St. Patrick’s Day
In case you didn’t know, I’m Irish. No, I’m not an Irish Setter or an Irish Wolfhound. But with a last name like Halligan, I’m more than a wee bit Irish.
My family celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with food, fun and frivolity. I even have a jaunty little hat to wear…. which I don’t like. The elastic strap is annoying and I can hardly stand it! But I try to get into the spirit of the holiday. I don’t exactly like corned beef and cabbage. And no one lets me have adult beverages (for my own good!) So it just occurred to me, what is it about St. Patrick’s Day that I actually like?
I believe in leprechauns. Trust me. They’re out there! You may not see all those things I bark at outside the window. Wee folk are lurking under the bushes and hiding in the woodpile. You only think I’m barking at chipmunks or figments of my imagination. Come to think of it, I’m a bit of a leprechaun myself: small and mischievous!
I like how everyone seems to be so full of joy for St. Patrick’s Day. Either that, or they’re full of blarney! So run up to someone and say, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” Or start singing “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” and dance a jig. That ought to get the party started!
For St. Patrick’s Day, everyone gets into the spirit of green. They dye the Chicago River green. People and pets wear green. Hinsdale Humane Society has decorated the shelter with green shamrocks everywhere. The kitties are sleeping on beautiful green blankets. And we have an adoption promotion with $17 off all the adoptions and a small gift which you can pick from a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Although come to think of it, I’ve never really seen a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, but I’m sure they are out there. It’s a metaphor for something good to find after searching or yearning. Kind of like when rescue pets find their forever homes.
Irish people talk a lot about luck. Good luck, good health and happiness for today and every day! But the Luck of the Irish sometimes refers to bad luck or overcoming harsh circumstances. Kind of like rescue pets.
I know I’m a lucky dog for having a family who loves me and takes care of me. And you’ll be lucky too if you choose a special cat or dog to come to your home and invade your heart and provide you with unconditional love.
My Irish family loves Irish Blessings which are little bits of wisdom. This is one of my favorites because it reminds me why it’s so good to be adopted.
May you always be blessed with walls for the wind.
A roof for the rain.
A warm cup of tea by the fire.
Laughter to cheer you.
Those you love near you.
And all that your heart might desire.
Until next time,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
PS: I don’t actually drink tea, so I substitute this line:
A full bowl of food by the fire.
I hope your belly and your heart are both full!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
In case you’ve forgotten, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Speaking as someone of the female persuasion, I have a very important piece of advice for everyone: DO NOT forget it is Valentine’s Day! That might land you in the doghouse for months!
Valentine’s Day is the best time to show someone that you love them. It can be something really simple that you don’t have to buy from a store. A tender kiss on the nose or forehead sometimes says “I love you best.” Just remember that slobbery kisses aren’t always appreciated. Homemade presents are cherished, too. Except for hairballs. Definitely do not produce a hairball and expect gratitude or excitement.
Another freebie is something you find around the house. If you share your favorite toy, they will get the idea that you like them and want to play. Give your true love a stone and say, “You are my rock.” Better yet, give her a diamond or a beautiful rhinestone collar and wait for the hugs and kisses to follow.
Somewhere, sometime, somebody is going to pop the question on Valentine’s Day. And I don’t mean “What’s for dinner?” If you’re going to get down on one knee to ask for someone’s hand in marriage, ask them if they love cats and dogs, too. That way, you’ll know what kind of person they are. I have found that people who show compassion to animals tend to be pretty awesome when it comes to love, tenderness and forgiveness, too.
Whether you are married or single, in a relationship or not, I bet you can find someone who needs a valentine. Mommies, daddies, children, neighbors, co-workers… You get the idea. Even really grumpy, annoying people could benefit from getting a valentine. Maybe the reason they are so unhappy in the first place is that no one ever showed them any love. You could learn a thing or two from the cats and dogs in your life. That’s what I always say! So if you wiggle your butt, act cute, rub up against them and hand out kisses, someone might…
WAIT! Mom says that someone might get the wrong idea if a person actually did that! You’ll have to figure out what is appropriate for humans to do to get someone’s attention. Apparently, there are some animal behaviors that are misinterpreted in human circles.
I have found that the way into a girl’s heart is through jewelry or flowers. At least that’s what my mom says. (And she told me to tell dad!) It can be almost anything, as long as it’s from the heart. You don’t have to go to the fancy-schmancy store, either. The gas station or the grocery store will have really great flowers. But if you forget to plan ahead, the jewelry stores love clueless guys with credit cards 5 minutes before they lock the doors.
And a reminder to all the pets, you’ll get in trouble if you knock over the flowers, dig in the dirt of a potted plant, chew on the blossoms or swallow shiny jewelry objects.
According to Dad, the way into a guy’s heart is through his stomach. This would appear anatomically incorrect, but I’ll believe him for now. A little candle light, a yummy meal, maybe something exciting for dessert and Dad is one happy fellow. Come to think of it, that would make me happy, too!
Pets don’t really need Valentines, but we won’t complain if you give us a special treat or an extra pet or booty scratch. It’s my job to show my constant affection, and I don’t need a special day to remind me. They call it puppy love!
Until next time,
Painters At My House
We had painters at my house a few weeks back. They were coming and going for several days, making lots of noise… Rolls of tape being ripped. Metal ladders clanging. Scraping and banging on the walls. And when paint rollers get going they make this really weird noise like “foopt, foopt, foopt, foopt.” ALL DAY LONG!
And then there’s the smell of fresh paint mixed with plaster dust, interspersed with the aroma of coffee, donuts and whatever else they were eating that day. The painter guys were taking smoke breaks (outside of course) but it’s AN ABSOLUTE ASSAULT ON THE NOSE.
Perhaps you know I enjoy protecting my house from intruders. If the front door opens, it’s my job to alert everyone in the household that we are being invaded. Even if it happens 95 times a day. Shih tzus were bred by the Chinese Royals as “burglar alarm” dogs to protect the ancient rulers, and thousands of years later, I’m still barking and doing my job.
For some reason, the inhabitants of the household and the painters were not amused by my incessant barking, so I was banished to the master bedroom closet. Before you all accuse my mom of cruelty to animals, I want you to know I LIKE the closet. It’s quiet in there. She sets me up with my soft, comfy bed along with my water dish and toys. Did I mention extra treats? Mom feels shameful when she leaves me in the closet, so she assuages her guilt by feeding me special, luxury yummies I don’t usually receive. I like it in the closet. Coming out of the closet? Not so much!
At Hinsdale Humane Society, the police bring us lost animals so we can reunite them with their families. Sometimes pets get away from their owners on a walk or they decide to chase a squirrel and find themselves in the next county.
But do you know the most common reason pets get out of their house or their yard? Visitors coming and going who don’t know the pet’s everyday routine. House sitters, painters, meter readers, out of town relatives, repairmen, friends coming over for playdates, party guests, furniture delivery guys, etc. etc. They will leave the door open or a gate unlatched for just a few minutes… And the pets say to themselves “Hey, the door is open. I think I’ll just explore the great unknown.” Or “You’re really upsetting me with all these strange new people with all their annoying sounds and smells. I’m OUTA HERE, Lady!”
So, the next time you have guests over for a party or strangers invade your house for any reason, do me a favor. Put your pet in a safe place behind closed doors or in a kennel or at grandma’s house where we’ll be protected and secure. You won’t regret it.
Especially if the painter trips over FiFi and the paint is spilled everywhere and the ladder falls through the window and the guy falls down and breaks his arm and decides to sue you for an unsafe work environment… and FiFi escapes through the broken window. If it happens in sitcoms, it could happen to you, too!
Until next time, be safe!