endings, and beginnings

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to talk about some stuff and to wish you all Happy New Year. You may remember me from such posts as “Another Year Goes By” (both posts with that title), among so many, many others.

Here I am in a not hugely characteristic pose, but I am with my best friend.He looks like an ancient mariner, does he not? A seafarin’ man. We don’t go on the ocean, though. It was just that I was practicing what are called “selfies”, with the camera on the phone, and this is how they came out.

Another one:The guy I live with pointed out that I have a hair on my nose. Like I didn’t know that.

But anyway. There’s been an awful lot of heavy sighing around here in the last couple of days. Our modern lifestyle may have some rough patches ahead, though last year was not a very good year at all. Also, of course, and probably most importantly, because of the increasing distance in time from when the rooms downstairs weren’t dark at night. There is at least a light on, down there, now; even a night-light is left on, after the lamp on the nightstand is turned off at bedtime.

I rarely go downstairs. I think of it as like a disused wing of the manor house, very still, and full of memories which are not mine.

My house is super cozy but I know there’s sadness lingering here and there; the guy I live with talks about moving, from time to time, but I figure it’s only talk, because it would involve so much, and besides, there are other more pressing things to think about.

It snowed on and off yesterday, and in the afternoon the guy I live with got out the DSLR camera to get yet another owl picture. I think you can tell the difference between this one and the ones taken with the point-and-shoot. I wasn’t with him, so he didn’t have someone tugging on his arm the whole time.
The guy I live with said that telephoto lenses for DSLRs are expensive, and probably wouldn’t be used a lot, so when something far away, which the owl certainly wasn’t, needs to be zoomed in on, he just uses the point-and-shoot, though there isn’t much in the way of sharpness and stuff.

I was joining in with a few other dogs this morning, barking, and the guy I live with came out to investigate. By now he’s figured out which kind of bark means what, so he brought the little camera along.

(By the way, we’re having some trouble making these posts now. The post was published and these two pictures completely disappeared. They’re back now.)
My walks today were pretty good, despite all the complaining about how cold it was.

I like the snow, but today my paws iced up, and that’s pretty unpleasant. The guy I live with just reached down and rubbed the inside of my paws a bit, and made them all better. He said that maybe I needed some boots, but I’ve seen the picture of Chess in his pink boots, and am pretty sure that’s not something I need. Maybe, though.

Well, so, this is my first post of the new year. It would have to be, wouldn’t it? I’ll let you go now, with another picture of me, after my paws were de-iced. It wasn’t a very long walk, after all.

Until next time, then.

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49 Responses to endings, and beginnings

  1. mjkeane says:

    Happy New Year, you two!
    Wishing you good times, love, laughter, and lots adventures.

  2. Barb K says:

    There is a famous gardener around here who is going to sell his place because it’s too hard and too expensive to keep up. I keep hoping that after the melancholy of winter passes he will change his mind but I don’t think he will. TGYLW is kind of a famous gardener too so I hope he doesn’t end up moving but maybe your blog would end up in sunny S. California. Sadness does creep in this time of year more than when we can get outside in the sunshine. It’s up to you to provide cheer, Mani. The owl looks puzzled by our human weaknesses. A perfect shot!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I didn’t really take the owl picture but it’s okay for me to take credit for it. I think that people sometimes have a sort of letdown after Christmas and New Year’s. The guy I live with said he was expecting his mom to call him on New Year’s Eve, like she did every Eve for many years. I guess it’s hard when people are suddenly gone from the lives of others. I know he’s used to being here alone without another person, but still remembers very vividly what it was like when there were two people here, and how nice that was. Having me, a purebred border collie as I guess you know, around the house makes things a lot better, since except for eight days, there have been purebred border collies here since 1986. A very long time ago. (Back when it rained here from time to time and there weren’t so many storms.) I don’t think we would be moving to southern California. The guy I live with talked to his cousin in Los Angeles a while back and his cousin just laughed when the guy I live with said how much the house here was appraised for. He said if someone decided to make a movie based on our blog and it was a huge hit, which I’m pretty sure it would be, then maybe.

  3. lifecameos says:

    Happy New Year to both of you, and I hope all goes well, whatever you decide to do with it.

