MayDays: Nonfiction – A Visit From Cooper #Maydays


Thanks to K.L. Caley from new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s prompt is man’s bestfriend. We’re to write about dogs.


I found it quite funny, dogs were today’s #Maydays topic. I love dogs and if you have followed me for a while you know I had a dog named Nikki who passed away about two-years-ago. She was a Miniature American-Eskimo – Terrier Cross with a  great deal of personality. Nikki was a pack dog and loved her family but was not so friendly around strangers.

It’s funny with pets, you never realize what an impact and presence they are in your life until they pass away. Nikki became ill and in about three-months she was gone. She is my favourite dog ever and lived about twelve-years. She loved to run, I think running so far was hard on her body as well as some other problems, we never were able to find out.

But today was an excellent day to have this prompt because my brother J visited with his room mate’s dog Cooper. Cooper is one of those fluffy dogs with hair that needs trimming  often. Unlike Nikki, Cooper doesn’t lose his hair. And there’s something to be said for that.

Apparently, Cooper doesn’t give kisses but he gave me a few; he must have been feeling generous. It is hilarious when you hear how people sound when they talk to a dog. Their voice pitch goes high and they talk cutesy. Dogs such as Cooper, love it when your voice does this, they get excited because they hear high-pitched sounds as something good; I read that somewhere.

Down in the basement, Cooper visited my Mom and I came down and we played “go-go” or “zoomies” as Jodi from Life Inbetween calls them with her dog Charlie. We were trying to wear Cooper out and we did. Eventually, he went home with my brother. J sent me a photo of Cooper lying on the couch, not moving a muscle. He texted me: ” [Cooper] hasn’t moved since getting home.”

I don’t know who was more excited by Cooper’s visit, my family and I, or Cooper. But I think my Mom is coming around about not having another dog and would be in favour of getting a small dog such as Cooper. I’m crossing my fingers.

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.


Echoes of My Neighbourhood: Dogs of Our Lives 

In the home I lived in growing up, we always had a dog. The first dog was Spunky, a Chihuahua-Terrier Cross, who lived until she was seventeen-years-old. She was mostly blind by that time but she managed and we picked her up to take her down the stairs. When Spunky was younger, she would sneak out our front gate. She was tiny enough she would try to slither through the gap between the gate doors. Then my Mom would say, “where’s Spunky?” And we would search the neighbourhood for her. She liked to wander and could easily have been picked up and taken by anyone because she was so friendly and unassuming. 




When Spunky died we didn’t have a dog for two or three years. But we did get visits from some of the neighbour’s dogs. My one brother was followed home by a dog we called ‘Hugo,’ when he was biking. Later, it turned out the dog belonged to a lady who my Mom ended up working with in Student Accounts.



Hugo and My Brothers

Sorry that photo is facing the wrong way, I don’t know how to fix that on WordPress. After a few years, we started looking for a new dog. We wanted a dog bigger then Spunky, one who was medium sized. But it is hard finding the perfect dog for your family. I think my family has a thing for runts. Spunky was a runt and so was her successor, Nikki. My Dad drove us all to the neighbourhood pet shop Grrrranimals, when I was seventeen. He showed us Nikki, a faun coloured northern dog who was getting picked on by her fluffier white brothers. Nikki was an American Eskimo – Terrier cross but she had the personality of an Eskimo dog. Unlike Spunky who wandered off, Nikki stayed in the yard, or in the area of the yard most of the time. She always knew how to find her way home, even when my family moved houses. She loved to run with my Dad and she snuggled with me. We took an embarrassing amount of pictures of Nikki. I guess she had such a personality we couldn’t help but adore her.


Aw, I’m sorry the pictures are all sideways. If anyone knows how I can fix this on WordPress please let me know. This last picture of Nikki is my favourite. She loved that giant stick and whittled it down to a thin stick with her aggressive chewing. Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks to Jacqueline of A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for hosting Echoes of My Neighbourhood.


©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: It’s Her

There sits the statue of a dog. I remember a certain dog.  She had the qualities of queenleness, loyalty, and love. She was the bringer of fun to a childhood of bike rides down the off leash paths and long walks in the river valley. 

 She ran for miles with my Dad. My Mom said it would not surprise her if that is how the dog died, running her heart out. My Dad had a t-shirt that read: My running partner has four legs. The dog didn’t leave this world running; I don’t think anybody does. 

To me the dog  was a snuggle buddy at whatever time she wished. She would jump up on the couch and put her right paw on me and lean into me until a soft furry tummy was revealed. She’d push her nose into my hand and when I put my head down she’d strike with kisses. 

