an unexpected thing

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you the latest news from our garden and its environs (I get to use that word a lot these days), as well as some other news. You may remember me from such posts as “Before The Deep Freeze”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. It was a two-Lamb-Chop day. Everyone should have at least two, if you ask me.

It’s been mostly sunny here, which is a nice change.Sometimes there are things that need to be surveyed, or just checked out. We see owls on my evening walk, almost every evening now.Sometimes in the tops of trees (talk about being able to survey stuff),and sometimes right across the street, like tonight. The guy I live with mostly just feeds the birds, since it’s been too chilly for much of anything to be happening in the garden. The other day, when it was cloudy and sort of cold, the birds waited for the feeders to be filled. If you look closely, in the cottonwood, behind and on the right, there was another, much larger bird who was not interested in the bird feeders at all. At least directly. Snowdrops are peeking their heads up, but not terribly eager to try anything like flowering, when it’s been so chilly. This is ‘Potter’s Prelude’, which would have flowered a few weeks ago if it hadn’t been so cold and dry here.There are some snowdrops flowering in the frame, too.

On the day I went to Day Care, the guy I live with and his friend went to Denver Botanic Gardens, and then to lunch. When they walked back to the car they saw this apple tree with apples still on it. The guy I live with said he’d never seen an apple tree with apples still on it this late in the year, but obviously it was possible. Still, it seemed mysterious, but then, he doesn’t know anything about apple trees except that they get apples, and, here in Denver, fireblight. It was definitely something unexpected. Sometimes we walk fairly late in the evening, just after the sun has set. 

The guy I live with sometimes sit on the couch with me, of an evening, and every once in a while he reads aloud to me. Right now it’s A Wizard of Earthsea, which has some scary parts, but when I’m all cozy lying on the couch it isn’t too terribly scary. Some of the cyclamen that were growing upstairs have died. The guy I live with was irked, but he has been very distracted lately. I think I should tell you why.

If you’ve been reading our blog for any length of time, you may have noticed two things about it. The first is that I obviously have an extremely good life, thanks at least in part to the guy I live with. He says some people say that we purebred border collies “need something to do”, but that’s not true if we live with people who are at home most of the time, like the guy I live with is. I do mostly what you see me doing, plus a few other things, which I sometimes get yelled at for doing, and sometimes not. We like our low-key lifestyle.

The other thing is that I occasionally talk about subjects which some people might consider to be serious.

If you were a purebred border collie, like me, and went on walks twice a day, you would become accustomed to seeing certain things, like owls in the evening, or hearing the sound of water running in the canal in the summertime, but if you turned a corner and there was a real-life effelant just standing there, that would be something unexpected, too. That’s how the guy I live with explained it to me. Like an effelant just standing there, when you expected a patch of grass, or a trail leading off to the right.

This is what has happened. The guy I live with has not been sick for a single day since he retired from the phone company back in May of 2007, but lately he’s been leaving me here and going off to see doctors. He’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer. A thing so totally unexpected that the guy I live with often wonders if it’s real. But it is.

Since I tend to get worried sometimes, the way we purebred border collies do, he told me that the doctor said this “wasn’t a death sentence”, but I understand that we may be in for a not-very-easy time for a while, now. So I get extra cuddles, and read to, on the couch, in the evenings.

And I still go on my walks, as usual. Sometimes in the dark, sometimes in the light. Sometimes in both. 

Until next time, then.




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29 Responses to an unexpected thing

  1. lifecameos says:

    Sorry to hear your friend has cancer. I hope it is being kept under control.

  2. Barb K says:

    Oh no. Mani I hope you are one of those dogs who senses when the Guy You Live with isn’t feeling his best and becomes a quiet comfort by his side. Some dogs, as you may know, tend to want everything just as usual when it just isn’t possible. Well, thoughts of support from afar. For whatever that is worth.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; it’s worth a lot. Nothing has really happened yet; the guy I live with said he met with the doctor on the day I went to Day Care. He heard the results of the biopsy last Friday. So all of this is very new.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    You certainly get some serious issues to deal with. It is fortunate that border collies, and others of your species know how to deal with difficult situations. I am sorry that I can not say anything to make it any easier for you.

  4. Cliff Booker says:

    Sympathy, succour and support from abroad to you both. Legends stand strong.

  5. Will keep you and Mani in my thoughts. Don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it — you have people near and far who are on your side.

  6. Donna A. says:

    An alarming turn of events for you both, but you should know that I, among others, am sending caring and supportive thoughts your way. Routines will be a comfort I’m sure. Keep up those wonderful walks as much as possible, Mani.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I’m sure the guy I live with will still check the snowdrops in the frame and in the garden, and complain a lot. He’s all put out right now because the soil here is frozen. So that sort of thing hasn’t changed.

  7. ceci says:

    Wow, that is indeed an effelant. I hope for the guy you live with a similar experience to my father’s, who was treated for prostate cancer in his late 60s and had no problems at all with it for the ensuing 30 years.


  8. mjkeane says:

    Oh Mani! I’m sad to hear that your best friend is facing prostate cancer. It’s very scary when something like this happens. I hope you can be a support for him and bring joy into his life every single day. Your love and attention will help a lot. I’ll be thinking of you both and sending energy and hope.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I think my main duty, aside from eating and getting cuddles, is to bring endless delight to the guy I live with. It is pretty scary, but we’ve made it through other scary things together. Like just tonight. Our neighbor had a very tiny person in her arms, and then put the tiny person down so she could see me. That was really scary.

  9. Tracy Perez says:

    The Guy You Live with has had a rough go of it. I know you are providing love and comfort.

  10. Lisa says:

    Oh, Mani! You be sure to tell the guy you live with we’re all thinking of him, and rooting for a successful and speedy trip through treatment. That is indeed a big surprise on the path, and I can only imagine the worry a pure-bred Border collie would have. My Boo, the not-pure-bred Border collie can make himself sick with anxiety. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your guy.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; yes, it is worrisome, though the doctor said treatment wouldn’t begin for a month or two. I have Rescue Remedy if I need it. (So does the guy I live with, for that matter.) The guy I live with says that a couple of the purebred border collies who lived here before me were serious worriers. Like Pooka. He would go on his walk, and then worry everyone would forget that he went on walks.

  11. I appreciate it when you keep us informed on serious subjects. The guy you live with has had a lot of serious things to take care of lately, and lots of phone calls to make. Thank you for keeping us posted, and I hope he sails through treatment and lives many healthy and happy years more.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with is feeling a bit overwhelmed these days, with all the things going on. Partly because almost nothing goes on here, usually.

  12. “Just a bunch of stuff to go through” is entirely right. Near twenty years ago, “thyroid cancer” was said, surgery, radioactive pill handed over via eighteen-foot pole, sequestration, and then MRIs to check, and everything is excellent. I am still here to walk, groom and hug dear Petey and Shredder, and so will your guy be. You will have walks and Wild River cat-breath food and hugs aplenty. Just maybe gentle down on the velociraptor leaps. You look like such a puppy in your characteristic pose.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I guess that makes me feel better, though we purebred border collies do tend to worry. Not nearly as much as You Know Who, who is an expert worrier. At least at times.

  13. Mark Mazer says:

    ” the birds waited” Are those grackles?
    We wish you well.

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