CREATIVITY is the soul reflected

Master Painter

Master Painter
Prairie Sunrise by Charlie Clark

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More Pets and Prairie

Right now I am so tired I can barely move my fingers. But it's a very good exhaustion, for a change. It's been a stressful week, and I needed a long walk on the prairie to cleanse my mind and drain the tension from my body.

It was a good time to do this. When I started out, there was barely a breeze, the sun had just gone behind the mounting clouds, the sky was gray and the hills beige. Not much for distraction. No birds even singing. No cows in sight or hearing. Grass not stirring. The only sound in existence seemed to be the quiet crunch of rocks beneath my boots. In fact, each time I stopped, just to listen, I heard nothing.

A blank canvas. One on which to ponder. Or not. Sometimes it's good just to BE. That's enough.

By the time I had walked to the second high pole gate, the farthest I've made it since last summer, and was halfway back, I was beginning to be more aware of my surroundings. The little bluestem grass tufts had become russet in color against the backdrop of charcoal blue sky. A bird flew above me. I saw big paw prints in the mud along the side of the road: a coyote, maybe? I noticed how black the briared stems of the wild blackberry and plum thickets were. Flint rocks, crushed by the road grader two days ago, showed their blue centers against the gray outer shell. Speaking of shells, some broken pearly clamshells were scattered in the ditch near the creek.

The wind picked up to the point that to hear the silence, I had to stop and shield my ears from the rush.

The week
Now, a bit about why my week has been so stressful....

Sadie has written a letter to her little friend Benny, so I'll let her tell it:

Dear Benny...This has been the worst week of my life. It started out pretty boring because Quest hurt himself and couldn't go outside with me. He wouldn't get up off the floor, even, and growled at me once when I got in his face. Sometimes I try to get him to play by biting his ear. Then our humans kept telling me to leave him alone.

They took him to the doctor Tuesday and I heard them say he had a sore shoulder (wonder if he caught that from our master. He had to have his operated on last month.) Then they said he had a torn tendon or ligaments. Mom and Dad yelled at me louder each time I tried to play.

So on Wednesday I was outside again by myself. Once, I wanted to chase the mail carrier's truck, but Mom wouldn't let me. So after she went back inside, I was looking for something to do when one of those monsters—humans call them trucks and cars—came down the road. I ran as fast as I could out to the road. I thought I'd run along the side or behind it, but it must have been going slower than they usually do, and I went underneath it.

I'll spare you the grisly details, Benny. Let's just say, rocks are very sharp and tires hard and heavy. I found out my skin is pretty thin, too. I could only walk on three legs, barely. I think I scared my humans pretty bad because they scooped me up in a sheet (I was bleeding a lot) and rushed me to the vet clinic, a long, long drive. I thought we'd never get there. They did not talk much during the ride except to say I was "one lucky puppy" and I was being very brave.

Things got scary again after they put me on that shiny, cold table. A woman doctor came in and after feeling me and looking at me, she tried to assure Mom and Dad nothing was broken and it didn't look like "permanent damage," whatever that meant. She poked me with a big needle. I didn't like that, so I made it fall off the table. But she got another one and stuck it in a different leg. Then she got still another one and stuck me with that!

I couldn't believe Mom and Dad both held me down so I couldn't move while that doctor kept punching some metal things they called staples into my whole leg and thigh. I thought it was bullets. The doctor said I was very good and even gave me TWO treats.

Back home, I just wanted to curl up in my bed, but I couldn't bend my leg or lie on it. I was hurting really bad. So I started licking my hurt places. I'd heard the doctor say I shouldn't do that, but it made it feel better. After trying to stop me lots of times, Dad went outside a while and came back in with a plastic flowerpot and some duct tape. He actually put that thing around my neck after he cut open the side of the pot! But I fooled him—I could still lick my leg. So, he stayed up all night to keep me from doing it.

Sadie comp 1

Sadie with her makeshift cone, left, and with the real "lampshade," right

The next day, Mom really added insult to injury. She left home for a few hours, and when she came back, she said to dad, "Sadie's really going to love this." I thought I was going to get another treat. They played with this plastic thing, calling it a puzzle. Then they called me over and they put a lampshade over my head!! They fastened it on with my collar. Then they stood there looking at me and trying not to laugh. Dad said, "If I put a light bulb in your mouth, will it light up?" VERY funny.

Mostly Mom and Dad have been really good to me, though, giving me extra treats and telling me I'm a "good girl." Mom even brought me a new toy, a squeaky snake.

Sadie and Squeaky Snake

I really wish I could get this thing off my head so I can play with my toys again. All I can do is hold them in my mouth now. I can't throw them around or run around with them. And Quest gets mad when I run into him with the edge of this thing—but I can't see around it. Once I just fell right over the top of him!

Well, Sadie got her wish today: the "lampshade" has been removed and she's dancing, literally.

Things are looking up, I think, after a tense weekend. Sunday morning Charlie's back went out (better now); Sadie's wounds seemed worse, so she got to visit the vet today (healing nicely now, he said); it has sleeted, snowed and rained. The creeks are close to overflowing.

Robins, buzzards, red-winged blackbirds, and meadowlarks have returned. Frogs are croaking; ranchers have begun to burn the prairie, calves are appearing everywhere, and daffodils are blooming in town. Can spring be far away now?

On the way home from the vet this afternoon we saw four—that's FOUR—bald eagles sitting in a pasture. They took flight as we drove near and we watched them circle and soar. And, the sun peeked out a little bit.

Yes, things are looking up. Now, if I can just get this *&)^@^% photo and text spacing figured out so I can place my pictures where I want them, I'll be soaring with the eagles!

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