Love can not stop the passage of time. Love can not protect and prevent the inevitable. Miss P was my constant companion and my partner in crime. We explored the city together and had many adventures together. She had been living with the injuries of her exuberant life for some time, but she was always game to do things, to squeak another squeaky toy, to jump into another mud puddle, to enjoy the sights and smells of our daily walks.
I will miss her sweet face and tail-wagging enthusiasm for life.
I’m not sure why I like train stations, but I suppose taking an adventure on the train as a child left a favorable impression on me. And many train stations are relics of the past and I like those too. In the interest of completeness I took these photos this week of the third train station in town. Formerly home of the Colorado Midland Railway, this was a local service, going from the gold mines on the other side of the mountain to the smelter in town.
Now serving as a tourist trap, it doesn’t look much like the grand terminal of a passenger station. It was strictly utilitarian, hauling mostly freight over a relatively short distance. But still they built this building to last and it has, since closing as a railroad in 1945.
The terminal was unimpressive, but the roundhouse (the place where the engines lived, just like Thomas the Tank Engine) became a local landmark. When we first moved here it housed a local art pottery (also a sort of tourist trap). It was renovated a few years back, on one end is a restaurant/brewpub and the other is an Urgent Care (handy in case one seriously over-indulges at the restaurant).
This is a place I enjoy coming to because it allows dogs. P and I always come here for her November birthday, and whenever we are in the neighborhood.
She is sick again and may not make it until her birthday next month, so we decided to stop in while the weather was fine and so was she. So we shared a hamburger and Brussel sprouts with bacon on a glorious fall day.
The first project of this sort that I am aware of (no doubt there are others) was the Cow Parade. Someone or some organization had the idea of making fiberglass cows and giving these to artists to decorate as they chose. They first appeared in Europe, but when they were in Chicago it was a huge boon to the tourist industry to have all these wonderful, brightly colored cows out on the street. And then I think they raffled or sold off the herd.
I’m not sure if this rather drably painted cow is from the cow parade, but I can’t imagine why else the local liberal arts (emphasis on liberal) college would have this in front of a building. Our very own town cow, the only one left in the city limits.
No doubt inspired by the Cow Parade, some local organization sponsors butterflies, which are painted up by local artists and then sold to promote whatever worthy cause they adopted.
There are a bunch of these located nearby, and Miss P and I spotted these on a walk.
This one is downtown by some lawyer’s office.
This one is outside of one of our favorite restaurants. Miss P loves to go there for the steak and fries or the freshly made sausages.
This is my absolutely favorite butterfly.
Summer storms are so lovely, and so site specific. You can see the rain bucketing down over there and know that it will not rain on you, it’s moving away.
This storm felt like a scene from the movie “Independence Day”, where ominous giant alien spaceships blotted out the sun. It was eerie to drive from the light into the dark. And there is always the danger of a cloud like this producing damaging hail.
It’s getting darker by the minute!
It’s just supposed to be a metaphor that a dark cloud is hovering overhead, not a real thing!
But the delicious part of these summer storms is that it cools everything down. The temperature drops 10 degrees or more and there’s a cooling breeze. And after the storm passes there are these wonderful mud puddles to lay about in.
What do you do when your frenemies (third cousins) come for a visit? This lot stopped in for a visit with Miss P and she was not best pleased.
So off we went with the dog parents for some fun at the Manitou Arcade, a tourist trap in the heart of Manitou Springs.
There is a similarity to tourist tat throughout the world, but having a trough to pan for gold is somewhat unique and different.
And it is a lovely setting, and it would have been perfect; if it was not cool and rainy instead of the expected warm and sunny. Also there were lots of actual tourists and they kept getting in the way, although Miss P did get plenty of love.
We did drop a certain number of quarters in the vintage pinball machines. But I only came in second in the skeeball sort of horse racing game, so I missed out on winning a tiny coffee cup 🙁 I think the winner was some sort of pro.
So we had lots of laughs and it provided a perfect photo op. Then it was off for some ice cream, even if it was cold.
Well the neighborhood deer have gotten pretty comfortable with hanging out. They are part of the herd of God’s cattle, and they mostly go wherever the mood (or food) takes them. Sometimes I don’t see them for weeks, which makes them the perfect sort of pet (unlike Miss P who is constantly seeing one or another of her vets).
This week I have had a lot of visitors, and they made themselves right at home.
This fellow had lost a fight, he had only one horn, and no harem. Maybe next year.
This one is a fellow bachelor, they were no doubt relaxing together and talking about sports.
The ladies were standing, but the young buck (I think he’s a buck because he has antler buds) was laying down. Maybe it’s a guy thing.
