We have been blessed with the opportunity to take a real vacation — relatively locally but in a rich and wonderful part of the country.

I have always loved Pennsylvania, especially this area — the foothills of the Poconos.  It would be a real joy to get to know these people personally, too. Online is lovely … but person-to-person can’t is the best.

Garry and I really need a time out. It has been more than three years since the last time we were away for more than a day or two.

The problem is dogs.

We have three. That we have three makes little difference because really, the problem is our two Scottish Terriers, both of whom are now 13 and beginning to show their years. They are small, so they don’t age as fast as bigger dogs, but Bonnie’s eyesight is diminishing and Gibbs is getting a bit deaf. He used to come running for treats as soon as he heard the lid lifted from the treat box. Now, he falls into a sleep so deep it takes several loud calls for him to first wake up and then to realize he’s being called and why.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Duke and Gibbs

Gibbs isn’t the problem. Neither is wacko Duke. Yelling a little louder is not a big deal and Duke has calmed down to a point where while he’s a bit too crazy to take visiting, he’s good around the house. And he’s clean. He has never made a mess in the house from the day we got him.

Bonnie and Gibbs are a different story. Because both of them were trained to go out whenever they wanted to via the doggy door, they don’t tell you when they need to go out. They simply go. They don’t give us any indication of what they want. They are self-trained — which is fine in this house but not so fine in other people’s houses.


We have been trying to find some ingenious way to get Bonnie’s eyes properly taken care of while we are away. Owen will always make sure they are fed, spend at least an hour or so with them to keep them for getting too lonesome … and manage to squeeze two visits a day into their lives (and do Bonnie’s eyes while he is there). This is quite a trick considering he works a lot of hours.

We had been thinking about just taking Bonnie with us. That way, we’d know her eyes were getting the care they need. But if we take her with us, she will have me or Garry up by dawn. She requires an early morning cookie and a trip outside. Then she’ll have me up a couple of hours later again.

She is nearly blind, we would have to keep her on a lead — which she does NOT like because unlike home, she can’t feel her way around the house. In her mind, she has never lived anywhere else. From 9 weeks to thirteen years is a complete life for a dog. She knows every inch of the house, where all the furniture is, even where the step stool she uses to get up on the sofa stands.

In another house, she would need to find everything for the first time. Since she has always felt that leashes were something for Other Dogs, she is unlikely to take kindly to being led around.

First I figured we would take her with us. Now I’m rethinking it. If we are going to get any rest and relaxation, taking her will make that impossible.

Not taking her is also worrisome.

I’ve been trying to figure out some ingenious way of making this work for her and us. I’m coming up empty.

Taking her with us will guarantee her eyes are tended to properly and frequently, but it will enormously limit our freedom. Talk about a rock and a hard place. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t

The only place we could board her — assuming we could afford to do that at all — would be the veterinarian because her eyes need care. Owen will do the best he can, but he does work a full week and there’s only so much we can expect from him.

So here’s where I ask for ideas. No “dog walking” service in Uxbridge and Kaity is finally attending college — a commuter school — so she already has her hands full.

If Bonnie’s eyes were only cleaned and lubricated twice a day instead of three times a day for a week, would that be catastrophic? I know none of the dogs like when we are away, but much as I love them. sometimes we need to be elsewhere and this is one of those times.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I’m not sure there is a right answer, but if anyone has a creative thought, I’m listening!


FOWC with Fandango — Base

Another week has run away. Left me in the dust.

Maybe it’s just me, but time seems to have sped up and each time I look up, a week, two weeks, a month is gone.

Garry is running errands and I’m at home. With the dogs who obviously wish Big Daddy Doglegs would come back.

Because mom isn’t nearly as much fun.

I got some interesting portraits of Gibbs this morning. He’s fuzzy. A bit grubby. A bit matted if you look closely, but he is 100% cute with a weird factor of 9 out of 10.


And today, for some reason, he reminds me of “poor Larry Talbot,” the Wolfman.

He’s got a werewolf face, doesn’t he?

Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, the Wolfman
Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, the Wolfman

But, to be fair, Gibbs doesn’t bite so no one will catch his terrible illness. He’s even delicate about dog biscuits. I think he will keep his monthly moon mania to himself.

Still, he really DOES resemble poor Larry Talbot.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:
T – Needs to have two T’s anywhere in the word

Bonnie is a Scottish Terrier
Gibbs is also a Scottish Terrier
Together, these are two Scottish Terriers
Cattle grazing
Old tractor
Little plane up in the air!
Little bottle


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Abandoned or Alone

What could be more abandoned than a Scottish Terrier facing the terror of getting clipped without someone to hold his paw? Poor Gibbs! He has been face-to-face with dreadful things during the year and a half he has been our furkid. He has had his ears treated! Oh, the horror!

We have cleaned his eyes, clipped his claws … and sent him to the groomers where they (OMG!) bathe him with soap! Clip his coat! Trim his eyebrows and beard! No explanation can alleviate his gloom.

This is why Gibbs always manages to look depressed. The expression “hangdog” was designed to describe Mr. Gibbs.

No matter how good he is, people are always doing stuff to him. He cannot help but take it personally. He is alone, one brave Scottie against the world.


I fully expected to write this post this morning, but somehow, I forgot. Just … forgot. I got involved in trying to catch up with comments and email and somehow lost the thread of the morning. And now, it’s after dinner and I’m throwing this together because …

Gibbs and The Duke

I never caught up with my email. Not even close. There are at least 80 new emails in there and I’m not going to finish them today. It’s will be another mass delete because the eighty I don’t finish today will become 200 tomorrow and 500 by Monday. Moreover, I spent the afternoon researching the price of cameras. Canon DSLR cameras. My granddaughter still has the camera I gave her five years ago. She needs a new one, but she does not want a new one. She likes the old one. In fact, she LOVES this one. Unfortunately, the new lenses she wants are not going to work on the older camera body. So …


We’ll thrash it out tomorrow. I can’t afford it anyway, so if she’s really determined to keep it, well, okay. Keep it … but new lenses are going to be hard to come by as auto-focus and other camera functions keeps changing.

The Duke

Meanwhile, the dogs were doing something really cute. They did it yesterday, but by the time I got to my camera, they were suspicious that “you know who is going to take our picture,” so they headed for the out-of-doors. They have an apparent deathly fear of my taking their picture.

Gibbs and the great out-of-doors

They were doing the same adorable thing today, so I tiptoed to my camera. I had the right lens on it, so I grabbed it and just shot a bunch of pictures. Many are blurry, but I didn’t think this was the moment to try and take perfect shots. I actually got better pictures than I had any right to expect. Some are even sharp.

Instead of glorious autumn foliage, today you are getting cute pictures of my dogs.

At play, in the out-of-doors

And an apology for my failure to live up to expectations. I didn’t get to your posts and I didn’t even nearly finish my email. It turns out I can’t finish my email, get to everyone’s posts, write a piece or two, take pictures, process pictures, and also have a conversation with my granddaughter in a single day.

The truth is, I probably won’t succeed tomorrow, either. I love you all, but reality bites and it’s telling me I need to slow down.

This is me. Slowing down.


Usually we take pictures of Bonnie and Gibbs at the groomers, but their new place is much smaller and doesn’t have that big front room. So we waited until we got home … and then we waited until the next day when hopefully, we’d have better light.

We had good light. Too much light — with a lot of very sharp shadows that make it hard to take pictures at all, much less pictures of a black dog with dark eyes and a black nose. I got a few more in the house, later. I took about 30 pictures  outside, of which 4 (maybe?) were sharp and the rest were various shades of blurry. A few more of the 40 more pictures I took in the living room came out, too.

Also, a great truth has come to me: it’s a lot easier to shoot the Scotties in black & white. Duh. I know. Obvious. But I wanted to get Garry in the pictures (I didn’t) and he looks good in color. No matter. We have a gallery of Bonnie, the short, plump, and entirely cute. Also, note that Bonnie has developed the best beard I’ve ever seen on a Scottie. It’s bigger and fully than Gibbs’ — and he’s a boy!