image03231This morning I really could have used an extra hour of sleep when I rolled out of bed, so I wasn’t exactly chirpy at breakfast.  My daughter brought the grandbaby down, put her in her breakfast chair, hubby went off to work, and so did daughter.

Which left me, the grandbaby, and two mastiffs, one of whom is in heat. We’re on day eight, as best I can figure, and the danger days are probably days eight through thirteen.  So I’ve been keeping an eye on her because Billy, my intact male, is seven months old.  So far he seems clueless, but I certainly do

not want him to become suddenly well-informed.  I cannot have puppies for many reasons, chief among them the fact that I promised my breeder that I wouldn’t breed them.  Second, Billy has an eye condition that may or may not be hereditary  (and in fact that eye will probably have to come out very soon. Not looking forward to that.)

Anyway, this female in heat is not only leaving little drops all around the house, but she has suddenly taken to cheerfully peeing anywhere and everywhere she likes. And need I remind you that mastiffs are big dogs? Even at nine months, I think she must weigh 130 pounds. That’s a bath towel’s worth of cleaning up to do. I’ve shampooed my carpets so many times I could do it in my sleep.

Anyway, with all of this going on, the dogs and I went into the office. I sat the grandbaby in her little chair and put Cinderella on the iPad so she could watch it.  Dani, my female, kept nosing the iPad, which irritated the grandbaby, which irritated the Grandmom. I am constantly telling the grand baby not to hit the dogs (my dogs don’t respond when she swats at them, but another dog might), and besides, I don’t want my dogs swatted by anyone, period.

So after I told the grandbaby not to hit the dogs–for about the thousandth time–she opened her mouth and screamed in fury.  This has become a habit, and because we’re all about to lose our eardrums, I thought I’d try a new tactic besides rebuke. So I opened my mouth and screamed at the top of my lungs.

The dogs startled and backed away. The grandbaby stopped screaming and stared at me, then she began to cry. And me, all I did was hurt my throat.  Ouch. Remind me not to do that again.  Actresses who have to scream through several film takes must not have any voice left at the end of the day.

After a few minutes, I told the grandbaby that Nana didn’t like to scream, so if she wouldn’t do it anymore, I wouldn’t either.  But honestly, I’m not doing that again.  I’m afraid it’s probably only good for shock value the first time.

A few minutes later, the grandbaby leaned over and kissed my knee.  “I wuv you,” she said.  And I wuv her, too.

Life. Woven of Cinderella dreams, dirty towels, whimpers and yells, it is still undergirded by love.



  1. Susan

    Oh Angie. I remember trying that very same thing. Deep breaths.

  2. Sandi Ansell

    Get yourself a spray bottle of water…it works with both dogs and grandchildren. Smile. Hugs and prayers.

  3. Gail

    Oh I hope you don’t mind that I’m laughing & crying at the same time. What love & grace is carrying your family through this journey. I’m saying a prayer that this afternoon will go smoother than your morning has.

  4. Kat

    Good gravy! Maybe try an adult diaper on her? Hope things get easier fast!

    • Terri Gillespie

      We used to put “perky pants” on our dog during those seasons. It would work with the occasional accidents. I wonder if they have any mastiff-sized panties?

      • Angie

        I had a package of puppy panties waiting, size extra-large. And when the time came, I opened one . . . and it looked like a band-aid compared to the size of Dani’s hindquarters! LOL. I think I’ll donate that package to the animal shelter or something.

  5. Barb Haley

    What a wonderful Nana!

  6. Becky Doughty


    This makes me wuv you even more than your wonderful books! 🙂

    How’s that foot of yours???


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