Yes, it is definitely a guy thing. Here’s yet another buck just relaxing on the lawn. My lawn is the perfect place to survey their domain and keep an eye out for predators, just in case. And the front window is the perfect place to survey these deer. (And they’re not even bothered by Miss P madly barking at them from inside the house.)
One thing about life with Miss P, there is never a dull moment. Of course there are aggravating moments, sad moments, goofy moments, expensive moments, embarrassing moments, etc.
She does have that adorable face and curly fur, and she gets frequent compliments from total strangers about these.
She has a lot of appointments to go to; once a week she gets acupuncture and physical therapy for her back legs. And she goes swimming as well to keep in shape, because a girl has to watch her figure.
Here she is at a political rally, with our congressman growing out of her head. She gets around!
She’s a “lady who lunches”, out and about town.
In her never-ending quest to break the bank, she is a frequent visitor the the veterinarian’s office. Her most recent visit came about because of two incidents: She takes a lot of pills, and a spoonful of liver sausage makes the medicine go down (I think that there is a song about this). I foolishly threw the outer plastic wrapper in the trash. This is apparently an open invitation to raid the trash can in dog language, so she did. And then she was up several times in the night needing urgently to go outside, the brat. The other incident was not really her fault, she stepped in a gopher hole and fell on a cactus! Curse you, evil gophers. So I pulled out the more obvious cactus spines, but I couldn’t really see the tiny spines, so it was off to the vet’s office. They did try not to laugh, but it was a unique and goofy problem.
I stole this idea for a picture from the internet, but I think it totally fits her personality, half dog and half rampaging monster (not sure if it’s 50/50). But I love her and she is a special dog, at least to me.
Christmas presents can be an emotional minefield. As a kid there is that one thing that you really, really want, like the bb gun in “A Christmas Story” or a pony. Very often that is the thing that you are not going to get. In my family we tended to get a toy or two and utilitarian necessities, like underwear and socks.
Miss Revlon was the doll to get in 1960, before that upstart Barbie took over the doll market. After Christmas in school, some kids would brag about how much loot they pulled in, so we would always lie, or at least exaggerate. Halloween is a much more egalitarian holiday.
My brother and I went to one of the big downtown department stores (when such things existed) and had our picture taken with Santa. We gave the picture to my white gran for Christmas, and she cut it down to this size.
As an adult, present buying has it’s own difficulties. First: as adults we have the ability to go out and buy whatever it is we want, except maybe that new BMW. We don’t actually need anything, so you have to be more ingenious in figuring out what people might actually like. Secondly: there are those persons that you are obliged to give a gift to, but don’t really know, so you fall back on the sweet stuff, cookies, homemade candy or even fruitcake. The recipient either eats this and lives to regret it, or re-gifts it onward. Miss P likes to give out sacks of homemade dog biscuits, and so far no one has ever complained. Okay, she doesn’t really want to give them out, she would much prefer to eat every single one herself. But a girl (dog) has to watch her weight.
So Merry Christmas to All and God Bless Us Everyone.
It was a lovely week, with unseasonably warm weather, so me and Miss P went over to Manitou Springs to the arcade. It features coin operated rides and games, from the 1930’s up to the very latest. We strolled around the outside and she kept a sharp eye peeled for any lost food.
It’s a great place to visit and drop a bunch of quarters. They have a bit of something for everyone, from a old west stagecoach to the space shuttle.
Here’s the Penny Pincher.
If you hear hoofbeats in the night, think zebra.
There’s vintage Skeeball lanes inside.
There’s even a friendly dragon.
Many places have bi-lingual signs, but this is the first one I’ve every seen that recognizes ‘dog’ as a language. 😉
Miss P just had her 12th birthday. Of course I have no idea when she was actually born, but she came into our life on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so that is the official holiday. She is not doing well and my veterinarian suggested that I count my blessings and make a list of all the things that make her a great dog.
She was awarded the title “Miss Monkey Paws” of 2004, 2005, 2006 etc. because she likes to use her paws for everything!
She has a great nose for mischief and can smell a bit of dropped food (like this desiccated pizza) at 50 feet and if she finds it, it’s hers! (Unfortunately, she can also detect dead birds, rabbit poo and other revolting things).
She has always been a ‘wiggle butt’, when she is happy she doesn’t just wag her tail, she gets everything moving.
She loves the water and is part-mermaid. She has a wading pool in summer, and will try and bite the stream of water from a hose. Although she tries, she has never been able to stop the evil hose monster, no matter how hard she bites it.
Squeaky toys are also evil, and need to be destroyed as quickly as possible. Her latest birthday present lasted 4 minutes.
She has beautiful naturally curly hair, especially right after her bath.
And people often comment on her beautiful face.
That’s because they don’t see this face, when she has been using her monkey paws to get into trouble. 😉 She is my perfect partner in crime, and I love her.