Wednesday, May 25, 2011


May 25, 2011

A few years ago to celebrate the end of school, Erin, my mom, and I went with the Tjoelkers down the road to the Little Brazos River to wade around, look for fossils, and hang out.  

We picked some seed pods off a wild hibiscus we found and planted them in the flower bed outside Erin's bedroom.  When I came around from the dog walk this morning, I noticed the plant that came up had started to bloom.

It is not as bold as my day lilies or as edible as the pears that are in process in the next flower bed over.  

In fact, it is reasonably spindly and windblown in comparison.  But I'm glad it it there for me to gaze on.  I have almost reached the point in my grieving that I can appreciated reminders of our good times together without it taking my breath away and making my nostrils burn.  As I said, almost.

Speaking of walking the dogs, I have noted some strong similarities between my three dogs and the students I encounter in the business school.

Uma is the dog equivalent of a doctoral student.  She has a very deep, but narrow working vocabulary.  For example, she knows at least twenty different words for food.  And when I say know, believe me, she knows.  Here's a partial list:

green beans
"it's time"

Willie, on the other hand, is the complete undergraduate.  He has nine total words that he understands only vaguely.  He might be able to guess the meaning on a multiple choice exam if there were enough other clues and the alternative choices weren't too fine-grained:

"letsgo"--we are headed outside and I don't have to be on a leash, at least not immediately, and I think I'm supposed to catch up if I'm lagging behind.

"thisway"--oops, I'm interested in something over here, but someone who has a dull sense of smell would like me to go in the exact opposite way.  I will come when I'm ready. 

"wait"--I'm supposed to slow down enough that it looks like she could catch up if she tried but actually I can bolt and get away if I need to.

"uppie-uppie"--someone wants me to sit on their lap and give me mega pets.  This might or might not include an invitation to jump up on people when I first meet and greet them.  I'm not sure.

"youdaman"--I have done something great fantastic stupendous, but I'm not sure what it was and am absolutely certain I won't be able to do it again, except by accident.

"wheresyourropetoy?"/"getyourropetoy"--she wants me to do something and if I can figure out what she wants me to do she will play with me.

"whowantsatreatie?"--if she says this as she walks to that box in the kitchen I get a pitifully small milkbone snack.  Can't she see that she has bought the ones for medium-sized dogs and I am venti?

"biteface"--she wants a sloppy kiss.

"bunny"--there is a fierce intruder threatening my kingdom.  I should run from room to room (if I am inside) or dash around as quickly and randomly as possible (if I am outside) to protect my people from this menace.

"No" would have taken him to double digits, but it has proven problematic.

"noooo"--not sure, but I think it means keep doing what you are doing, only try harder.

Notice the complete absence of "come," "stay," "sit," or "heel." 

Teddy is definitely an MBA, about to graduate.  She has only one word, 


But that's all she needs.  Capisce?


  1. And there are days (like today) that your blog is all I need. Capisce? And thanks. Lovely.

  2. Love it. Our dogs need to get together for some conversation some day. Wouldn't that be entertaining?

    Snowy knows "kennel" and 'treat" and "stay." And that's about it. So your dogs are quite impressive! Of course, they had Erin for a sister so they're vocab HAS to be pretty impressive.