  4. Mani – my friend and I have this ‘game’ where we decide what sort of house and garden we will have when we win big money on the lottery. We have decided we need about 8 acres in total, and of course we will need staff to look after us and do the boring stuff like cutting the hedges and weeding. So far we haven’t talked about having a dog because she has a cat (well, she does have her faults!) but I’m sure I can talk her round to having one when the cat dies in mysterious circumstances.

    • paridevita says:

      Lol. The guy I live with’s friend has a cat. I know they’re pretty smelly, but since I like my food, which is salmon, I kind of smell like a cat too. He says we really need a garden in Ireland. With possibly a manor house somewhere near the garden.

    • Lisa says:

      I love that game! I like where I live, so my lottery winnings would go to fixing things up just the way I want (like a new deck with overhang) or would like (a window washer!), and lots of gardening supplies. Gardening supplies and plants without a budget! I like to do the work part myself, so no gardeners.
      Cats get used to dogs. All they have to do is, not run! Then dogs will respect them and will be a little bit afraid of them. One scratch on the nose, or even a clawless bat on the nose will do it too. Dogs are really cowards around cats, if they don’t run!

      • paridevita says:

        Believe it or not, there used to be cats here. And a purebred border collie, Flurry; the first one. Lottery winnings here would be used for the same sorts of things: fixing up stuff. Redoing this and that. Hiring an attorney to deal with neighbors with annoying spotlights. Possibly also hiring someone to work in the garden here, after lengthy interviews and so on.

  5. Linda says:

    Mani, I just love this blog. I accidentally found it a few months ago & didn’t realize for a while that the guy you live with also posts occasionally on Crocus & Colchicum on Facebook. Tell him I love that owl pic.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with tries to be social from time to time, hence the postings on Facebook. Also in the fritillaria group, and sometimes (though I know it’s hard to believe), in one of the snowdrop groups.

  6. ceci says:

    Sorry to hear of the posting problems! The owl photo is fantastic; every feather, every needle on the spruce (?) so clear and perfect. One of those very rare instances where not having a dog along was a positive thing?

    Is the wild canine a fox? Or a coyote? We get foxes but they are redder…..


    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the DSLR is pretty heavy so if I was there I’d probably knock down the guy I live with. He can take pictures with the point-and-shoot while we’re walking, but not with the big camera. Though he does say that being around me is always a positive thing. It was a coyote. Probably one of Norm and Celeste’s offspring. You might have to do a search to see older posts about them, but try “Memory and Desire”.

  7. Janna says:

    Happy New Year! I sure hope this year will be better than last… I have a new toy that helps with my seasonal blues… I wonder if your plant loving guy needs one? A grow light for humans…place him under it for an hour every morning while he is watching you do tricks…10,000 LUX full spectrum light made just for Californians stuck in the snow… could make him feel a bit better… mine is from Amazon.. do you know his password?

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; same to you. We do have grow lights here and they’re helping snowdrops grow. I know that sounds odd. And it’s almost always really sunny here in the winter.

  8. OMG, Mani, how much better life would be if you knew the guy’s pass word. You could be on The Machine while the guy is out photographing owls (and very well, with a cooperating owl). A whole world of brie awaits! Too bad you can’t order up some rain … it’s gonna be an excellent year, dear dog.

  9. Nell says:

    Completely blown away by the owl photo. Blown. Away. The blue needles bring out the warm browns in the owl’s feathers, echoed by the ?buds at the branch tips. And those eyes! I assume your owl bark is what woke it up for this outstanding portrait. Good job by the both of you!

    Happy New Year!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I wasn’t anywhere near the owl, that one time, though I have seen them. They’re really big, by the way. The guy I live with says the picture isn’t bad for just a 50mm lens. I’m not sure what that means, but it means something to him.

  10. Meow meow Mani yore a fine lookin poochie! Mee, BellaDharma an mee LadyMew (LadyMum) came across yore blog an red yore post an wee wanted to wish you a Happy Mew Yeer. Yore PawPaw soundss like hee has THE sadss like mee LadyMew. Shee cried all of Decemburr 31st an til 3 A.M. THE next morning (over mee ‘angel’ Unkell Siddhartha Henry a Burmese Buudhist mancat shee was with for 3 1/2 yeerss) Shee bin waitin fore him to ree-tern butt hee iss inn Pure Land (Buudhist Heaven). It must have ‘hit’ her….
    Thanx to Sky Cat, LadyMew iss doin betterish.
    Maybee wee can follow each other an bee frendss…
    Pleese tell yore PawPaw wee are sayin purrayerss fore him to feel better soon.
    With ree-spect an **purrsss** BellaDharma
    https://nylabluesmum.wordpress.com/ iss our site for THE Purrfect Pad.
    P Ess them bootiess are warm butt they feel funny to wear mee poochie frendss told mee 😉

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with said there were cats in the house here, quite early on. Hard to believe, I know.

