I pride myself in being able to compose
Humorous verse (and sometimes comedic prose)
About any topic, esoteric or mundane,
Serious, frivolous, intellectual, inane.
However, I’ve found my literary Waterloo –
The one subject, though I try, I just can’t seem to do
With an interesting perspective or biting wit,
Sharp insight or even one cynical bit.
I’m too much of a crazy dog lover, I confess,
To see anything to ridicule, any excess,
In my relationship with my dogs, and theirs with me;
Not master/pet, but inter-species family.


To me my dogs are interesting, fun and appealing.
It’s a challenge to guess what they’re thinking and feeling.
They’re endlessly entertaining and great company
And diminish the need for psychotherapy.
I love being greeted with hysterics at the door
(Not so much when they also pee on the floor).
Who doesn’t want to feel appreciated and missed;
To feel someone’s so grateful and happy you exist?
I don’t see begging when I’m stared at while I eat –
It’s a shared love of food, not just angling for a treat.
It makes me feel safe and secure in my house
When I’m warned, at top volume, if a raccoon or mouse,
A car, bike or neighbor gets dangerously near
Or if the Fed Ex man should suddenly appear.

I want my dogs ensconced on the sofa with me
When I settle down to read, nap or watch TV.
They are always content with the programs I choose
And at any time, will gladly join me for a snooze.
This is total and complete compatibility;
All that non-judgmental companionship should be.
I don’t mind being jumped on or licked in the face
I don’t have an issue with “invasion” of my “space”.
My dogs share my bed and I’d be in a muddle,
Unable to sleep without a dog to cuddle.
So what if I’m cramped and can’t stretch out at night?
You know, sprawling is not a constitutional right.
I love doggie spooning and nuzzling and feel
That tension evaporates and my mind starts to heal
The moment I stroke that soft body and those ears
And look in those adoring eyes – Nirvana appears.

When it comes to what dogs add to my existence
I’m not at all objective and have no resistance
To their warmth and “joie” and other endearing traits.
They give the best of what you get from friends and mates.
Most dogs are more humane than most people I know
And for loyalty and giving, they win, place, and show.
I’m mush when I talk about their attributes and charms
And sincerely hope I die with a dog in my arms.
If I continue to gush and praise them to the skies
I know I’ll never win any writing prize.
But please, if I’m reincarnated, just let me be
A dog with a human as besotted as me!



In your native language which letter or character describes you best? Why?

I don’t know. I never thought about it. M because it’s my initial? Because while my last name has changed three times, “M” has followed me for my entire life, except for the years in Israel when it transformed into a “mem.”


What is your greatest extravagance?

Cameras. Lenses. Software for processing pictures. Camera bags. Photographic accessories of every kind.


Otherwise? Crystallized ginger. Can’t live without it!

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

My physical prowess up and fled long years since, so I practice mental gymnastics. I’m good at mental back flips. Actually, I’m ready for the marathon, as long as I can do it on the computer!

List at least 5 things that makes you laugh.

The dawgz.

dogs with bishop and gar

Witty dialogue, live or on television or movies. Sometimes, weird things pop into my head … and make me laugh at my own strangeness.

I won’t bore you with details, especially since these days, I can’t remember details.



photography BY BOB MIELKE

Garry was very gentle. He barely touched my shoulder. I was sleeping lightly … because I knew we had to get up early this morning.

Already dressed in black, Bonnie is ready to go.

A dawn encounter with a clogged toilet had seen to the light sleep, but also, we have a funeral to attend. A neighbor to see off into the next stop in the cycle … and we needed coffee first.

And had to give the dogs a little love before we go racing out of the house.

For once, it’s not a long journey. Just down the street. Don’t need a GPS or map. Show up looking reasonably put together. Merely a left out of the driveway, and keep going until we cross the rickety bridge into Rhode Island. Then look for the stone church on the right side with the white steeple.

Photo: Bob Mielke - Kaity dressed as ... ? Happy Bird Day!

My real morning encounter is Garry. Gently letting me know it’s time to get myself out of the warm huddle of blankets and dreams and hit the floor.

Garry and Bonnie "have a moment" while the turkey cooks

72-Kitchen-DoggiesGarry does this well. He is a very soft waker-upper. No loud noises, no rousing choruses of anything. So I do not leap from the bed and try to tear his throat out. Because I love him, though early in the morning, I generally do not love anyone until after coffee.

72-Bishop Trimmed

Not him, not the dogs, not those endless telephone solicitors who seem to believe against all evidence to the contrary that they can actually sell me something before I’ve had my coffee.

