Christmas as Seen Through Shay Shay’s Eyes



Christmas is big in our house, not news.  The whole house gets turned upside down with decorations.  Parties, celebrations, and general merriment happen almost daily.  Vast amounts of good smelling foods are constantly being cooked.  Delivery people are coming to the door, sometimes two or three at a time.  Wrapping paper, bows, ribbons and especially tissue paper are plentiful.  All these are things that Shay Shay, our beloved labradoodle loves.  Christmas is her favorite time of year.


Today my friend Lynn, affectionately called Baby Chick in our house and I had a few friends over for a little lunch and Shay was sure the whole do was just for her.  She would stand at the glass door staring out as friends, some new; some unfamiliar came to her door certainly to see her she thought.  Festive in her big red bow she would stand on her hind legs and greet each guest.


Certain that she was the center of everyone’s attention she circled the table as people enjoyed their lunch, pausing by the person who laughed the loudest anticipating some food might fall from their mouth, but none did.


Shay is fairly well behaved, but she can show some frustration if none of these humans who came just to rub her belly were doing their job.  At one point as Shay was demanding attention I told her, “Go jump in Baby Chick’s lap.”  Shay turned from me and scanned the room and made a beeline for Lynn, bounding in an unladylike way on to her.   Lynn and Shay are fast friends and Shay never misses an opportunity to exploit Lynn’s weakness for a furry lovey.


Although there were plenty of unattended plates of cake sitting right at Shay’s nose she waited to take a nibble until all the guests had left the room and then only had one small taste.  She was greatly disappointed it was not a liver cake.


Shay politely waited until all the guests had gone before she took some tissue paper and ripped it into tiny shreds, as is her favorite pastime.  When the house was empty she despondently lay by the Christmas tree surveying wondering when the next party would start.  Like a small child on Christmas morning after all the presents have been unwrapped, Shay was a little let down.


But the party is not over yet.  It is just the beginning of the whole holiday season.  More cooking and wrapping, more friends will arrive, the festivities continue and as far as Shay thinks we are doing this all for her.  After all she is the baby of the house and isn’t Christmas more magical when seen through the eyes of a child or at least a very cute dog?

More Doodle Than Lab



This being a three-day weekend I actually got Russ to not work one day and we went to the farm.  The biggest draw for Russ to the farm is that we can let Shay Shay run around free.  Russ loves to throw the tennis balls across a field and have her chase them.  Shay does not have the best eyesight so sometimes she misses where they go and just looks at us with the “like throw me a ball already” look on her face.  It’s hard to convince her that we already threw the ball and have to go and retrieve it ourselves and throw it again.


Shay is officially thirty third generation labradoodle but I think somewhere about the twenty fifth or sixth generation the lab part was dropped out of her gene line.  See Shay likes to chase a ball and even pick it up and run with it, but she is not so good at bringing it back to us.  Maybe that means she is half retrieving it.


It is not the lack of ball return that really shows Shay’s miniscule Labrador genetic makeup, but her dislike of swimming.  Today was a warm day.  In fact I feel like it was the warmest day I experienced this summer season, what with North Carolina never getting close to 100 degrees all year.  So while we were at the farm we decided to go swimming.  The pool was pleasantly cool, a treat for Labor Day weekend.


Carter and I jumped in and Shay paced by the side of the pool.  The sun was beating on her dark brown fur.  She looked at us having fun splashing with our cousins who were visiting.  I reached for Shay and she tentatively allowed me to pick her up and bring her in the water with me.  Her immediate dislike of the water was apparent from the way she dug her sharp nails in to my shoulder trying to climb on top of my head to get as much of her body out of the water as possible.


I hugged her shivering body and calmly told her it would be all right.  Her stiffness subsided a little.  After a few minutes I pulled her away from clinging to me and let her go forcing her to swim.  Her frantic doggy paddle kept her head above water, but the panicked look in her eyes made me grab her right up and put out on the side of the pool.  I am almost sure I heard her sigh in relief.  It does not matter to me that she neither retrieves nor swims, but I think we need to rename her breed.  I think that Lapradoddle is much more fitting for she is a dog who is happiest sitting in Russ’ lap.

Our Dog as Nurse



Getting sick stinks.  There is only one possible benefit and that is loss of appetite and actual pounds.  I have lost four and a half pounds since I got sick on Sunday.  I am wondering what is going to happen when I feel fully better.  I am still eating so I hope that this is some real fat disappearing and not just water flowing out of my system.  In the good medical advice to stay fully hydrated I am drinking as much as I can.  It does not seem to help my chest congestion, but I will keep at it.


My daughter is much sicker than I am.  She has the full-blown flu as was confirmed by the violation of a long swab stuck way up her nose by the doctor this morning.  Hopefully the Tamiflu she was prescribed will help shorten the duration of this already grueling illness.


I know there are lots of homemade remedies for flu and colds from chicken soup to menthol chest rubs.  In our house the best medicine is our snuggling labradoodle Shay-Shay.  Shay is a loyal companion to anyone hold up in bed and feels it is her duty to lie as close to each patient as possible.


Perhaps the cold and rainy weather is adding to Shay’s desire to be near to us, but it certainly is comforting to have her company when we feel this poorly.  It seems like a visiting dog program could be added to the visiting nurse world.  Shay doesn’t seem to be vulnerable to our illnesses so she is the perfect one to watch over us when we are sick.


I had a wonderful and loyal dog Beau who I got when I was in college.  While Beau was still a puppy we went home to my parents house so I could have my wisdom teeth taken out.  That was the most horrific procedure I have ever endured.  My second night home I woke up in the middle of the night in terrible pain.  I stumbled into the kitchen to get one of my pain pills and passed out before I could take it.  As I went down I knocked a glass off the counter and it broke under my unconscious body.


Beau saved the day by going to my parent’s room and waking my father.  He was furious that my dog was coming to him to be taken out in the middle of the night, but he certainly did not want my dog to pee in his room.  When Beau led him downstairs my father found me bleeding on the floor passed out.


Today I am thankful for a devoted and dedicated dog who makes us feel a little bit better and never lets us feel alone.