But our best friends, leave us at a time not of their choice. They are inflicted with sickness, sometimes, ill health that a vet cannot even diagnose. I woke fifteen minutes too late to say goodbye to her. I petted her anyways, she had this beautiful soft fawn coat. 

And I stroked her back and her little ears as she lay on the counter in the back of the vet. She was to be cremated. The blanket she was covered with was truly the veil of death, taking her away. My Dad and I tried not to cry as we both went out to the car. But tears escaped us as we drove home.

 No dog is exactly the same, but they are each unique. Their time in years is short, but they are never forgotten. I place my hand on the statue and memories flood my mind. This statue is not of her, but to me, in my heart, it’s Nikki. 

Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting! 

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers – Nikki

Nikki shoots down the trail intent on the trail of a rabbit. She will never catch it but in her mind the rabbit is invading our territory. When she finally realizes she will not catch it Nikki stops and starts sniffing around. She stops to smell a tree or two then makes her way down the off leash trail hoping to make her way down by the river to  some beavers. I hear the slapping of tails against water and call her back ” here Nikki.”

She comes running at me like lightening as I am crouched down and I quickly stand up as she jumps at me in a full-out bound. Her nails scratch she tries to lick me and then she dissolves into thin air. I watch the off leash trail hoping she’ll be there, that she’ll return. It’s a lost hope but I can’t help it. She’s been gone a year almost now and walking by myself just isn’t the same as walking with her.

Photography 101 – Day 5 – The Great Queen Nikki in Solitude

Solittude is defined in many ways. I use it a bit facetiously when I show you my dog in her place on the sofa because she was such a family dog. Nikki was a queenly dog. She could make a pitbull whimper and held herself in away that we could only describe as regal. You couldn’t quite get to see her yesterday because the pictures were blurry but today I have a full on view of her on her “throne” couch staring out the window at her world. She would bark at everyone she can see because you were on “her” property if you could see her. This is some kind of greatness. At least for a dog it is greatness.

She also had this quality being a protective and good pet. Nikki was a pack animal and we were her pack. My little brother was lower than her on the “totem pole” so she would often in her queenly way put him in his place with little nips. Despite that, she was loveable to her family and listened well. She might not have been good with those outside of her pack but like any great dog she had her favorites. Greatness can exist in even the smallest of beings in the smallest of ways. Yet she is in solitude alone,separate from her pack in this picture. She looks back on me as if to ask, “Where are you? Come her be with me.” Dogs always want to be with their people, even in their queenliness,

Nikki sitting on her coach throne and looking out her world, the Sheba, or queenly dog. Great in her own small way.
Nikki sitting on her coach throne and looking out on her world, the Sheba, or Queenly dog. Great in her own small way.

Photography 101 – Day 4 – Scrumptious Blissday

Bliss can mean so many things. I couldn’t pick one actual meaning of Bliss so I chose 2. The first meaning of Bliss is the feeling you get when you are eating delicious food. Two springs ago I went to Montreal with my brother and every day we went to one fancy delicious restaurant for 6 days. At this one restaurant I had this wonderful chicken and goat cheese salad.  There are few things in this world that are better than goat cheese and since I limit my dairy, I don’t get to eat cheese very often. Goat cheese is just wonderful and gooey as it melts in your mouth the softest of foods that makes any salad divine. My brother rolled his eyes at me as I ordered goat cheese dishes from different restaurants almost every single time. It must be a big thing in Montreal, Quebec.


Delicious Goat Cheese and Chicken Salad in Montreal restaurant.
Delicious Goat Cheese and Chicken Salad in Montreal restaurant.

My second, third, and fourth pictures are blurred but it’s the idea I want you to get more than just the pictures alone. These are my pictures of doggy bliss. My dog was going to eat. Her name was Nikki and she and I were 2 of a kind. In these pictures she is cuddling  as she goes to eat and you get this progression of feelings of bliss as she goes from being petted to eating.

Nikki playing before eating.,
Nikki playing before eating.,
Doggy Bliss 2
Nikki cuddling.
Nikki happily eating with her ears back. She is feeling relaxed!
Nikki happily eating with her ears back. She is feeling relaxed!


The word suffer according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary means “to experience pain, illness, or injury; to experience something unpleasant  (such as defeat loss or damage); to become worse because of being badly affected by something.” Through the suffering of my beloved pet Nikki I have learnt what it is to suffer. But let us not forget that the suffering of people in this world is far worse than the suffering of any animal but the endurance of suffering through our pets can also be quite damaging.

