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home : lifestyle : putnam   April 30, 2016

1/14/2013 10:30:00 AM
Just whistle


Nancy Dinelli-Prill




There has to be something to laugh about no matter how bad you feel.
For instance, for the first couple days of dealing with “the” new illness, I was sort of weak and I spent a few days in bed.
The bedroom is the furthest north in our ranch house. At the south end of the house is our little porch that has the wood burner, the television and the back entrance to the house.
While I spent most of my time in bed, “The Farmer” was in the “little porch” watching football or a western. At this point I need to tell you that he watches football with the sound off, which drives me nuts. However, when he watches a western, the sound is up full blast and the shooting and the horses screaming and the Indians whooping is enough to drive anyone else in the house nuts.
When he has the westerns on I retreat to my office and Mandy Dog hides under the table.
Having said all that, it became a problem getting his attention if I needed to stay in bed.
Remembering that we had one of those little kids “room monitors” for when the grandchildren were little and spent the night, I got it out and thought it would be perfect for what we needed, at this time.
We plugged it in and put the monitor by my bed and “The Farmer” took the cordless handset with him to the far end of the house. We did a test run and he came back from his corner of the house and said he could even hear me breathe. That I doubted.
I need to explain that I keep a sharp sounding whistle in my night stand for protection. Isn’t that weird? What is a whistle in your night stand going to protect me from? Maybe we will find out.
At any rate, one night I needed help with something and I called into the monitor and then waited for my “care giver” to answer my call.
I waited and waited and tried calling again, but nothing happened. It was then I realized that it was the time of the evening for “his” westerns on television.
I thought for a minute and not wanting to get up out of bed and getting chilled and not wanting to catch a cold, I thought of the whistle.
I need to tell you we have always had cattle dogs and they respond best to whistles. Therefore, I have three very good cattle dog whistles and when I stand outside and blow one of those whistles the dogs respond.
Got the picture? I took out the whistle and gave it several long winded blows. In a second, Mandy Dog was at the side of my bed dancing excitedly around. Her eyes were glassed over, her stub tail was going a mile a minute and if she could have talked she would have asked, “What’s going on?”
I giggled as I watched her and thought what a wonderful dog this Aussie is. Mandy had worried about me and still does since this bout with diabetes. She will plunk herself beside my bed or follow me to the kitchen or settle down beside my office chair. She is a joy.
However, what seemed long after Mandy had responded to my whistle, “The Farmer” shuffled into my room and asked if I had whistled and then he laughed as he saw Mandy Dog dutifully sitting beside my bed with her head on the edge of my mattress.
It made me feel good to know that someone would respond to the whistle immediately. Now all I have to do is teach her to call 911.
One caution before I end this column. Our grandson was throwing a wooden dowel rod for his dog to catch and retrieve. When the dog caught it in his mouth, the dowel went through his throat and came out through his shoulder. Luckily the dowel did not puncture any vital organs and with care and doctoring he should be alright.
What am I saying? A Frisbee, a knotted rope, old socks knotted together, a kid’s old stuffed toy are far better choices to use when you are playing with your dog. Ciao!










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