      • Meow meow there were catss Mani?? Do you like catss? Mee likes ‘poochiess’ butt NOT other catss. Mee iss a bit u-neek just like you!

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, there were cats here. There are cats in my neighborhood too. People let them outdoors, which is a mistake.

      • Mee agreess with you Mani! Mee was an ouside cat fore 4 yearss an mee gotted inn to a lot of trubbell with man catss an tryin to survive on THE meen streetss. Mee iss now ‘dopted to LadyMwe an shee has 2 ‘condo’ss’ for mee. They are dog cagess with cozy mat an blanketss an mee can bee outside butt not inn danger.
        Oh mee livess inn Owen Sound (on Georgian Bay) inn Province of Ontario inn Canada. There are Bye-lawss here ’bout catss wanderin butt many peepull let their catss wander w/out a thott an that iss sad.
        Mee not miss them meen streetss at all!
        **purrsss** BellaDharma

      • paridevita says:

        Well you can see why it’s a bad idea to let kitties roam around outside, here. Things can happen. The guy I live with says that they have. We won’t talk about them, though.

  11. Lisa says:

    What a stunning owl photograph! It would win a contest!
    Yeah, hair on the nose… I never notice hair until I see pictures enlarged and posted!

  12. tonytomeo says:

    Did the guy you live with explain to you what ‘moving’ is? It is not fun, even if it involves moving to a better situation. The process is a lot of work. It is certainly something to sigh about.

    • paridevita says:

      We have discussed it. I forget if I or Chess talked about this on the blog. Let’s say we didn’t, and so I can talk about it here. After the guy I live with’s wife died, he didn’t know what to do. Some people, who never had to watch their spouse or partner die right in front of them without any warning at all, had opinions as to what he should do. The guy I live with said that people offering opinions on something they know nothing about is just the way of things. But after a while he began to wonder whether or not moving might not be a good idea. It is kind of difficult for him to live in this house, where she died. On the other hand, it is kind of comforting. More comforting than difficult, really. What he would do, though, is find some place, and look at it with Google Street View, which is a pretty wonderful thing, and then see if there were houses, or even trailers, for sale. The guy I live with said that after he spent a few evenings doing this, he imagined himself having just moved into a house, or trailer, with Chess, surrounded by unopened moving boxes, being filled with the most intense, bitter regret at having done something which could not be undone. So that’s why we’re still here.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, at least you are there. I like having Rhody around, although I can not explain why. Your ‘sort’ seem to be proficient with the sort of ‘being there’ that some people are not very good at. When Bill and I ‘moved’ it was not by choice. We lost our home. He was fine with being out ant about, as your ‘sort’ typically are, but I still miss our home, and always will. I am not so certain that it would have been any easier if it had been my ‘choice’. Well, I do not mean to pretend that I understand your situation. Every situation is different.

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, every situation is different. The guy I live with said he wanted to move to Portland after he retired, but his wife didn’t want to. So they stayed here. There was one really bad storm here, in 1991, but since she died, in 2009, there have been five or six. So the weather is changing, and not for the better. But of course, had he moved, we would not have met.

