16 October

Red Consoles Bud, Who Was In Pain

by Jon Katz

Tonight, a touching thing for me to see, and I guess a surprising thing, although it shouldn’t be. We spotted Bud suddenly limping badly in the fenced in yard where he and Fate play.

He was clearly in extreme pain, yelping and licking his foot and spinning around almost in a panic.

He was extraordinarily sensitive to being touched, we both had to hold him down firmly on the dining room table to look at his leg. Something – a piece of glass or metal – seemed to have gotten stuck but when we felt the leg, we think it came out.

Bud limped for a bit and took a snack, but was still in some pain. We planned to watch him tonight and take him to the vet in the morning, he looked miserable.

Suddenly, I couldn’t find him. I looked around the downstairs, then went into my study where Red often sleeps. It was dark.  I turned on the desk light, and there was Bud, curled up right next to Red, his legs resting on Red’s legs. Red’s bed is under a long wooden table, I couldn’t see them at first.

Red was very still and let Bud lean into him, his head on Red’s paws. From time to time, Red leaned over and licked Bud’s leg, just where Bud had been licking it. As you know, I don’t ever pretend to know what is going on inside of the mind of a dog, they are alien creatures, not furry versions of us.

But there was no doubt in my mind that Bud had gone to Red to be consoled, or that Red was doing just that. Red is just an angel inhabiting the body of a dog. Bud is walking normally now, and does not seem to be in pain.

Red is very important to Bud, Red’s presence her has given  him an anchor in his life I don’t think he ever had.

Red is a sweet and generous soul, but I had never seen him do that before, or be asked. He has the biggest heart.

16 October

The Mansion: Ruth Gets A Robe

by Jon Katz

Ruth came to me the other day and apologized. What for?, I asked. Because I’m going to ask you for something, she said.

What, I asked? A bathrobe, she said. I don’t have a bathrobe, and I get cold sometimes. I’ll be happy to get you a bathrobe, I answered. You don’t have to be sorry for asking.

I know you don’t have a lot of money right now, I said. Let me help you. She said okay, but I will pay you back. I said, thanks, but it’s not necessary. She said okay, and so I ordered this big and fuzzy bathrobe which came today and I brought it to her, and the smile on her face lifted me right up.

The bathrobe cost $55.99. As some of you have noticed, I’m asking for less money, and spending less money in these phase, we are supporting the Mansion residents in small but meaningful ways.

I’ve altered the refugee work, my focus there now in on helping gifted refugee students get scholarships to the best schools in the area. I believe that is the best use of funds right now, one that has dramatic impact on single lives.

I am committed to supporting Sakler Moo through his four years at the Albany Academy if it is at all possible. I think it is. I have much of the money for next year – about two-thirds –  already in a special bank account waiting for next September. The rest has been pledged, but not yet received.

For right now, I’m concentrating on the Mansion work.

As we locate refugee students with special academic records, I’ll let you know and ask for some help, although I am only working with schools that offer full scholarships. I don’t want to be asking for thousands of dollars unless the circumstances are truly extraordinary.

And I don’t want to be fund-raising every day. I do wish to do whatever I can to help WBTN, a venerable community radio station in Bennington, Vt. survive.  I am supporting their Amazon Wish Lists, currently sold out by the Army Of Good.

And of course, offering my time free for the radio show, which debuts tomorrow at 1 p.m. WBTNAM.org. You can livestream the broadcast, or call in, 866 406-9286.

In the Mansion, we deal with small and necessary things – a robe for Ruth, a Carhartt winter jacket so Wayne can go outside in his wheelchair. She loved the softness of it, but more importantly, it will keep her warm when she baths or showers on cold days and nights.

Right now, the Mansion fund is about $500, I’d like to get it up a bit. A number of the residents needed nightclothes and sweatshirts for the winter.

If you wish to contribute, you can send a payment to Jon Katz, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816, or via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com.

In the new blog, donations sent to “The Army Of Good” (bottom of each blog posts) will automatically be funneled to the Mansion and refugee account, which is separate.

If you have a preference for the money, please write on the check or Paypal payment, “Mansion,” or “Refugees.”

16 October

The Mansion: Peggy Is Off

by Jon Katz

Peggie is off to Cuba. Her daughter Dee Dee came and picked her up at 2 p.m., she thanks all of us for her suitcase, travel bag, windbreaker and travel money. I learned the name of her benefactor today, she is quite generous, a good human being to pay for Peggy’s trip to Cuba.

Dee is responsible and loving, she loves Peggie dearly and knows her health situation very well. She will closely monitor her medications and other health issues. I asked Peggie if she planned to dance, she said for sure.

She went first to Albany, and then flew to Miami. She’ll take a charter bus to the boat, and then set tail tomorrow. I think they’ll get to Cuba by the weekend. That’s all she knew.

She is very grateful for what she calls the “cha-cha” necklace that we gave her. Everyone at the Mansion is excited she is going, Ruth is sad because she will miss her.

I don’t expect to hear from Peggie until she returns, but you never know. If I do, I will share the news. Good trip, Peggie, you deserve it and the more I think of it, the more I think Cuba is the perfect place for you to go.

16 October

Strange Dog Is Bud: The Small Dog Experience

by Jon Katz

Bud is a strange dog, unlike any other dog I have had, and I have had some strange dog. He does things I have not seen my other dogs do. For one thing, he moves shoes and slippers all around the house, but we have never seen him do it, not once.

Our friend Kitty came to see Maria in her studio today and she left her boots out in front, they were muddy. When she came out, Bud was marching around the yard with the boot in his mouth, perhaps looking for somewhere to bury it. It was taller than he is, but he didn’t mind.

He is mostly housebroken, except he lifts his leg every day on Red’s food bowl for reasons that are not clear to us, and we have not yet figured out how to get him to stop. (We remove the bowl now, which is one way).

When we put the food bowls down, he runs to Red’s bowl, then Fate’s bowl, then to his bowl, he wants to see what everyone else is getting.

In the crate, he sometimes whines softly, he responds well to the command “please shut up.” It isn’t what Cesar or the New Skete Monks do.

He is very calm around people and with some training, is also calm around the sheep. But he is not yet calm around Lulu, one of our donkeys.

He is feuding with Lulu, barking at her and seemingly taunting her. Twice, she lowered her ears and charged at him, and he got the message and took off.

Now, he gives her (wisely) a wide berth but also barks at her contemptuously as he moves away, almost as if he is cursing at her. Somehow, I think he is. She gives him the stinkeye but leaves him alone.

When I took a brief nap today, he jumped up onto my chair and tried to sleep on my stomach. There wasn’t room, so he jumped down and slept on Red’s stomach. Red didn’t mind.

He loves to navigate in the car, he sits on the front console and looks ahead. He is curious, and often stares at me as if I were some kind of odd species, he is trying to figure me out.

16 October

Sunset: Walk On The Road

by Jon Katz

It was sometimes difficult to walk in the woods this summer, it was very hot, humid and the woods were full of biting insects and ticks. Fall  has finally come, and today was beautiful and we took Fate and Red to walk on the road.

I’m not sure Bud will come on our walks in the woods, I don’t have a 100 per cent recall with him yet, and there are all kinds of things in the woods for him to chase.

I think he’s going to be a house and farm dog mostly, we’ll keep on walking with Red and Fate. Red is losing his eyesight steadily, so I think it’s also easier for him to walk with Fate, they love to stalk and chase one another, as they are in the photo.

I love the shadows at this time of day, they give the dogs a special aura.

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