Friday, July 4, 2014
Facebook is a funny creature that most of us who use it appreciate and like--at times-- and, at other times, find very annoying. People quibble about politics; they complain about their jobs; they brag about their leisure activities and love lives that make the rest of us feel as though we have no lives at all. At other times they are happy, celebratory, and content, but, often, Facebook friends tend to be happy, well: "not so much."
Whenever a post rolled onto my Newsfeed from Duwee, however, I turned to read it instead of scrolling to another entry. Duwee always, always made me feel good, positive, appreciative of being alive, no matter what was bothering me. He was a pig, after all, who led a simple life alongside Poppy, then Lilli, his chickens, and a goat, and he reported happily and most every day about his Lilli pig who seemed always to be getting into trouble at home, though he related the story with amusement every time. And if one of his barnyard friends died, Duwee took the event courageously, vowing to meet his brother or sister when, at last, he, too, journeyed over the Rainbow Bridge.
And now he has.
Of course, I realize that the voice of Doo, as he was affectionately known among his Facebook friends, actually came from his human mom, Sue, and his dad, Dave. It was mostly Sue, I believe, who spoke for Duwee. Duwee's, or Sue's, voice was the voice of kindness, acceptance: one of not taking a simple farm life, or any life, however one lives it, for granted. With each post I could look to Doo for comfort, for contentment, for positive thinking, for acceptance. All of us--his friends--looked forward to sharing in Doo's barnyard adventures. And we were sad when he had problems with his feet and began to age and have seizures. Most of us have been following Doo for ten years or so. To us, Duwee was a daily presence--a bandaid on our lives' wounds--and a soothing voice that subtlely urged us to appreciate and get back to nature, her animals, and the earth he so lovingly turned over and over with his nose. Duwee's voice, without saying so in words, saw the joy, through technology, of turning away from technology: our cell phones, computers, Facebook, even, and living in the simple, precious moment of a fellow creature, whether it be a person or an animal. He encouraged the simple life, love, appreciation of others, especially for pigs and other pets. He was an emotional, supportive force that kept all of us pig people on the right track, the honest track of real life, earthy life.
What will we all do without Doo? What will we all do without his mom, Sue, speaking through us--guiding us to appreciate and be joyful for each day, each slice of watermelon, every grape, and succulent morsel we bring to our lips?
The best we can do is live up to the legacy of Duwee Russel Lupton. We can live as though we are all little Doos: joyfully participating in life in all its riches, its flavors, its animals, its nature. Duwee would have us all wallow happily in life, as he did--not complain, not wish away our workdays, not whine about traffic jams or department store lines.
Duwee would have us lying in the sun, soaking up the warmth and smiling, feeling the good heat on our skin. He would have us relishing each meal as if it were our last one. He would have us enjoying a spider building its intricate net across a doorway. He would have us content, calm, accepting. Duwee would have us be like him: always positive, always looking forward to the next day, the next experience in our human "banyards." And he would always have us wearing a crazy hat--evidence of his humor and enthusiasm for life.
I surely will miss seeing and hearing about Duwee Russell Lupton's antics on Facebook, but he taught me well. I will try, despite my tendency to err because I am only human and quite flawed, to carry on Doo's legacy of positiveness and enthusiasm for living. I will try to complain and judge less. I will enjoy more walks in nature, not kill a spider simply because it walks. I will be "Doo for a Day"--not simply a day, but for most of my life.
Friday, June 20, 2014
"It's a new day: things to do, places to go. Who cares about breakfast as long as I see the outside and get to go potty at 6 AM? I wonder what mommy and sis and I are going to do today, but first I must check the manure pile for tasty horse turds. Come on, Annie! Hurry up! There's a big juicy one on the pile this morning!
"Mommy's picking weeds in the garden, thinning the carrots, admiring the huge red beets, the mounds of lettuce, and rows of onions, beans, cabbages, and garlic. I love to lie under the tomato plants, tree-sized just for me. I help mommy by digging huge holes next to the zinnia path in the vegetable garden. There's very good evidence that badgers reside here, and I need to protect the family.
"Annie! Let go! We can't both be playing with one stick! And we live in a woods, so you can get your own!
Anyway, now that mommy's done in the garden and is weeding the vinca in front of the house, we can take a nap in the shade of the old golf cart. I don't know why she doesn't want to play with our stick, but she's so focused on pulling weeds she doesn't seem to want to play. I even brought her a branch more her size. We can never roam far because she seems to instinctively know when we are on the scent of a squirrel, and then she hollers at us. And once I tried chasing a cat, and, well, that didn't go over very well. I sat in the house the rest of the day, and I don't like to be in the house. I'd rather be outside. My sister, Annie Mae, doesn't mind very well, so I must lead her back to the house from time to time so that mommy doesn't worry.
"Mommy looks so tired. Normally she's very pretty, but after a day working on the farm, her hair is matted, and her fingernails are stained with dirt.
"She eats her salad in my big black chair in the living room, and she's watching this black box on the wall that talks and has people inside it. It's a very weird thing. She gets very upset and yells when this one guy comes into the box and starts talking and swiveling his head from side to side. And his ears are even bigger than mine. She sounds like she's screaming 'MAMA!" but he doesn't look anything like my mama. I don't often see my mommy that angry--except when I chew the squeaky ball out of my new toy. After mommy calms down and that man is out of the black box, Annie and I try to look pathetic and starving as she puts forkful after forkful of food in her mouth. If I try to lick her plate, she barks at me. I know she is as possessive of her food as I and Annie Mae are. I better back off before she begins to growl.