Since rheumatoid arthritis has shown it’s face it’s been an utterly intolerably cruel disease to Nikki. At first she could still walk but it was a very slow and paced walk. Then her muscle began to give way and her walking became rarer, became a loping, an utterly hard process to watch as she tried to stay off of her previously injured front right paw and make her way around the upstairs floor. She could no longer go to the basement or go outside in the back yard because there were to many stairs for her and she could hurt herself badly. Now Nikki, having lost almost all her strength has one good point around supper time in the day where she can maybe get up to just snag a little treat but mostly she just lies there. And I ache for her suffering because without pain killers her legs hurt. And it still hurts her to raise her body off the floor and if she stands she stands for but a moment before falling and she has learnt the correct way to fall as to not hurt herself more. Her body, her legs are giving out.

I sit with her at lunch. Where she used to come and beg, I go to her and give her a few scraps from lunch. I give her some vegetables and pieces of toast with peanut butter. It makes me feel better that she is eating something because I had to hand feed hera portion of herkibble this morning. Today I am trying to get her to drink but even putting a short little dish or water by her head

and holding her head to drink, she isn’t interested. The only time I can see she feels pleasure is when we feed her little scraps or pet her because she pants and smiles. Other than that, her tail is between her legs and she just lies around on the floor. She was a snuggly dog before and she can’t snuggle. So I pet her many times as I pass her by so she still feels the love. My Dad had to pick her up so she could go to the washroom the other day and she could go on her own once she was on the grass but I wonder how long that will last.

There is one more medication for us to try, while Nikki suffers and waits. I wait for the vet to call us with the price and medication. I wonder if she’ll last that long. I didn’t think arthritis would simply take her out. She is old (12 years) but not that old. Through Nikki I learn suffering. Years ago I learnt it through my Grandpa as he faded away but it is a different kind of suffering I learn to see an animal suffer, more like seeing a child suffer. Nikki is helpless to the suffering. And maybe some people can disassociate themselves away from their pets and think they’re just animals that’s what happens, the have short lives. But you see with any sickness, even with my own, you never see it coming. You never know how damaging it can be. So I learn suffering through my little dog as she lays expressionless on the floor and I wonder how long she’ll last? Will she get better or will she end her days on the floor, remembering legs that use to run and run and run.

That Day Came: My Dog is Old

NikkiThe first moment I saw my puppy in the pet store (because you were still allowed to sell dogs in the pet store when I was 17-years-old) is forever etched in my mind. My families old dog Spunky a Chihuahua Terrier had passed away a few years earlier but I had never known her as puppy, that I can remember. Spunky was cute but she was my Mom’s dog. Nikki, the puppy I saw in the pet store for the first time became my dog and my Dad’s. She snuggled with me and came to me for attention and went to my Dad for rough housing and runs.

The first time I saw Nikki in the pet store with my brother’s I knew she was ours. At the cash register I picked her up and held her fluffy soft miniature body with floppy ears against my neck and as I petted her and hushed her wimpers with ” Shhhh… it will be alright” your going home now” she began to relax in my arms. She was tiny and fury with a bare pink tummy and floppy ears. She was also the runt of the litter and was a scrappy puppy fending off her 2 furrier brothers. When we took her home I placed her in her small crate in the side of our van and later realized how scared she must have been in there. Then when we arrived home I took her out of her crate and place her against my neck and carried her inside. The whole family gathered around her on the living room floor to coo and remark how cute she was.

When it seemed she was having trouble wondering who she should go to she climbed into my crossed legs and ever since has been my girl. She chewed through Nyla bones like you wouldn’t believe and my favorite hoody had strings on it that she also used to teethe. She would claw her way up the front of the coach and sit on me when I lay on the couch in our old house and she would snuggle in and chew the hoody strings.

The first time she saw herself in the mirror was a big surprise and she wondered who that other dog was in the room but she was smart and that wonder didn’t last long. And the first time I took her to sleep on my bed she would nip at my toes that were under the covers until she discovered what those 2 points beneath my covers were. I would wake up many mornings with little Nikki on my chest or on my legs stretched out and as she got bigger it became impossible for her to share my twin bed and she slept on my parents bed or would try to fit her entirely too big body into her crate, her rump end hanging out. When we moved to a new house, she somehow burrowed her way under my parents bed and when she got to fat for that she slept beside my Dad on the floor.

