Bark for Peace!
musings & ramblings, mostly about dogs, from a three being, three species family

Bark for Peace!


January 24th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Remember Sniglets anyone??

Sniglets (snig’ lit: any word that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should)

I was in undergrad, in the 80’s, at the height of their popularity, and I had two distinct favorites: The first is listed in the Wikipedia entry linked above~

the penultimate: Hozone: The place where one sock in every laundry load disappears to (Hall 1984: 43)

and the ultimate: Idiolocation: The place on any map that says “You are here.”

Anyway, I heard a new sniglet on NPR today: deepest, darkest, JanuFeb: a phrase for this dreary time of year; winter-weariness; it captures the strange, worn-out feeling these months can bring.  Grey begets grey- no doubt.

Hard for me to believe as I’m wallowing in my own winter-wonderland, the snow-filled-sun-sparkled fantasy which does not include weariness, at least not now.

Aunt Evelyn and I guffawed (I almost had to stop driving!) at the recitation of recipes for “hot things in slow cookers” including “ingredients that seem designed to create parodies of food”: can of Vienna sausages, 1/2 jar of grape jelly, cup of ketchup, coca cola, mayonnaise, jar of horseradish, can of beets, etc. etc., etc..

Trust me, it’s funny, very funny. Click on the link, have a laugh, survive, wallow, and maybe even thrive thru the “thunder snow” of JanuFeb.

Full Moon at Dusk

January 22nd, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Full Moon at Dusk on the Ranch

(note to self: take camera in to get internal lens cleaned after return to Austin)

We March

January 21st, 2008 . by blogadmin

I remember a Seminary professor of mine, a single mom with two young girls, recalling the moaning and groaning her kids made every year when she gathered them up to go join the beloved community in their town and march on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “Why do we have to go???” they whined. I love her answer: “In this house, we march!”

That’s what I told Clementine the first time I took her to march for justice, peace, hope, in January of 2006: “In this family, we march!”  FORD was retired from marching by then, though we’d logged quite a few miles over the years and cities.  I remember Miss C’s eyes wide with wonder as we made our way through the energized crowd on the Texas State Capital grounds to escalating drums, finding old friends with whom we’d march en masse back to the Eastside. I knew that once again, the right dog and I had found each other- she LOVES to march!

It always makes me a little sad to reflect on how far we haven’t come since the time when Dr. King was alive and leading people step by step, speech by speech.  (For a chilling, yet humble, reminder read this editorial by a South Texas priest.) I need to hear again and again Dr. King’s wise hope: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

I wonder and work at how Bark for Peace! can be a small part of bending toward justice and I hope that this new year will provide more ways we can march (and munch) for the betterment of all.  What might that look like?  How could we do it?

The dogs and I will march around the ranch today, but we will miss marching in a community. The point isn’t really the march, though I don’t think for a moment it’s not important to gather, march, demonstrate- it’s living out the hope, in beloved community (which includes all life, all creatures) that marching serves to remind us- we are called to treat our neighbors with love and justice.

FORD, Clementine & Aunt Evelyn stand with Women in Black for Peace

Clementine, FORD and Aunt Evelyn, not marching, but standing with Women in Black for Peace- Capital Steps, Austin, Texas, April 2006

New Birth

January 19th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Life is tenacious- and with eyes to see and ears to hear, evidence of that abounds. A tiny reminder on the ranch today- a calf was born in zero degrees, yet under a sparkling blue sky.

newborn calf

(Bounce and Clementine enjoyed assisting on clean-up duty- yucky to me, delicious (I’m assuming) to them!)

Yak Attack!!!

January 18th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

One of these things is not like the other things, one of these things just doesn’t belong… (click here for Cookie Monster singing the song!)

IraMagda KendYAK!ClemYAKSBounce YAK

Madga & Ira          Kendra         Clem, Martha, Josie & Lily       Bounce & Magda

Of course, I think they ALL belong!!!! (and I sincerely hope this blog entry title doesn’t end up being something that people find googling and then fear yak attacks!)

Protecting Paws

January 17th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Today I remembered that FORD occasionally wore little booties, when the weather or terrain dictated. Of course I could only find 3 of one type, and 4 of another, and wanting to try them both out, I shoe-d Clementine in sets of 2.

Clementine in Boots

It is difficult to describe how ridiculous Clementine appeared throwing her limbs out in every direction in what I can only describe as a significantly and severely modified Tennessee Walking Horse gait.

Tennessee Walking Clem

Tennessee Walking Clem

and oh, the drama!!!!!!

Oh, the Drama

By the way (get ready for the shameless plug), Bark for Peace! doesn’t yet sell any dog booties, but we do have some amazing dog balm for paws and owies- and like everything we have, it’s totally safe for you and your dog! woof!woof!

…but joy comes in the morning

January 16th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

Joy, in the morning??? You’ve got to be kidding me! I hold fast to the (personally amended) old adage: I never met a morning I liked!

I am a night person, and I’ve been one since I was a little kid. My Mom, my close friends, roomates, etc. all know that any communication before noon is strictly off the record. And pre-coffee, anything I say or do cannot be held against me!

