Sometimes, when you are least expecting it, blessing just happen.
So it has been with Bubba Grump, our 90 pound, 2 1/2- 3 ft tall Brindle English Mastiff/Ridge-back “PUPPY:” ( he’s just 6 months old!) and his all black, LONG haired, who knows what kind, 11 year old side-kick cat, Noel. (also often known as well…….let’s just leave it it is NOT “Noel”!)
Noel got his name as he born just before Christmas 2001, a scant 4 months before we arrived in Alaska. Bubba Grump (or Ba-Ba as Bill spells/says it) got his name as he makes a funky, ‘grumpy’ sound when you move, (or TRY to move!) his bum in the middle of the night as Bubba has rolled over and pinned you!
We were not looking to get another dog. We were adjusting nicely not having man’s best friend for the first time in either of our lives, We were enjoying a bit of freedom whenever we left home, Noel, the cat could easily fend for himself, able to be an ‘outdoor’ cat – that is, until winter begins settling in. When the winter winds howl, Noel takes it upon himself to make SURE, mom, all warm in her nightcap, cuddled under the blankets, wakes up from her deep slumber and being fast asleep, dad and Bubba snoring contently at her side. But then it happens (about every 90 minutes) Noel wakes MOM up by walking all over her (including the face if she won’t wake up) each time the wood stove embers glow low and/or the temperature on the back-up Toyo stove drops to 67 or below. (WE have it set at 65 – but Noel can’t STAND it, preferring it above 68. He KNOWS better than to walk over/wake Bill up!! (Can you say “wall-art”?!)
But these weeks as we count our many, MANY blessings, we have to say, we include these two (even tho’ we grouse about them to the one who bestowed them on us!) They ARE family….they ARE our side-kicks.
Bubba Grump and Noel protect the house; they protect US. But as you can see by the photo, they ‘protect’ each other, too. Laughter has filled many hours as we watch their antics. We try to figure at times who instigated which round of howls, me-owls, or who is dragging whom!
Bubba is getting a bit more of an advantage as he grows. He can now put Noel’s FULL head in his mouth, without thinking twice. He lovingly ‘kisses’ Noel, with his 10″ tongue. Bubba spikes Noel’s head hair in various “salon hair-do’s”, while he lip-lacquers his back hair. By the time I go to pick Noel up, his back hair is laquered HARD. I try to pet him as he sits on my lap. YUCK!
When we go for Bubba’s twice daily walk, Noel slyly follows behind, eventually letting us know he is following. Then, with a speeding-like-a-bullet run, looks up with a pleading look of “puleeeze carry me over the icy rocks or snow covered fields and back home?!”
Bubba’s keen sense knows when Bill is home, ready to ‘ruff n ready’ play, or go run with the four wheeler. When he tires after running 20 mph for 10 acres, he gets to sit in front of Bill on the seat. What a sight! But, as fast as he is growing these days are numbered! We’ll have to configure some sort of a a side-car or back-box for him to sit on!
Bubba intuitively knows when enough is enough for me, is ever so gentle with me, especially somehow ‘knowing’ when I’m not having a ‘good’ day or not able to to keep up with his antics. He lovingly positions his head on my lap when I take an afternoon nap, as Noel keeps guard and my feet warm, laying on my feet at the end of the bed.
Rested, as we take one more stroll before Bill gets home from his lovingly hard-working day, the Big One, our “sentry” Eagle, soars over our heads. He catches a thermal, proudly flying over all Our Creator has given us.
How Blessed We Are!
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.