I have a great deal of memories with Nikki — walking her in the park when I first became ill for 30 minutes a few times a week, Nikki running her heart out with my Dad, Nikki climbing into my lap or sitting up and straight like a little human in my arms, Nikki knowing when I was crying and coming over to comfort me, playing “greedy dog” with her squeeky toys, and Nikki keeping 2 balls to herself at once as we would at our on peril, try to steal one or both balls back.

Nikki also loved to beg and I remember sneaking her treats every night at supper without even knowing it, I think the family did that. She wanted a treat every time she came in from the outside and had a  thing for sneaking out the back yard down the alley until someone would have to go and get her back. I remember her getting lost and always coming right back home. She always knew where she lived. I remember her making dogs 3 times her size ( she is a medium breed) tremble in fear and her utter hate of poodles and “frufee” dogs.

We had to lock her up when company came. She is a pack dog and loves her family, but not anyone else, especially not with curly hair. I remember when she accepted Grandma and Baba into the pack. I remember how she used to try to usurp Nathan from his place in the pack because he was the youngest child. And I remember the day she became old and sickly.

It was just this year. She started to stay downstairs and wouldn’t come up off the coach. Her paws all began to swell up and she wouldn’t eat. Rheumatoid arthritis the vet told us and gave us steroids for her but we are finding they only sort of help her. She painfully and carefully awakes from sleep and hobbles to her water dish. We give her a steroid but still she is in pain. Her tail which always wagged, isn’t wagging anymore, it is slumped and hunched much like she is. She seems happy a lot of the time and just likes to be petted. She sleeps and hobbles, trying to follow you around but it is difficult to watch when she can barely make it up 3 shallow stairs.

How can something so alive and frisky have her day come. Her rheumatoid arthritis hit like that and she went from being a middle-aged dog to an old dog of 12-years. The years passed by slowly it seemed as if we were on a giant Ferris wheel that one day reached the old and crickety chair at the bottom of the wheel. How did she get so old I wonder? She has good breeds in her that can live to 20-years, but I don’t know if that will happen.

She is old, that day came for her and with that day the reminder that in life many things, even our own human lives, are temporary. It is difficult to see my old friend in pain, she is a puppy to me still. She gave me so much now I give to her all I can, hoping to ease her suffering. It doesn’t seem right or fair that any of us should age from such glorious days of youth to become nothing more than memories. And animals, I am told, have no soul so what becomes of them? Do they fade into nothingness? For there will never be any animal like my Nikki again. She won’t be resurrected. She will simply go back to God.

A Recent Tale

These past few weeks have gone by quickly and quietly for me. Sometimes it is lonely being the only one at home during the day (except for the dog) but I have become accustomed to it and actually like it. I miss the social interactions one experiences day to day at a job or going to classes as opposed to doing them via internet or correspondence but I have also been a woman who through out her life loves the quiet and having the house to herself. If I want to go out and be around people I do. I go to yoga, for a walk, to the mall, for coffee, and to visit friends but truthfully, I need the quiet to do my school work in and just to be at peace. There is such sensory pollution around certain places that I can’t help but like a peaceful house.

Lately, I have become use to seeing A, my boyfriend, every couple weeks and have become spoiled in that regard. The current shift A is on is his first 3 week shift in quite awhile so it will feel like a lonely long time once we get through those 3 weeks. Truthfully, I think the first week A is away is the hardest week and then in the second two weeks of his shift up North I become involved in my usual activities and plan more activities to do with friends that I don’t notice the length of time as much. When A comes to visit a couple of days we hang out and a third day we usually go out to a club, for dinner, or to a movie. Sometimes we shop but I often find this time of year between winter and spring, there is not much selection of clothing and shoes in stores. Especially since this year it has been so cold because of that damn Polar Vortex. But maybe spring has come to Edmonton. It is supposed to be 13 degrees Celsius next Sunday.

I finally was able to bother my family doctor enough so that he would call in this drug that is supposed to give me more energy and is often used in Chronic Fatigue cases. It is actually just an antidepressant called Elavin. It has actually helped me a lot but not the way I was thinking it would help me. Elavin works so that you sleep better and therefore, have an increase in energy. I think I might feel a tiny bit more energized but at this time, just starting the medication I am mostly too to tell. In fact, it has worked so well for me sleep wise that I was able to stop taking 700g of Gabepentin and melatonin. Tonight I am going to try to lower the dose of Clonazapam that I take to stay asleep in the night. If I can cut back my sleeping medications until I am only taking 1 or 2 pills instead of 8 and some melatonin, I’ll be extremely happy. Whether or not the drug will work as something that will re- energize me, that remains to be seen.

