Ollie’s Fifteenth Week: Frantic for Sweet Sleep

So it continues. Had I known how often James complained when I was but an innocent young puppy, I, well, I’m not sure what I would have done. After all, while he was training me, I was also training him. (James, don’t look at me like that. You know it’s true. What? You typed that? Silly human.)

Here we were in the sixth week of being together. I had already fallen in love with Trek, but he was gone now. It looked as if I had no choice but to direct my love towards James. I mean, he was being so loving towards me, and I had hardly given him the time of day what with my BFF Trek around.

(Ollie trying not to be depressed over losing his BFF Trek.)

I have to admit that I was a little depressed. Sure, so were James and Ron. It seemed we were all sleeping most of the time. At least I know Ron and I were getting shuteye as often as possible. James, on the other hand, hardly got any sleep. Of course, he only has himself to blame. I, on the other hand, was doing all I could not to weep openly whenever Trek’s name was mentioned.

Besides, I wasn’t yet four months old. James says that meant I had to go outside at least every three hours, and after playing, and after sleeping. If you remember, the water was still being rationed, so I’m not sure why James was being so conscientious about my pee.

Think about it for a moment. No one, not even us canines, want to do our business where we play and eat. Of course, I never wanted to excuse myself in the mudroom or stone hall, where I was now confined. Nevertheless, I was dependent upon James taking me outside so I could go. Even out there, he never left me alone. I like a little privacy, if you get my drift.

(Ollie refusing to go since he likes his privacy.)

Anyway, James wrote a poem about how he was so sleep deprived. I have to admit that he doesn’t actually blame me for losing sleep. However, he sure does imply it. You be the judge.

Here’s that poem:


how I miss it
embracing me
within the down comforter’s warmth
lulling my senses
refreshing my mind
conveying comfort
releasing tension

how I envy you
at fifteen weeks
lying on the floor
in peaceful bliss
awaiting your next phase
not knowing what
or when
it will be
but knowing it will come
sooner than I’d like

how handsome you look
extending on the cool slate
hugging one of your fluffy toys
          duck squirrel alligator
while I
longing to catnap
sit on the steps

I put my head back
facing the ceiling
I can feel
the weight lifted
ever so slightly and
you are awake
raring to go

to the door
quickly outside
in a flash
distractions abound
delaying the inevitable
which comes
when it comes
but never fast enough

back inside
to play and learn
and then for you to sleep
but not me

there is no sweet sleep
for me
for I must be ever alert
for you
for your benefit

and for mine

What do you think? Is James saying I’m the reason he’s losing sleep? I have only one further comment to add about this: where was Ron? Enough said. (Wow! James gave me a special treat that tastes like bacon – yummm! I love James.)

We hope you’re enjoying hearing about my first year and reading the poems James wrote. In two weeks I’ll fill you in on some of the toys I had to play with. I have to admit, I had more toys than I knew what to do with, but they sure helped in more ways than one. Join us then to find out in what ways those were.

Also, let us know your opinion of these stories and the poems James wrote. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a comment about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)


Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated

Ollie Offers Remembrance: a Poem Entitled “Ode to Trek”

I mentioned in my last post in a side note how gracious James can be sometimes. Well, I need to begin this week’s dissertation tactfully because it involves a most sensitive issue. It isn’t something I yet understand, so today, and not for the first time, I’m letting James take over my blog. You’ll see why as you read on.

Hi – this is James. I want to thank Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (Yeah, I know, I can call him Ollie, but for this purpose, I felt a more formal approach was appropriate.) for handing over the reins of his blog to me today. It is a rather delicate topic he and I agreed to discuss at this juncture of his first-year story.

When Ollie arrived at Skygate Farm, we had a delightful, old, Dalmatian – Trek – living with us. We weren’t sure how such an old fellow would take to having a young whippersnapper join our family, but we needn’t have worried. Trek sniffed, licked, and welcomed the new little guy as if he were his own son. Then, like some fathers, he walked away, leaving the child alone. Ollie would have none of it. So long as they were in the same sphere, Trek was like a magnet to Ollie – he wouldn’t leave his side, or under his feet as was often the case.

Our old guy seemed to revert to his childhood. He became much more active and full of himself once Ollie arrived. It seemed as if he had taken on the role of teacher. Ollie has told me that it was the most rewarding part of joining our family – having Trek around. Well, Trek’s revisiting his youth included his going so far as to enjoy being in Ollie’s crate full of toys.

(Ollie sharing his crate and toys with his BFF Trek.)

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last. Somewhere, someone has written that all good things must pass. I, for one, don’t like thinking about such things. Still, I have to admit that this one, vastly wonderful, thing did pass – and far too soon. Ron and I were told that a Dalmatian’s life span is on average only around nine years. Trek was four days shy of his fourteenth birthday on the day we were forced to say goodbye to our dearly beloved. We were blessed to have had him in our lives for so many years.

(Ron, Trek & James at Popplewood Farm.)

We are even more blessed to have Ollie with us, not only at the time of our lose, but today when we can look back on a wonderful life shared with a wonderful dog. We are once again sharing our joyous lives with a most spectacular dog – Ollie.

Several weeks after we lost Trek, I began a poem about him. It may not mean as much to anyone else, but it still brings tears to my eyes when I read it. Ollie was gracious to allow me to share this poem with you. I hope you enjoy it.

