Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
Spring at last! we’ve forever talked about how much we enjoy the change of seasons here at the EastWing. None are more anticipated than winter into the springtime. This year it’s even more so.
Every year it happens. That first day in the springtime when you walk out into the sunshine and feel the heat of the sun on your skin. It’s right then and there your memory of winter melts away. We all feel that first day of sunshine. Maybe different days for different folks, but we all feel that winter melting sunshine on our skin. Every year, it always comes around ‘bout this time of the year.
Winter melting sunshine is just another example of the joy of living in God’s Country here at the EastWing. Now you friends that never feel the change of seasons, I’m sorry for you. You’ve missed a lot in life. You may not even know it. But you’ve missed a lot in life.
March 11th brought the final nighttime 13 hour winter blizzard to the EastWing. It was just past 7:30 in the PM that the Girl Dogs, the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, decided to go pee for the night. The only problem was, they didn’t come back in by the time I was ready to go to sleep at 11:00. I knew the storm was coming and I also knew they had shelter in the garage with the deck cats. Heat lamp, heated water and food always available for the outside deck cats. So I was not too concerned for the health and well being of the Beagle Girls, Sharolette and Barbaree.
As the first darkness of the day on March 12th started to turn into daylight a raging wind of 30 – 40 mph with snowflakes traveling sideways limited the view from the EastWing glass walls. Footprints on the east deck told me the Girl Dogs, Sharolette and Barbaree, had been looking for an open door into the safe and sound warmth of home. I knew where they were. The new day was just reaching 6 hours old as I went to bring the girl dogs home.
The Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, heard my voice over the raging wind. As fast as 8 short legs could push two little bodies of Beagles, they raced, both each other, and the wind, to reach my side. It was Sharolette who arrived first. Barbaree was a scant one step behind. When Barbaree entered the EastWing I became aware of how the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, had entertained themselves during the final blizzard night of the harsh northern Indiana Winter.
Somewhere in the darkness of that nighttime, as the Fat Lady Of Winter was singing her last swansong of the season, the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree collided with a Skunk. It was easy to tell that Barbaree had been holding the position of up front Beagle when the encounter occurred. I’ll just say that Barbaree had as certain “air” about her. Sharolette had her aroma also, but it was Barbaree, who that night in the blizzard, was the leader of the Band of Beagles.
One of the things that’s served me well during my years of doing unusual things, is an ability to work in the presence of foul order. Another way to put it is, bad smells don’t bother me at all. Now I’m very aware of order, but it does not prevent me for doing what needs to be done. Some of the work I’ve been involved in over the years has been in such environments. That’s why I’ve been able to function in those instances. Like I said, bad smells don’t bother me.
Now the She, not so much so. I knew as Barbaree walked into the EastWing that drastic measures had to be undertaken. I yelled to the She “SKUNK DOGS ! SKUNK DOGS! GET READY!
As the Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree ran up stairs to see their mama. The She was not amused. But she too understood what had to be done.
One of the dangers of living in the country and having dogs, is the possibility of an encounter with skunks. Our last such encounter was well over 30 years ago. His name was Killer, he was a registered Doberman. A most kind and gentle fellow. That Skunk had a different point of view of Killer than I did. I washed Killer in three gallons of tomato juice. The Skunk smell went away. The next day I bought a special Skunk Shampoo. I placed the Skunk Shampoo on a shelf in the linen closet.
The Skunk Shampoo was retrieved from its long, long resting place on the linen closet shelf and mixed according to directions to bath the Beagle Girls, Sharolette and Barbaree, well before breakfast. All this as the blizzard continued to scream, and the snow moved parallel to the ground outside the EastWing windows.
It was the She that suggested I wash the Beagles in the kitchen sink rather than the bath tub. Said she didn’t think I could get up and down easy enough to scrub the Beagles.
Sharolette was the first Beagle to be place in the two bay kitchen sink. As soon as I placed her in the sink, I realized this was the ideal place to wash Beagles. Two legs in each bay, and a hand held shower nozzle available for the final rinse. It turns out the kitchen sink is a two bay beagle washing station. And so Sharolette was processed into a clean smelling Beagle in less than twenty minutes. Dried off and wrapped in a clear towel, I laid Sharolette on the EastWing sofa to stay warm. The attention turned to the other girl.
It was Barbaree’s turn. As I picked up Barbaree, I realized that the first Beagle processed was the fat girl compared to the second Beagle yet to be run thru the Beagle Sink Washing Station. Between me and the She, we got the Beagles Girls back into an acceptable level of Beagle Smell.
As the final blizzard day of winter howled thru the EastWing Gardens, the She prepared breakfast, as the girl dogs fell sound asleep, rolled up in warm white dry towels, tucked safely away from the howling blizzard, surrounded by their warm glow of happy in the EastWing.
The snow storm was well anticipated so I’d planned on working at home that day. After the Beagle Washings, I took my own shower, less the Skunk Shampoo, put on new jammies and went to work at the computer in the EastWing. Never even got out of my pj’s that work day, and I loved it. The Beagles, Sharolette and Barbaree, slept till half past noon. By that time, the final blizzard of winter had blown it’s self out of northern Indiana and moved on to attack Ohio, Pennsylvania and parts east.
Then the Girls dogs, after a warm early morning bath and a long warm nap, wanted to go outside to play and pee in the new snow. And so they did, both.
Stay safe in Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, Winter Melting Sunshine, Springtime On My Skin, Blizzards & Beagles & Skunk Dogs
I Wish You Well,