The Days Dwindle Down

To A Precious Few...*

I've been a busy dog over the holidays. It hasn't all been fun though.

A week ago Saturday I started coughing in the morning and again later in the evening and it got pretty gross since we dogs tend to empty our tummy when we cough hard. I'll spare you the details. Pandabonium and K were worried and Sunday morning when I did it again they took me to see the doctor.

He said it was probably due to the cold air - more to the point, the difference in temperature between my warm doggy house (which has a heated bed and is well insulated) and the morning air outside which can be close to freezing. He recommended that I sleep in the human house. Well, I'm not allowed in the that house usually, but next thing you know, PandaB and K go out and come home with a big cage - bigger than my dog house. They put it in their entry hall, and set it up with heated bed, just like my doggy house and covered the whole cage with a blanket.

So now I have two houses - one outside and one inside. The hall isn't heated so the air gets pretty cold at night, but not nearly as cold as outside. With the heater and blanket I'm pretty cozy. I like sleeping in the big house and get right into bed when I'm let in after dinner time. It's quieter inside. I can hear PandaB and K of course, but I'm not bothered by noisy motorcycles or the barking of other dogs and such. Best of all, I don't cough anymore when I go outside in the morning. I think of it as my Christmas present.

I was to get a bath and trim at the beauty parlor for the New Year, but they were booked. It was sunny today, so K gave me a bath. After she toweled me off and brushed my coat, I lay on a big old blanket in the sun and chewed on a rawhide stick while I got dry.

As you can see, I really get into it. I start by holding the stick between my paws and chewing it until it gets soft and starts to unravel. Eventually I get it soft enough to bite off pieces and eat it. Yum.

Just kidding about the ice and snow in the slide show. It was sunny and about 10˚C (50˚F) today. =p

A Happy, Healthy New Year everyone!

* "and the days dwindle down to a precious few" is from the lyrics of "September Song" (1938) by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. I thought of it for this post since my old pal in California - Shadow, the black poodle who has been mentioned on this blog regarding his role in a movie, passed away in November. He was over 19 years old! I miss his emails.


A Winter Solstice Dream

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, completed 1791, was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace.
(Photo kindly provided by M and J Adventures.)

From the 1974 film "The Odessa File"
(Andrew Lloyd Weber / Tim Rice / German lyrics: André Heller)

Perry Como & The London Boy Singers

Watch me now, here I go, all I need’s a little snow!
Starts me off, sets the theme,
helps me dream my Christmas dream,
Every year I dream it, hoping things will change,
An end to the crying, the shouting, the dying,
And I hope you will dream it too!
It’s Christmas,
We’ve got to remember!

So, light the light, I’m home tonight,
I need you to warm me, to calm me, to love me!
To help me to dream my Christmas dream!

Crazy things, said an’ done,
Every single day but one!
Every night should, I believe,
Be the same as Christmas Eve,
Nights should all be silent,
Days should all slow down,
An end to the hurry, the noise and the worry!
And I hope you believe that too!
It’s Christmas,
Does no one remember?

The whole world needs, a Christmas dream,
We need it to warm us, to calm us, to love us . . .
To help us to dream our Christmas dream!

(Lüge dirigiert die Welt, Ehrlichkeit bringt selten Geld,
Jeder möcht' Sieger sein, wer verliert bleibt ganz allein;
Doch manch Will' ist möglich durch die Fantasie
Du stirbst um zu leben und nimmst um zu geben;)
Einmal im Jahr wird alles wahr
Zu Weihnacht vergiss nicht,
Vergiss es gewiss nicht.

The whole world needs, a Christmas dream,
We need it to warm us, to calm us, to love us . . .
We need it to warm us, to calm us, to love us . . .
We need it to warm us, to calm us, to love us . . .
To help us to dream our Christmas dream!


Pacem in Terrace

Best wishes to all on this Winter Solstice and always from
K, Pandabonium, and Momo


Back On Track

JR Kyushu ran its steam locomotive "Hitoshi-Go" in service for 15 days in November of this year. The engine, Class 8620 No. 58654, was built in 1922 and was in service until 1975. She was preserved at the Hitoyoshi Steam Locomotive Museum.

Award winning photo of the Hitoyoshi-go from Ken's Daily Photo Blog

In 1987 she was given a new boiler and drive wheels and returned to service until 2005, when it was discovered that there was a crack in the underframe. This crack was not fixable, but rather than retire the engine for good, a new underframe was built and more complete restoration performed. On the 25th of April 2009, after restoration, she was returned to service between Kumamoto and Hitoyoshi, Kyushu. The scenic route takes the train through an old brick tunnel and across a steel bridge that dates to the Meiji era.

Likewise, it seems Pacific-Islander has sat on a siding for a while. I've been undergoing a bit of restoration work myself which started with diet changes, exercise, and then some trips to the hospital for an ultrasound exam, endoscopy (yuck), and some meds. I'm now back on track and building up steam, so I hope to get Pacific-Islander rolling along again.

All aboard!