happy about it.

I met Doug at the airport on Saturday afternoon (8/19) and from the time we got back here to the house until he left on Wednesday afternoon to visit with a friend in Asheville, Ducky was in snark mode. At least toward her uncle. So much so that we had to keep her on a leash the whole time she was in the house. (Well, except during the night while she slept in her crate.)

Thank goodness for doggie daycare! She spent most of the day there on Monday and Tuesday. At least she was able to relax and enjoy the company of her doggie and other human friends for a while each day. 

Since Doug was going home yesterday (Friday) after returning from Asheville, I felt Ducky would be better off at daycare (again) for even just the few hours her uncle was in the house. 

It worked out nicely, actually, because her daycare facility is not that much out of the way coming home from the airport.

I chuckled a bit on Wednesday afternoon because as soon as Doug left for Asheville, Ducky spent a good 10 minutes running around the house looking for him. She knew his scent but couldn’t find him. She finally gave up and went back to nap on her bed. 

When I picked her up at daycare yesterday, she sniffed the air in the car for a moment. Satisfied that Uncle Doug wasn’t hiding anywhere, she laid down on the back seat and slept all the way home. By the time we arrived at the house, she seemed satisfied that the tall stranger wasn’t here any more. She played out in the yard with Shadow for a bit and then took a nap in her bed.

Doug’s dog isn’t comfortable with strangers, either, so he understands what it’s like to have a human-reactive dog. I’m grateful for that understanding. Especially when I’m feeling ready to wring Ducky’s neck for being such a noisy brat.

Having said all that, I know what I need to do. Sort of. First step is writing it all down, like an outline. (Maybe in The Ducky Diary. Better yet in the Training Notebook that I haven’t started using yet.) When I get that done, I’ll figure out Step Two: Implementation.

Have a great weekend, dear readers. And those of you threatened by Harvey, please stay safe. We’re sending out positive energy and thoughts to all of you.

Clean-up Time

Did we ever have a hail storm last night!! The back yard and screened-in porch are a mess! And the rain and mud came in under the back door and soaked the carpet. (I had the ceiling fan running all night to try to dry it out. And I’ll leave it running as long as necessary.)

Thankfully, it’s indoor/outdoor carpet so it’ll dry in a day or two; but meanwhile it looks like hell. And stinks, too.

Some of you may have seen my Facebook post last night…

To make a long story short, the storm started just as we were leaving the restaurant parking lot to come home. It made a normally 10-minute drive into a nearly 25-minute trip. And it was LOUD. It even cracked the outer glass of my windshield – and that of hubby’s truck – so I had to call our insurance guy.

By the time we got home, the girls were frantic. Shadow stuck to us like glue until hubby sat down in his chair; and Ducky was barking and  crying in her crate. When I let her out, she was visibly shaking. I got her calmed down while she growled and snarled at Shadow for a moment or two. But she settled down in her nest bed. And then I gave her a “chill pill”.  

Our neighbor sent me a text around 10 o’clock to warn me that the hazard lights were flashing on the car; but the phone was charging and muted in the back bedroom, and I didn’t see the text until after midnight. The battery is dead as a door nail right now. 

If things – good and bad – come in threes, we are done with the bad for now. The sun keeps going behind the clouds and back out again. It’s quite a bit cooler than it was yesterday, but at least things are drying out a little bit. 

Here’s one of my two piles of tree branches: 

The other pile is about the same size. Most of the hail has melted away, but there are still some patches of it here and there. Last night the yard looked like we’d had a blizzard.

Playtime Challenges

It’s not easy playing with your favorite outdoor toy when you have the cone around your neck. And a leash clipped to your collar.

Will Ducky figure it out? Watch the video all the way to the end and you’ll find out.

No cheating. I know the answer. Did you guess correctly?


My sweet “Baby Golden” is 12 years old today. 

She is healthy, she’s happy, and she is without a doubt my shadow…as in that sun’s reflection that is always right next to you. And though she loves the dog-daddy, it’s me she looks to and looks for when she needs reassurance that all is well in her world.

It’s hard to believe that she’s 12. I still remember taking this picture on New Year’s Eve, 2004, when she was just 2-1/2 months old…

Isn’t that just the sweetest photo?! Callie was always protective of Shadow, from the day we first brought her home. ❤️

And here she is playing with Callie out in the yard when she was about a year or two old…

I know she still misses her big sister; but she has adapted well. Better than me, for sure; and she has helped me get past many leaky-eye moments over the last 14 months.

So, sweet Shadow, I hope that whatever we end up doing today will make your day as special for you as you’ve always been to us. I know that Callie is with us in spirit and in our hearts, smiling at you as she always did. 

Sleepy Sunday Morning

The girls and I played hard yesterday. 

Chasing each other around the yard, playing fetch with the ChuckIt! ball, and playing keep-away with the Bounzer. 

And the girls ran the fence line back and forth a few times with Jupiter on one side and Baby and Toby on the other side.

Now it’s nap time again


 They look so sweet and innocent. Because they are. And they’re my furry “babies”. I love my girls.

Missing Our Callie

Lately I find myself missing Callie so intensely at times that the tears start flowing without warning, or my throat gets a giant lump and closes up. Before I know it, I’m reaching for a tissue.

When we were outside early this morning for the girls’ first potty break of the day, a train went through the crossing up the road. As it was approaching, it was blowing its whistle (or horn or whatever) and Shadow started howling. 

Shadow always howls at train whistles and sirens. Sometimes she seems to be howling just to hear her own voice, like when Callie was still alive and they would serenade me. This morning, though, as she so often does, she seemed to be calling out to her big sister. Trying to summon Callie’s earthly form. 

Am I projecting my human thoughts and emotions on to Shadow? Possibly. But I know that she feels lonely for her sister, too. As closely bonded as they were to each other during Callie’s time on earth, there is no way I could be convinced otherwise.

At Christmas I thought I was past the heart wrenching stage of my grief. I was able to think of Callie and all the fun she, Shadow – sometimes Ducky – and I had over the years and just smile at the memories. I still can, at times. Yet…

Okay, so I’m thinking that we humans go through various stages of grief. Various stages, and varying degrees. Hubby doesn’t “get it”. Yes, he misses Callie in his own way, which is fine; but he tells me that I have to “get over it and let go.” That response only serves to piss me off, so I hold back my tears when he’s around or I get up and go into a different room. And then I let the tears flow. Or I draft a blog post like this one. And I know that most, if not all, of you will understand.

The Calm Before The Storm

Ducky is a big “talker”; in fact, she is what my mom always called me. A chatterbox.

Especially in the morning. And it drives her Daddy up the wall. Sometimes, he’s the storm that’s brewing. I’ve given up trying to convince him that his yelling at her means nothing to her and only upsets Shadow. But when he yells in my ear, I do say something. Like “I didn’t need that in my ear!” And then I take the girls outside.

This morning I got Ducky to settle down a bit in my recliner, next to my left leg. And everything is sunny right now after two play sessions out in the back yard.