Thoughts from Crow Cottage

(soon to be retired)

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A Family of Three

Let's see how this goes.

Here is an album of photos of our girl, Belle.

Belle 2

I hope Flickr cooperates and let's this happen. Unfortunately, I am not a very talented photographer. I have a camera that is less than ideal, I have shaky hands a lot of the time when holding the camera, especially on the close-up shots when, for some reason, the photo will be blurry, even using automatic mode. I don't have the inquisitiveness to learn more about photography as a skill, either. And I don't have a smart phone to use. So we are stuck with what we have here.

BelleDay2 009

Another disclaimer of sorts... please ignore all the dust in my house! It's hard enough for me to just get through the days here, and now with another mouth to feed, and heart to love, and spirit to adore, the dust is last on my list of things to deal with. So where you see dust in my photos, please forgive me for not being the neatest housekeeper... it's either a dog or a neat house... I had the neat house for a couple of months here recently, and having a dog (again) won out!

BelleDay2a 004

Actually, there was no contest at all. We thought we could live dogless, but we were wrong.

The only problem we are having is one we knew we might have ahead of time with Belle, and that is that she is afraid of climbing up the interior stairs leading to the 2nd floor. So because of this, she stays downstairs overnight and we sleep upstairs. I would love to change this. I have done a little on-line research on how to coax a dog up the stairs, even watching a video on YouTube on how to do it by a professional. Someone wrote that if you put the dog's food dish near the bottom of the stairs one day, and each day or two, keep inching the food dish up a stair at a time, maybe the dog will slowly learn to step up in order to eat... but I don't really like that idea. She is skittish on slippery steps, and ours are wood with stair treads of carpet up the middle sections but not out to the edge. I may have to think of carpeting the stairs out to the edges for her... I don't know yet.

BelleDay2a 010

You can see the stair edge in the above photo.

BelleDay2a 014

And the little carpet tread...

She is 9 years old. If she didn't have to go up and down a steep flight of stairs all her life, it's tough talking her into it now... but never say never, so they say.

Paul has already had to double-up the little garden fence out front because Belle thought she could just zip on through it the other day... heading for the driveway (although there is another higher wire fence at the wall so she would not have made it that far), but I don't want her in that little corner garden... for obvious reasons.

BelleDay2a 022

So, Belle's trip from Iowa to Massachusetts went off well, taking two days to accomplish. Here is Mit, her Foster Mum, showing Belle the sights at Niagra Falls!


And Mit's wonderful son, Shawn, showing off his friend Belle:


Here's Belle in her first moments at Crow Cottage:

Belle1stday 004

You can just tell Paul is one happy camper!

Belle1stday 006

Belle went right out front, to "her yard" and did her P&Ps like a good girl...

Belle1stday 012

I think that's all for now. What a month! What a year. Ups and downs, tears and smiles... but more smiles each day now...

... now that Belle has saved our lives.


I totally lost it when Mit and Belle and Shawn walked through our door...

I'd like to, once again, thank the indefatigable Mit Skinner and her son, Shawn Runcie. I am still scratching my head over how they managed to do what they did, pick up and drive a rescue collie dog, whom they had both grown to love very much indeed, half way across our country, 1500 miles one way, and leave her here with us... (there were some tears in their car as they drove away - I could see), and then back again to their home in Iowa. Mit just phoned me a few minutes ago (it's Tuesday now) and she and Shawn are 40 miles from their home, having driven in shifts all night long! They are super-people... and I want them both to know how much we appreciate what they have just done.

Also, I'm sending some prayers up for a "little incident" that happened back at home while they were away, but not to go into that now... suffice it to say that Prayers are going up to Spirit for all of you, Mit & Family!


Bex, Paul & Belle

P.S. Belle's first walk with Paul, short video in 2 parts:

Part I of II

Part II of II

kip11feb16 004

I think I could turn and live with animals...
They are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied... not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

~ [Walt Whitman, from "Leaves of Grass, No. 32"] ~


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