Monthly Archives: April 2010

Intuition

My walks with Matilda take us by the Dorchester General Hospital. I’ve heard that they have a busy mental health ward. Our path takes us through the lit parking lot and into the park that abuts it. During the early morning and late evening hours, it is not uncommon to encounter someone who has been or should be a patient.

This morning, as we were walking, I saw a car parked near our normal path. The passenger door was open and I found that to be quite odd. I decided that we would take a right and walk towards the playground area of the park instead of left toward the open field. Matilda must have sensed my change of plan because instead of leading me left, as she does every morning, she pulled me right.

As we started for home, I heard a man screaming, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I figured he was off of his meds and I decided to just keep it moving. But then I saw this dark blur coming towards us. And then there was a bark. Matilda went crazy. The dog ran towards us like we were a gang of cats or a wagon full of steaks. Matilda lunged toward the dog and started with her “I mean business” street fighter bark. The dog got to us so quickly and Matilda was jumping around so much that I couldn’t pick her up. I just kept turning in circles and yelling “No!”. Thankfully, the dog’s owner was able to get the dog’s attention through his indiscernible screams, and neither of the dogs were injured.

Something told me we shouldn’t have walked near that car. If we had, that dog might’ve gotten to Matilda much faster and somebody might have gotten hurt.

Intuition is a powerful thing. Listen to it. It will never steer you wrong.

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Post Script on Street Fighter

A friend of mine read yesterday’s post and emailed me the following comment:

“When I woke up that morning at your house and found Matilda sitting on my chest staring at me, I knew she didn’t play around, and this just confirms it!”

WHAT?!

First of all, she never told me about that event. Second of all, what kind of dog do I have?! That’s a little scary – especially to a person like my friend, who thinks that a dog will kill you in your sleep.

When I asked her why she never told me about this, she responded with:

“I can’t believe I didn’t tell you this! I’m thinking that I tried to black it out, since Matilda was probably all, ‘and you’d better not tell her what happened!’ I am so serious dude…your dog DOES NOT PLAY, and I know I have to sleep with one eye open or else I might get it.”

Now I have an image of Matilda that involves a motorcycle, leather pants, red bandana, a tattoo of “Bad to the Bone” on her back, and a northern Jersey accent.

Street Fighter

Mom, Matilda, and I spent Easter with my sister and her dog, Teddy. Teddy is a Yorkie. (In the coming weeks, I will share my Teddy experiences here.) Teddy and Matilda have a history of getting along – for the most part. Matilda is at least four years older than Teddy and doesn’t like to play nearly as much as he does. She’s content to sit in your lap or right next to you and watch tv or take a nap. Teddy, on the other hand, likes to sniff you in your face, jump from sofa to loveseat and back, chase things, play psuedo-fetch, and hide treats.

Matilda has never shown herself to be highly possessive or territorial. She’ll let you know when she doesn’t want to be bothered. She’s often given Teddy a growl, warning him to back off and leave her alone. Teddy isn’t always the quickest in picking up on verbal and non-verbal clues. But on Easter Sunday, there was no warning growl.

Mom, Matilda, and I spent Easter with my sister and her dog, Teddy. Teddy is a Yorkie. (In the coming weeks, I will share my Teddy experiences here.) Teddy and Matilda have a history of getting along – for the most part. Matilda is at least four years older than Teddy and doesn’t like to play nearly as much as he does. She’s content to sit in your lap or right next to you and watch tv or take a nap. Teddy, on the other hand, likes to sniff you in your face, jump from sofa to loveseat and back, chase things, play psuedo-fetch, and hide treats.

Matilda has never shown herself to be highly possessive or territorial. She’ll let you know when she doesn’t want to be bothered. She’s often given Teddy a growl, warning him to back off and leave her alone. Teddy isn’t always the quickest in picking up on verbal and non-verbal clues. But on Easter Sunday, there was no warning growl.

Mom made the best Cornish hens I’ve ever had on Easter Sunday. She glazed them in a plum chipotle sauce she found at TJ Maxx. Absolutely delicious! When I was just about finished eating, I decided to share some with Matilda. I had given her two samples when Teddy came along. He was staring me in the face. I had to share. I gave him a piece and gave Matilda another. When I went to give Teddy a second piece, Matilda jumped on him like he had stolen something. No growl. No warning. No nothing. She just pounced. She was playing dirty and she was quite serious. The fight travelled from the sofa, clear across the room. The barking and growling was intense; much different from the playful banter-like barking they exchange when they greet each other. Matilda meant to punish Teddy and Teddy was fighting to get away. Mom jumped in to try to separate them while Tameka was wailing and holding her hands to her ears. I was screaming “Move!” while Mom was rolling around on the floor. I reached in, grabbed Matilda and returned to the couch. She maintained a guttural growl until Tameka left the room with Teddy. The room fell silent.

Mom ended up with a scratch under the chin. Tameka locked Teddy in her bedroom. While he whined to be let out, she responded “You can’t go out there. Matilda will kill you!”. I was embarrassed and shaken, but slightly amused. Mom must’ve been too because she broke through the silence with “That must’ve been some good chicken!”.

Matilda is a street fighter. Don’t let the cute face fool you.

Long Walks

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about me and Tildy. You haven’t missed much. Life for us has been a bit mundane. Walk in the morning. Walk in the evening. Eat dinner. Go to bed.

Last week my Mom came to visit. I was a little nervous about her visit because we had never really spent that much one-on-one time together before and I wasn’t sure what we would talk about for a week. I was also concerned about her spoiling Matilda while she was here. It’s not as if Matilda isn’t already spoiled rotten, but whenever we go home, Mom always gives Matilda more snacks and table food then I would give her. Matilda’s gas is lethal and I try to avoid creating that toxic situation whenever possible.

It rained for the first 48 hours Mom was here, but she walked with us, in the rain, each morning and evening. It was nice to have company on those dreary walks. It was nicer still to have an actual person to talk to. I’m sure my neighbors think I must be a little crazy when they see me walking down the street talking and the only living thing near me is my dog.

By Wednesday, the weather broke and it was beautiful outside. That evening, the three of us walked the circumference of the park and the length of the fishing pier – something Matilda nor I had ever done. That woman had us walkin’ as if we were tryin’ to get to freedom! The fishing pier used to be the bridge between Talbot and Dorchester counties until the Malkus Bridge was built. Each half of the pier is about a half a mile long. Our total walk in the evening ended up being about two miles. And Matilda loved it!

Mom decided that she must’ve been an outside dog before I had her because she goes absolutely bonkers when it’s time to go outside. For most of the day she lays in one spot and sleeps or watches television, but the mere mention of o-u-t-s-i-d-e and she is barking, panting, turning circles, and jumping up and down. I think she would stay outside all day if you let her.

Now that Mom is gone, we aren’t walking the pier anymore, but every time we get to the footbridge that leads to the pier, Matilda tries to take me across. Every day I say to her, “no, not today”, and she looks so disappointed. I’m sure she misses Mom. I know I enjoyed having her here too.

Maybe today we’ll make it across the pier and think about Mom as we watch the sunset.

Post Script: We did. And it was nice.