Chef Owen, master of turkey

Chef Owen, master of turkey

Hello world. It’s black Friday, the day of the ultimate sales …and I’m done with my Christmas shopping. Except for the wrapping and some tree decorations. We’ve navigated Thanksgiving and the flow of life is rushing us to Christmas.

If we both keep body surfing the wave, I think we’ll make it. Time is rushing towards us and we merely have to stand still while it engulfs us.

Scotch Pride

Marilyn Armstrong:

I couldn’t help myself. Laird Morrie and the gang are TOO cute

Originally posted on lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown:

img_64411 My name is Laird Morrie and I’m the ruler of all you survey.

Version 2 This is my princess.  We’re about the same size.

Version 5 As you can see, my brother Diego is twice my size

IMG_7906 And although it looks like he is killing me in all of these tussling  matches,


IMG_7913 In fact, I always come back for more.  More often than not, I am the aggressor.  More often than not, the bigger dog wins.

IMG_7916 Yet still, I remind myself, I am royalty.  And I pounce again!

DSC07911 This is Frida, one of the three ladies of the house.  Here she maintains her distance.

IMG_3937 This is the other non-human lady of the house. Neither of these ladies likes me much, for I like their dinners entirely too much. Sometimes I jump up on the ledge of the wall and reach up to dine on what this lady leaves behind. Sometimes I dine on it before she’s…

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Bonnie turned 8 this past Halloween. She joined our household when she was a mere 9 weeks old, rather younger than I will usually take a puppy. She was a rescue and her temporary home had too many other puppies … so she joined us as a baby Scottish Terrier.


Is there anything cuter than a baby Scottie?


I don’t think so. From her first day, she was absolutely adorable, funny, playful. Charming in the extreme. We were still mourning the passing of Divot, our Norwich Terrier, but somehow, Bonnie broke through the grief and gamboled into our hearts.


Since day one, she has been a uniquely smart and funny little dog. Also, by a big margin, the most uncooperative photo subject. Ever. Anywhere.

She sees cameras as The Enemy. She will run far and fast … or crowd the lens so you can’t focus. Barring the first two options, she will hide in shadow so her dark fur and eyes meld into an indistinguishable lump of fuzz.

My most successful picture of Bonnie in which she has eyes!

My most successful picture of Bonnie in which she has eyes!

I took more pictures of her today. She sat there. She waited for me to focus and shoot. I’m sure she was laughing at me because she knows I will never get a good picture of her in natural light.

She’s a black dog with black eyes. Bushy eyebrows. All light comes from the window behind her. Backlighting makes a difficult photographic situation impossible.


Next time, I need to use a faster lens because in all of these pictures, she has no eyes. At least she has a pink tongue. That’s something.

I’m not ready to give up. Someday I will get her in good light, groomed, eyes open. Sparkling white smile. She’s slowing down, so any day now.

dogs on stairs

Should you decide to accept this challenge, you can use a picture from this or any post of mine  — or any other picture you like. Write something about the picture or make something up, using a photograph — any photo — as a jumping off point.


Questions: I’ve got a vial of truth serum. To whom should I give it? Why should I give it? If I could figure out why… but ...

Answer: I can’t imagine ever giving a “truth” drug to anyone. I’m not a cop. I’m not military. I cannot imagine any situation in which I would need “the truth” at any cost and would need a drug to obtain it. I might give it to the dogs, just to find out which of our many kinds of biscuits they prefer.




Bonnie? Amber? Bishop? Would you prefer chewy or crunchy? Salmon or chicken flavored? Greenie? Arf? You mean … all of the above. Okie dokie.? You must be telling me the truth because I dosed your kibble.

Dogs lie. You just can’t trust them, but now, at last, I know the truth.


4 NOVEMBER 2015: nearly naked


The World Series is over with the Kansas City Royals taking their first World Series Championship in 30 years. They almost did it last year, so this year must have been very satisfying for the fans. It was a good series, though I’d have liked at least one more game.


Halloween passed into memory. We had our usual number of trick-or-treaters, which is to say — none. We are too far off the beaten path. It’s dark here in the woods. Little ghosties and goblins — or whatever they are pretending to be these days — don’t want to be genuinely scared. They want to play at scariness, not be really terrified.


It’s still warm. Cold at night, but  warming up to cozy during the day. These are my favorite days, with crispy nights and golden afternoons.

I hope it goes on for a long time.


I’ve included Garry’s pictures too, so if you want to know who took which pictures, you can tell from the signature.


Should you decide to accept this challenge, you can use a picture from this or any post of mine  — or any other picture you like. Write something about the picture or make something up, using a photograph — any photo — as a jumping off point.

This is the easiest prompt in the world.