      • tonytomeo says:

        How did you find the guy you live with? What made you think you wanted to live with him? I sometimes wonder how and why Privet, Bill and Rhody decided to live with me. I think that they could have had better lifestyles, but they always seemed so satisfied with what we had.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said that after Chess died he didn’t know what to do. Chess was the last living link to his wife, in this house, and she really loved him. It was probably the one thing that made him angry when she died, that he would have to be with Chess at his last breath. Which was in the bed in the upstairs bedroom (not the same actual bed as now; we got a new one); that’s where he wanted to go and the guy I live with helped him get up the stairs and into the bed. So then the guy I live with was alone. He stood two days of that and realized he had to have another purebred border collie in his life, and looked at ads. Puppies for sale. He called the person with the ad, like his wife used to do, to make sure this was a serious thing, working dogs, like all the rest, and then he went up to see them. By the time he got there, which was a few days after the phone call, there were only two of us left. When the guy I live with went into the house, he sat on the couch, and seven adult purebred border collies jumped up on the couch and wanted attention. Cuddles and tickles and stuff. He knew this was a good place. Though my brother was just as excellent, the guy I live with picked me, and we drove back to his house. In keeping with tradition, I threw up in the car. I was in a crate, which was attached to the seat belt, in the passenger seat. (All the other purebred border collies who were brought home threw up on his wife, in the passenger seat.) And that was that.

      • tonytomeo says:

        So, he found you rather than you finding him? Well, I suppose that can work too. I think that is how most others do it. When Privet came to live with me back in the early 1990s, it was very different. It was not planned, and certainly not my idea, but it worked out very well for the entire neighborhood. Well, you know how your kind can be.

      • paridevita says:

        Pretty much, yes. The guy I live with said he looked at rescued purebred border collies, but was very uncertain about all of that (even though the people who did the rescuing would come to the house to see if it was the right environment, which he said was a good idea, since we can be different). It was of course excellent that he came to get me. He needed someone to care for and worry about, and as a result I obviously lead a very rough life. He didn’t really know how to raise a puppy, and I guess he had some bad moments, but my doctor, who had been doctor to all the purebred border collies who lived here for about a quarter of a century, suggested Day Care, and so after some initial hesitation, I got to go. Things around here often move very slowly, but, like for instance, eventually I started sleeping on the bed, which turned out extremely well for both of us, though he says I hog the bed sometimes. But then Flurry, the first purebred border collie who lived here, slept on the bed, too, and he hogged it, until he got really old (ancient, even), and then would just sleep on his side of the bed, snoring loudly.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Your people have unusual traditions. When I need to go stay at the farm so that the people there can go away on vacation, I go to sleep alone, and then wake up under a pile of three heavy Labrador retrievers. Privet (a small terrier) always slept separately nearby, but even he sometimes woke up with kitties, which, if you can believe it, is weirder than waking up with Labrador retrievers. When Bill (another small terrier) came to live with me at home, the two feral kitties there decided that they were no longer feral, and wanted to live inside with us. As if that was not bad enough, Timmy, a baby deer, also decided that he wanted to live with us inside. It was a serious problem.

      • paridevita says:

        We are actually pretty normal. Though the guy I live with said that way back when, Chess would sleep downstairs with his mommy, and Slipper would sleep upstairs with the guy I live with, though he never slept on the bed at night, just at the foot of the bed, snoring like a cartoon dog. Bplplplplpl, hoooo. Bplplplplpl, hoooo. And farther back in time, there were cats here. One of them slept on the guy I live with’s forehead, purring really loudly, and the other slept on his chest.

      • tonytomeo says:

        You know, cats aren’t really people, . . . . right? . . . at least not like the rest of us.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Well, I don’t doubt that some cats are very important people. I am just saying that they are not . . . . well . . . . They just are not like pure bred border collies or other people.

      • Mark Mazer says:

        “Some people, who never had to watch their spouse or partner die right in front of them without any warning at all,”

        IMHO… slow is as difficult as quick. Both suck.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with had a neighbor whose wife died of liver cancer. It took years. Afterwards the guy I live with and his neighbor used to talk about things like that.

  13. Deb says:

    Stunning photo of the owl! I laughed at the comment about being able to take a decent photo when you don’t have a dog yanking on a leash with you. I have taken scads of blurry pictures due to being yanked by Stella. (Does that make me a yankee?)

  14. Renee says:

    Happy new year, and i hope it’s a good one. It was lovely to see both of you in a selfie – Mani is quite good at them. Sorry I’m late in sending you a comment, but I couldn’t let this post pass without saying thank you for the light you add!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; same to you. The guy I live with said he won’t look so much like The Ancient Mariner next time. Though he is ancient, of course. He wears this wool cap that everyone who sees it says stuff about, because Slipper chewed the top of it up quite a bit, and I think Chess did too. Not me, for sure. (The guy I live with disagrees, but what does he know?)

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