But afternoon, is another thing altogether. The sun is shining, the air is crisp and I am once again reminded that it is good to be alive!

Sharing SPJC on the Ranch
Sharing Sweet Potato Jerky Chews w/ Bounce, Clem, Risa & Laurabelle

Clementine Snow Jumps for Joy!

Clementine Snow Jumps for Joy!

A New Perspective

A New Perspective

(Clementine gazes toward the Rio Grande, and I can’t believe my sunglasses are in the snapshot!)

Weeping may endure for a night…

January 15th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

I had a long, slow, sad walk at the end of yesterday, which was unexpected to say the least. There’s fresh powder on the ranch and snow always feels like a blessing to me, a love sneeze if you will, blanketing the earth with moisture in a manner that offers a satisfying crunchiness underfoot and doesn’t wreak havoc with my sinuses. Having grown up in temperate Central Texas, snow is still a gift of guilty pleasure for me!

Clementine coursing thru fresh powder Clementine in Fresh PowderCLementine points in the fresh snow
Clementine expresses my feelings perfectly here

But fresh powder is more problematic for paws than for feet warmly housed in proper Canadian snow boots, especially when there are joint issues at hand, so I promptly returned the pups to the house, ensuring that their paws were warm, dry and ice-ball free, and went back out for a late afternoon hike on my own. Much of me wanted to be snuggled up with the dogs, but I knew that I needed to get out and be in motion because hiking is the one activity that seems to always serve as both grounding and energizing for me.

This hike did not fail, yet surprised me still. I was prepared for the starkness of the landscape, the solitary sounds of the occasional Canada goose honk or wing flap and the piercing gaze of the cows in the fields I crossed.  A couple of yearlings even followed me for awhile, I suspect hoping for a hay drop.

Cows Follow me Through a snow-covered field

But I was not prepared for the sheer solitude I felt- the missing of FORD. Since we first arrived on the ranch in June of 2002, with the exception of one short 5 day trip 2 years ago, if I was on the ranch so was FORD. We have trapsed every field of this hallowed place in every season. We had our rhythm, those unspoken ways of knowing, those glances that communicate everything, without so much as a conscious thought needing to be noted. And now I was trapsing alone, tears streaming down my face.

FORD had hiked throughout her 15th year (2006), even though her spinal cord compression was so severe that the MRI insisted she “should be paralyzed.” She was valiant and determined, and an “invalid” in magnetic resonance imaging only.

Freelance Offroad Agility FORD

FORD mastering “Freelance Off-Road Agility” Along the Continental Divide, Wolf Creek Pass, CO. at 15 1/2 years old- summer 2006

FORD enjoys the Poudre River outside Ft. Collins, summer 2006 FORD enjoys cooling off in the Poudre River outside of Ft. Collins, CO., summer 2006

me and FORD, hiking Engineer Pass, CO., summer 2006  Hiking with me @ 12,000 feet elevation, Engineer Pass, near Teluride, CO. also summer 2006

I think this lonely walk was good for me- difficult, but helpful.  Bounce’s bounding and Clementine’s antics are almost always a welcome diversion to my grief.   But they are not she, and I needed to miss her and be sad in solitude, aching for My Brave Companion of the Road, to honor her, walk and weep…

Snow Stream on Ranch

Snow covered stream in the Voss pasture, January 2008

meanwhile, back at the ranch…

January 12th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

It is good to be home on the ranch. We returned tonight to temperatures of bitter cold in the San Luis Valley- at least as compared to Ft. Collins or Austin. Still, all the familiar landmarks greeted us, even if by night, and tomorrow we shall see the yaks, goats, cows, and horses again. For tonight, recycling bins appear to be most interesting (or maybe it’s the promise of what might be behind them!)

B & C recycling on the ranch Bounce & Clementine delight in ecological responsibility

Cooking & Community

January 11th, 2008 . by lisa knaggs

It is true that there are few things finer than a good meal enjoyed with good friends. (especially when it’s Indian food!)

Clementine Cleopatra woos her way with John T

John T & Clementine have an ongoing flirtation, in fact her middle name, Cleopatra, is due to precisely this type of behavior!

I think I like it best when the core group extends invitations and the festivities include not only the making of food, but the incorporating of newbies into the fold.

Sharon, John, and BounceSharon & John T hold court- Bounce is witness

I KNOW I like it best when dogs are in the midst.

Clementine in the Kitchen (no Dinah) Clementine on the kitchen floor, right smack dab in the middle of everything!

Sharon give Clem a tummy rub
and later, seducing her way into a tummy rub from her new best buddy Sharon!

Scooter and Kendra on SofaKendra & Scooter are learning so much together as they co-rescue one another!

Dozer gets an ear rubDozer gets an ear rub….ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

And tonight to my utter surprise, a little rat who lives with and loves most Caroline, held the place of honor~ surrounded by organic apples, chocolate, chutney, and hummus. That was a first! :)

Mochi in the Middle
Mochi in the Middle

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