OFF THE CUFF
By Shelley Fowler
I was thinking the other day of all the years we have had Christmas decorations on the light poles downtown. I remember when there were but a few - going only a few blocks east of the Court House. But through the years the decoration “elves” have added to the numbers and now we are blessed with adorned light poles in all four directions. On behalf of all citizens I say, Thanks, elves!” to those who say its time to get them up, to the ones who climb the poles and affix the decorations, to the others who pay for the new ones. And isn't it nice to not be called by name, but by classification of “elf” only? Kindnesses done in anonymity are the best ones, after all, for they come from a heart of goodness.
Anyone who knows me knows I am an animal lover of the nth degree. During the writing of my previous column I coexisted with the ducks, Doodles and Donald, two dear dogs, Buster the Baptist and Clancy, and several (ok, many) cats. All of those creatures have since passed beyond, and for a long time I have been owned by only one black cat, aptly named Black Jack the Cat. Then one day a year ago, Jerry and I chanced upon a tiny black ball of fur rushing down the street in pursuit of a rapidly vanishing pickup. I made Jerry stop and at that very moment the little fluff also stopped in his tracks, turned around, ran straight at us and tried to leap into Jerry's pickup. Thus I was introduced to Shiloh (The Wonder Dog). As my family can attest, amidst groans and eye-rolling, I truly believe Shiloh is one of the three smartest and most wonderful dogs in the entire world. (No tongue-in-cheek here!) As Shiloh (TWD) grew it became apparent that he had come from several lineages, mainly off the family trees of the mighty German Shepard, the worthy Cow Dog, and the lovable Mutt. He also came equipped with springs in his back legs. Like Superman, Shiloh leaps in a single bound all and any fences; he also sits on top of the same fences to survey his kingdom. He climbs trees (honest!) in pursuit of any and all moving creatures, especially his friends with the bushy tails. He eats leaves - knowing they are good roughage. And from the get-go he has known the meaning of the words “ball”, “sit”, and “squirrel” without me getting out the dictionary to explain or describe the same.. Each evening he jumps onto my lap, plants his rather large forepaws on my shoulders and looks soulfully into my eyes. This is our time to talk about his day. He cocks his head to the right when I ask him how many squirrels he has encountered that day, then cocks his head the other way when I ask him where his cat is. Ralph Compton called recently to ask if I would dog sit for a few day, and that evening I was telling Shiloh that Trixie Belle would be arriving the next day. There was no cocking of his head, no recognition of her name, nothing. But then I said, “Maybe you remember her by her given name of Roscoe.” Instantly, Shiloh (TWD) grinned, the light came on in his eyes, he began barking and leapt off my lap, running circles around the front room, totally excited with the prospect of Roscoe Belle coming for an extended sleepover. Yep, he's one of the smartest and most wonderful dogs in all the world!
My niece, Amy, recently turned the sweet age of thirty. Those of us who passed that milestone many moons ago see youth, vitality and unlimited horizons when we see those two numbers combined. May she, and all those other “girls” of the same age, realize they are far from old, they are far from wrinkled, and they have only just begun to live. Rejoice, dear niece, in good health, appreciated happiness and above all, be kind to yourself.
Boise City News