Ode to Trek

you pranced into our lives over a
holiday weekend during snowy degrees
born outside when your mom was let out to pee

you experienced the first night of your life
lonesome and frosty under a star lighted sky
wondrously surviving to come into our lives

you won us over with your solid-black right ear
your white face with one black freckle
and your watery cinnamon eyes were special

you were initially called Journey
but we christened you with the moniker of Trek
to which you came running to our call and beck

you whined during the trip to the city
in a plastic crate borrowed from the breeders
as we raced into town as if we were speeders

the cause of a neighbor’s first night visit
when she got you to sit we were in awe
knowing instantly you were a superstar

you were twelve weeks and potty trained
yet the vet said no walking on the city streets
until you had your final shots at sixteen weeks

you were relegated to the front bathroom
with daily newspapers on the shower floor
causing confusion to abound even more

you were a trooper as we walked to puppy kindergarten
the twenty-six blocks uptown – entertaining to say the least –
so you could cavort with other dogs off leash

you were then enrolled in an obedience class
where you as the prize pupil
suggesting you take the next training level – quadruple

you had limited interest in the agility class
to the treats you could earn – but no matter
for everyone loved you – so says the chatter

you had a signature mark – “Look, a Dalmatian dog!” –
appended by every child in a stroller
as they passed us on the street before it got colder

you were skilled at socializing with other dogs
all a part of your indomitable style
and it made us happy that they made you smile

you’d beam at us as well each time we came home
a wagging tail greeted us at the door
making us wonder how could we ask for more

you loved the people who came to dinner
for they always greeted you with kibble
for the street people all you did was dribble

you would always saunter off to your special place
whenever we sat down to dine with our guests
which left every single one exceedingly impressed

you went off leash each weekend at Prospect Park
after you’d stood by the door as if lined up on deck
and been driven over in a car with license plates 4-TREK

you slipped into the elevator with leash in and out
while with friends we partied at quite an affair
you were hung and knocked out giving us a scare

you were given mouth-to-mouth CPR by an angel
who then cleaned up the elevator mess
while we grabbed a cab and raced to the vets

you survived yet again to tell the tale
and although you were temporarily paralyzed
everywhere you went you were still recognized

you were a foodie so the paralysis didn’t prevent your eating
as away from food you were not known to cower
food put in front of you took no time to devour

you regained your full movement while on holiday in Vermont
and adventured out to discover the neighbor’s horses
and delightful excrement of which they were the sources

you ran free which gave both of us such a scare
as we’d stand there and watch helplessly
while you’d run into the woods in reckless glee

one particular time you ran into the forest
only to return to the back door in a pace
whining from porcupine quills – another death menace

you were rushed to the vets after we tried to remove them
imagining there were perhaps only a dozen more
yet to our horror we learned there were forty still as sores

you were once observed during the month of November
a hunter spied a white and black-spotted fawn one day
running under his blind ever so gay

you could bound freely at the place we found to call home
for at Popplewood Farm we installed an invisible fence
which helped to suspend and end all suspense

you were left behind while we flew west to ski
into canine camp with your friends you stayed
where you were frolicking and making hay

you had blood in your urine we were informed
from kidney stones that were anything but mush
which we were ensured from afar were flushed

you needed a special dog food after this latest fright
devoured as if it were your favorite treat – liverwurst
we could agreed that it wasn’t the worst

you were such a contented companion
while in our home you were always relaxed
yet while outside you were curious and enthusiastic to the max

you welcomed Pip our Old English Sheepdog rescue
who loved you as if you had always been brothers
who would have been with us longer had we had our druthers

you acquiesced to our bringing home Oliver
even though you had reached the ripe old age of thirteen
you yielded to his puppyness and never was mean

you put up with us these fourteen years
for which you should receive a posthumous medal
even though we know it’s part of your breed’s creedal

you constantly shed your fir throughout the house
appearing on everything like tumbleweeds
yet never thought of as a delinquency

you seemed to dislike my brushing you
to try and remove all the lose hairs while outside
yet it was ever so sweet when brushing your backside

you will always be the best friend I ever had
and I’ll miss you terribly till we meet again
on that you can count I will forever yen

you were so independent which was a challenge
yet it is something we will always relish
even if there were times we were jealous

          I wish I could call out to you one more time
          I wish I could be happy that you’d survived again
          I wish we could be back at the park if for only a minute
          I wish I could see you attack your food with gusto once more
          I wish we hadn’t held you back from the joy of running so easily
          I wish to see you pulling ahead – your muzzle sniffing the ground
          I wish I could ensure you would forgive me for the things I did wrong
          I wish
          I wish
          I wish
                          so many things

as I sit in our white Adirondack chairs
daydreaming of how our lives once used to be
I envision you running over the dam cavorting freely

and as I lean forward in my seat
I can still see you so handsome and smart
as I fancy you running straight back into my heart

Well, if that didn’t bring tears to your eyes, then you’re someone who has no feelings. Yeah, it’s me, Ollie, closing out this blog. Wait. I need to blow my nose.

Okay. That’s better.

In two weeks I’ll be back. I’ll let you know how James felt once I was – drum roll please – finally housetrained. I have to laugh, because it still wasn’t easy for him. Sure, I mean, I was only closing in on four months of age – not even. If you know anything about dogs, we need to be taken outside on the hour of our monthly age.

I’ll clue you in during the next post should you still not understand. I don’t think you’ll want to miss it.

Also, let us know your opinion of these stories and the poems James wrote. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a comment about this or anything else that’s on your mind.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)


Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2017 unless otherwise indicated