Dog is God spelled Backwards

Oakley - The Vicious Guard dog - All children allowed to pass
Oakley – The Vicious Guard dog – All children allowed to pass

So while I’m on the subject of Warriors, I must not forget Oakley, the mid-sized, Australian Shepherd with the protective heart of a grizzly mama bear.

On the one hand, I can rest in total security any time, day or night, because no one would get one step past the road in front of our house without her letting me know Evil is Afoot.

On the other hand, she doesn’t like anyone who hasn’t spent several days and nights in our house.   She’ll be all wags and smiles – willingly allowing you to pet her, but if I turn my back on you to walk to the kitchen and you try to follow me –  well,  she’ll heel you quicker than you can say, “What the Bleep!”

She has ripped one pant leg and put holes in one pair of socks.  She has never bruised or broken skin.    But I still quietly worry that perhaps she has issues left over from her rocky start in life that I, a dog lover, but not a dog trainer, do not have the skills to cope with.

I like that someone has my back – that she nervously paces until I lay down and rest when I need to.   I like that my Mom or my son can make it all the way in the house without her even bothering to get off the couch, but the stranger who’s looking for a different address can’t even pull his car in the drive without her being outdoors to announce his presence.

Am I allowing an issue to go unresolved?   I admit, I don’t have company over very often, because people forget to follow my  “Do not follow me if my back is turned to you – Oakley will do her best to keep you away from me.”

I also secretly wonder if Oakley is just picking up on my insecurities and doing her best for me in my anti-social state – – -I really don’t feel like joining the world right now, or if I do, engaging with only a select few and then, only in sporadic visits – – – socializing takes a lot of energy and right now, I’d rather use that energy to write.


I’ve always said if you want to know about someone, all you need to do is observe their animals and kids.   My collection says I’m somewhat of a hard-arse on a few points and generally laid back on the rest – –

That passion and zealousness is forgiven if Intent is good.

My kids and animals also know that I may sometimes ask of them more than they can do at that moment in time – but I never ask of them what I won’t do myself and I see my job as protecting them from a world that isn’t always fair or kind.

Maybe she is just returning the favor…

Blood Pressure Machines

In the wake of my stroke, I started having blood pressure issues – normally, according to experts, blood pressure issues come  Before the stroke.  But in my case, it showed up afterwards.  Sometimes my readings are all over the place and the highs and lows make people in white coats very nervous.

Hence, in order to please various health care providers, I was relegated to taking my blood pressure umpteen hours a day – which sucked.    And after a period of rest and healing, supplemented by twice-weekly acupuncture, my blood pressure was under control instead of all over the place and I quit strapping up every few hours.

Until 10 days ago – –

I hadn’t been feeling so hot after my frenzied activity of moving and starting my new business.    I secretly knew that I was pushing too hard and not resting enough, but I truly thought I could push just a tad further without serious consequences — –

I was wrong.


A demand for frequent blood pressure readings was again put forth by those who care for me when I “jack myself up”.   And an interesting thing happened – – little did I know, I had a blood pressure monitoring system all along – – my dog, Oakley.

When I started to not feel so hot mid-day, was also the time she started coming over and laying her head on my lap – – – frequently – – – trying desperately to move me from in front of my computer to the couch.    When blurry eyesight and head pressure indicated I was not getting enough blood to my brain, was the exact time she would keep trying to get my attention, doing a funny little back-throated “woof – woof” while she nervously moved between my desk and the couch.

And, she reverted to her previous, “Ain’t no one getting close to Mama” protective ways – – – I haven’t been able to have company in the house for a week – – guess she figures lots of company isn’t too good for me right now.

This is very comforting to me – I no longer have to pull out a machine, use electricity and wait for the bad news.   I can instead, listen to my dog when she deigns to talk to me.

She’s very disappointed with how many days it took to train me….

Oakley - The Blood Pressure Dog - after a romp in the snow.
Oakley – The Blood Pressure Dog – after a romp in the snow.