Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Making Connections

Does anyone within my local readership have the book, “Make the Connection” by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey? I would love to borrow it, if it’s available.

Who has read this book? Was it helpful? I’ve seen the video and it was good, but not quite enough to make a connection for me. (I want to dig in a little deeper)

If you have it, please let me know if you’re willing to give it up for a little while.

If you’ve read it, please tell me your thoughts.

I’ve got four books waiting for me to read them – and quite the array; Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing - so if everyone thinks Make the Connection is utter crap, I’d rather just move on and forget about it.

Thanks guys!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Short for Tornado

He came along at a time when I really needed a distraction and some unconditional love. Little Toro, the runt of the litter, born with a harelip.

The breeder’s husband and vet both thought Toro should be put down. They thought he’d never survive. But Jane, the breeder, must have seen Toro’s spunk early on. He managed to find a way to eat and drink, despite the harelip. He held his own at playtime too. The first time I held him he just snuggled into my arms and took a nap. He was so sweet. When I brought him home he weighed barely 2 lbs. and fit into the palm of my hand. He was my baby. I even took time off work to stay at home with him while he got used to being in a new place. I carried him around a lot because he was so small I was afraid he would get stepped on. He still loves to be carried around. Mister, the family Schnauzer, taught Toro how to bark, and did he ever teach him well. Mister also taught him how to howl, a surprising trait in a Shih-tzu.

Toro has put up with a lot of ridicule over the years, mostly due to his harelip. It makes me sad when I have to defend him on this. He’s a quirky little guy, but that’s what makes him extra-special. Jane taught him to drink from a water bottle, the kind rabbits and guinea pigs use – it keeps their furry little faces dry! He attacks his bowl of food like it’s waiting to be killed, growling at it, slamming it against the wall, and pushing out all of the food onto the floor. I think he’s artistic. He picks up a piece of food, walks away and places it down, just there. Then he gets another piece and carefully places it in the vicinity of the first one and this continues for several more pieces. Sometimes he’ll pick one of the pieces up and move it just slightly. He does it so deliberately; I swear he’s creating art. He goes crazy over his squeaky toys. You should have seen his reaction to the new toy he got from Auntie Krista last Christmas! WOW! Look out! He loves to play fetch. He sleeps on pillows, whether it’s his head, his whole body, or just one rear paw, there’s almost always a pillow involved. Toro loves fruits and veggies and popcorn, and waits so quietly and patiently for a piece of Sunday roast beef to fall his way. Toro knows I’m boss, and still follows me around like a puppy. Sometimes (if I’m lucky), I just have to give him a look to get him to behave. But other times nothing works.

He was my only child for 8 years, until Miles came along. Toro has done so well with two little boys taking over the house. He’s a little freaked out when Jonah follows him around, but you can see that he wants to play with the boys – he already drops his toys in front of them hoping they will throw it for him to fetch. I’m proud of him for having patience.

I hesitate to even put this into words, but I really hope he stays with us long enough for Miles to grow up a bit more and become Toro’s boy, and best friend too.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dogs and Babies

There is some kind of bond going on here that I didn't even see coming.

Tonight, I was sitting on the couch, watching TV when my dog, Toro, started barking.

"Toro, no!" "Toro, no barking!" "Toro, quit it!" "Toro, that's
enough!" "Toro, SHUT IT!!!"

It gets quiet for a moment, then I hear it....Miles is crying. I run up the stairs telling Toro to keep it quiet, and tend to Miles. A bit of a tummy problem tonight it seems. I return to the couch and TV. Glenn and Sherri soon join me on the couch. I tell them about how Toro told me that Miles was crying. Before I even finished telling the story, Toro starts barking again. This time I get up and turn on the baby monitor. Sure enough, Miles is crying again! This time I climb the stairs thanking Toro for letting me know.

Now I know that dogs and children can be the best of friends, but I honestly didn't believe that Toro had it in him. Nor have I seen him show any kind of concern when Miles is crying. He's really been quite good with both the boys so far. It's got to be tough on an old pooch when the youngsters start chasing him around the house, poking around his food, and trying to play with his toys! We keep a pretty close eye on Toro when he's around the boys, because even though he's smaller than both of them, and has crappy teeth (there will be a post dedicated entirely to Toro in the near future), he is an animal and a potential threat. Albeit a compassionate one - he always shows up at my side when I'm crying! I'll stop there and save the rest for Toro's post.

I know there are thousands upon thousands of amazing pets out there. What has yours surprised you with? (and I'm not talking about puppy or kitty "treats" left on the front door mat...)