A mutt is a dog with parents of a different breed. Some mixed breeds are created by engineering which breeds to mate. i.e. Puggle, Chiweenie, Labradoodle, Cockerpoo and Pitchu. Wait a minute! What is a Pitchu? It is a mixed breed with Pitbull and Chihuahua parents. Let me introduce Ozzie, a Pitchu. He is the size of a Chihuahua with a Pit Bull face, muscular Pitbull legs and brindle Pitbull coloring. His ears are a just a bit smaller than a Chihuahuas’. The result is a very cute, but very unusual looking little dog. Because Ozzie is a dog, he is not teased or bullied, and does not suffer from poor self esteem. We humans are not so lucky.

What about humans? We are mutts too. We have a female and a male parent (different breeds). We have 23 pairs of chromosomes which contain our genetic material. Combinations of genes can’t even be counted. We are truly one of a kind. Amazing!






Climbing Mountains

This past weekend my niece’s son, Logan, and his mentor, climbed Mount Lady Washington, a 13,281 peak close to Longs Peak. It took more than 10 hours to reach the peak and come back down. Logan has a lot of spirit, old fashioned gumption and determination, all tempered by white hot anger. In his short 12 years he has made friends with chaos. Born to a mother barely in her teens, he grew up as his Mother grew up. Now she has grown into a responsible, loving Mother. Her road to maturity had lots of her own mountains to climb. Depression, anxiety and an eating disorder consumed her. Logan felt her absence. The most stable relationships he had were with his Nana and Poppa, his grand parents. Logan had lots of “parents”. His father, who Logan has seen regularly since his parents divorced, recently lost his job and needed to move closer to his family out of state. Yet another mountain of loss.

We are all mountain climbers. My Mother always said ” Don”t make mountains out of mole hills.” I hated to hear this because I knew I faced only mountains. Of course, some of my problems were molehills driven by my ego’s need to be the center of attention. Sadly, there were too many times that my mountains were made into molehills. Pain compressed, sadness squashed, fear like a black hole, and abandonment denied, were all shaped into molehills. In my family, mountains of denial and hurt were just too imposing to climb and conquer. I felt like Chicken Little, ignored and dismissed, when I cried out ” The sky is falling.” or “Help me! I am hurting” Only I could see the mountains.

In the mountains of Colorado, if you can’t go over or under the mountain, you build a tunnel through it. My mountain of grief since Roger died can not be made into a molehill, and I can’t
climb over or go under it. There is only so much denial I can carry in my backpack. It seems my only option is to go through the mountain. Jackhammers and drills are the tools used to get through rock. Courage to face the grief, feel it, and hands to hold on my journey, are my only tools to get thru the stone in my heart. My memories of hiking in the mountains with Roger sustain me. I will put my backpack on and head out to the trails. My backpack is full if rocks now, but it will be empty of rocks and full of love when I return.

Duck Butts

img_1034Sir Roscoe, His Royal Naughtiness
Prompted by the “peach pit incident”, my sister Aileen has knighted Roscoe with his new moniker. A most deserving name! Last Thursday, Roscoe grabbed a peach out of my hand and ran off with it, hiding under the table. Before I knew it the peach was eaten and the pit was gone. Damn, he swallowed it. The Vet Hospital Emergency Room was his next destination. The Resident on duty was very good looking, but that’s another story. Roscoe was given medication to make him vomit, and the peach pit came out whole. An X-ray confirmed no damage to his esophagus. Hundreds of dollars later we were on our way home, tired but all better.

The other day, driving between the North and South poles, Fort Collins and Loveland, I witnessed a most unusual spectacle. In a pond about midway, I saw a bunch of ducks swimming and, as if on cue, they all turned upside down and stuck their butts in the air. I can just hear the coach duck saying: “Now ladies all together now, “Flip and hold.” Synchronized swimming for anas platyrynchos, the Mallard duck. I would not have been shocked if they had been wearing swim caps with flowers on them. Team name: “The Duck Butts”

One of my favorite animal happenings is one Roger and I witnessed about 10 years ago. On the mountain side we saw a deer herd with a large black deer. Black deer? Binocular time! The animal was a large black billy goat. The goat and deer calmly munched side by side. The ranger told us that the goat had been with the deer herd for several years. Affirmative action?

Did I tell you about a chihuahua named “Poptart”? 4 months old and 2 pounds. His Mom and Dad drove 12 hours to get him surgery. His gruff Papa kissed him and said he loved him…