After Annie and I eat our meals, we climb into mommy's lap. She cuddles with us, but I can tell she likes me better than Annie Mae. She talks to me in a low calm voice, and I cradle myself in her arms while Annie licks her face. Sometimes, when Annie licks her, she yells. I don't know why, but then she frantically rubs her lips and spits like one of the house cats. Yet, through it all, I know she loves us because she shows her teeth, and her lips are drawn back, the corners raised.
Soon after mommy takes her bath, she will ask us to "Kennel up," and we will be so obedient and climb into our crates for the night. I'm actually glad to abide because I'm doggone tired from all that weeding in the garden. Whoever said a dog's life was easy was dead wrong--we dachshunds have it 'ruff, ruff, ruff' living on a farm where we must play and sleep all day long.
So, people, I will see you in da morning!"
Friday, February 28, 2014
While the snow looks beautiful as it falls, the after effects are daunting--our footing precarious, driving treacherous, spending unnecessary monies for plowing the driveway, buying way-too-expensive fuel oil, keeping all the animals warm and safe. As well, my horses haven't ventured out into the far-out pastures: too icy even for four-footed ones that weigh a thousand pounds. Oh, God: deliver us from this misery, they seem to be thinking as they stand outside in the only ray of warm sunshine--a prelude of spring, wherever she may be hiding.
So, I make this entry with bits of seed soil under my fingernails, and I hope that, somehow, this nasty storm while spare us. But if it doesn't, I will tend my seeds tucked comfortably into their soil, spray a fine mist over them, talk to them hoping that they can hear and may put extra effort into germinating and giving me a ray of hope in this dismal white world.
Everyone keep warm and safe.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Death is the grand spoiler. She interrupts, spoils, disrupts, and shocks. She is the ultimate Shock Jock. And I hate her. We all hate her.
Recently she stole my Ricky cat, and I can smell her hovering over my two old, arthritic horses. And, who knows? She may even have her vacuous eye on me as I drive, as I shop, as I sleep. One never knows when or where the spoiler will next appear.
Just two days ago she came to my friend, Mare's, house and stole her cat, Meg--Mare's best buddy for 20 years and 4 months. She came stealthily, leaving little signs for months, like mouse turds in a cabinet, that she had an eye on Meg. As Meg's appetite grew slimmer and slimmer, Mare knew Death was stalking her friend. She did all she could do to stave off the rancid devil, but she showed up for an overnight visit the other night.
And that was the end of Meg.
I post Meg's picture here so that not only my friends can appreciate Mare's cat for her loyalty, her affectionate nature, her lust for life, but also so that Death can see it too, if she's on Facebook, Twitter, or reads my blogs. I want Death to know that she fails in so many ways. She fails because we all have the ability to remember our loved ones and pass on their memory to others who may remember and pass it on to still others. She fails because in our various ways, many of us prepare memorials to the one who she's taken from us and, therefore, keep that dead one alive. She fails because, through science and good medicine, we mortals can often hold her back until she comes at us with a vengeance. She fails because we eventually triumph over our misery.
Death, you loser, Be Not Proud!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
As I sit here trying to fight my way through Twitter and Facebook--I'm of an older generation that has to learn social media by the hit-or-miss method--the deer are gathering outside my window for my meager offering of corn. Yes, I feed the deer; they've had it rough this winter, too. Their life is difficult--way more than mine, I guess--having to avoid getting shot by hunters in deer season and now by poachers in non-deer killing season, bedding down in the pouring, freezing rain, and having to nourish themselves when most of their food is under two feet of snow. And their water sources are frozen-over, forcing them to cross dangerous highways to travel down to the river. It's not an easy life. So, I've begun to try to make their lives just a bit easier by putting out corn.
Every evening around this time the herd approaches, stealthily--never at ease, never able to thoroughly enjoy a meal in peace and quiet as I do. No, the deer are constantly on edge, fidgety--they know to watch for two-leggeds with guns, cars, and bad intentions.
What they don't know is that I do not, or ever will, carry a gun to kill them. I am their feeder, their nourisher. I just hope to fill their bellies and make one afternoon a bit easier for them.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Forgive me, if you can, for getting on my soapbox about the devolution of my America. I am upset about the direction this country is going under Obama's autocracy, and I must have my say. Most Americans are suffering these days: fuel oil is over four dollars a gallon; food prices are inflated; jobs are scarcer than a flea on a pig. A US citizen can hardly stay warm or even eat decently these days, and many of us don't have a pot to piss in because we're scraping to pay taxes that are unreasonable, at best. It's time the suffering stops for the middle class, for we are the only ones up against it right now. So here be my cathartic piece, if it's nothing else. Hereafter I will limit myself to goodies about animals.
Friday, February 7, 2014
I also completed a handbook for potential and current miniature pig companions. It's working title is THE COMPANION PIG. I cranked it out in fewer than three months with the help of my friends and contributors Susan Magidson, Jeannie Watson, Dr. Arlen Wilbers, and, of course, my agent Diana Flegal. Without them the book would have been rather skeletal. But it is finished now, and it is in Diana's hands. We shall see how enthusiastic the publishers will be for it, but I know there's a bunch of readers out there who are in desperate need of an all-inclusive book on how to care for piglets and adult pigs. And I know, too, that lots of pig humans (I cannot call them "owners" because pigs do not allow themselves to be owned as dogs and cats do.) would appreciate a book that guides a reader on how to re-train an aggressive piggy. THE COMPANION PIG attempts to do it all.
In the meantime I'm heading outside to muck horse stalls and probably fall on the jagged ice for the umpteenth time. And if I have another creative idea spring into my mind, I will begin authoring another book. At least that will be a safer journey than the one outside.
The picture posted here is by pet photographer, Dennis Gillette, who photographed my friend, Sheryl's pig, Pee-Wee a few years ago. Pee-Wee is giving me one of his famous kisses.