( Okay. I wrote this blog 2 different days so the truth is this drug Elavin is actually horrible for me. Once, the Gabepentin was out of my system I couldn’t sleep at night. But in the day, however, I would sleep all day and no amount of napping was enough to keep me awake. I began to feel “out of it,” agitated, very impatient, and anxious. So today I went off the Elavin and feel so much better. I’m a little tired in the day still but nothing compared to these last few days. But I think this is it for me for medication trial and error until science advances. I don’t know why I have a mood disorder or some type depression and why there is a physical cause to it and not a psychological? I don’t know why this would cause an extreme lack of physical and mental energy? It’s nice to have answers but sometimes I think not having a diagnosis that is known means there are less diagnosis’ to limit me and what I am capable of doing.)

I have finished project #3 for my editing course and only have 1 project left that I will work on next week. I finished reading the study guide, additional readings, and a good portion of the textbook and am happy about how the course is coming along. I only hope my marks reflect that. I am looking forward to being done Editing and to do my last Residential Design course starting mid- April. Hopefully, I am able to put enough time into the workload for that class. Come summer, I also want to do a second editing course to keep busy. What that will specifically be on yet I’m not sure. ( Today I received a B on my second assignment in editing and was happy with that).

The weekend was a loss due to my health issues but I went to the mall a few hours and did a few errands on the Saturday just to get out. This week I want to finish my editing assignment ( the final one) and go for coffee on Thursday. I also hope to start up a yoga routine again at home, I have fallen away from that lately. Additionally, I am paying close attention to Nikki my dog, who is on her second round of steroids for her rheumatoid arthritis. I hope it works this round, poor dog!

So, there is a recent tale on my life. Things are as usual.

Say Something Beautiful

Say something beautiful . . . sometimes I think I have been ruined by Romance books because real men don’t talk beautiful, at least the ones I know. Ask them to explain why they like you and its simple words such as your pretty, your patient, your sexy, and there is nothing wrong with these words. But I just don’t think men talk as Christian Grey when he describes his Anastasia and her beauty or even how singers sing about women in songs. In fact, most of us don’t seem to have much poetry in us when it comes to love. But I think that the simple words are good enough because it is the simple words and simple actions that men and women say and do for each other that make us the happiest.

Case in point, My boyfriend A took me on ” a date” a couple of weeks ago and it was special just because he called it “a date, ” he picked me up, and he was interested to hear what I had to say. He wasn’t on the couch looking at Kijiji going “uh huh” but he took the time to actually focus on us and what we were both up to, it was wonderful. We ate dinner and shopped around West Edmonton Mall a bit and I really appreciated the evening.

Everything was going fantastic until he received a bad haircut from some hairstylist at Spasation. I felt bad because I had suggested the salon because I have a membership card that gets me 10% off of products and services at Spasation. Plus, I like the Spasation downtown a lot. They give good massages, and decent haircuts, and wonderful pedicures. But if I’m honest, I go to a place called Chrome to get my hair cut and hilighted because they just do a better job, so I guess it’s my fault and I shouldn’t have sent my boyfriend to the West Edmonton Mall Spasation. I should have said, “Go to Eveline Charles because at least your guaranteed to receive a decent haircut at that salon even though it costs more.” But other than that, it was a good evening and it is a lucky break that men’s hair seems to grow fast because it is so short.

My boyfriend also became a Canadian citizen yesterday. I was proud but sorry I couldn’t be there to see him receive his certificate. He is excited to receive his passport and travel somewhere outside of Canada and Morocco where he is from.  I am hoping I can go with him on vacation but I will have to see. I’m still on a budget, especially at this time of year after Christmas and Boxing Week.

I felt awful for my poor dog Nikki who is an American – Eskimo Terrier. She is 12-years old and we thought she just had arthritis because she ran great distances with family members when she was younger and faster. Then, her paws underneath her elbows and knees (I don’t know what you call them in dogs) began to swell up enormously. She had trouble walking and spent so much time just sleeping downstairs and not even touching her food. The swelling didn’t go away and finally we brought her to the vet and the vet said it could be arthritis or Lyme disease. We got blood tests and it turns out it is not Lyme disease or something with her kidneys (etc.) but she has Rheumatoid Arthritis.

This is a relief because it means my family did not over-run her but it is also upsetting because it is an auto-immune disease, so her immune system is attacking her joints and causing them to inflame. She has to be on steroids when her arthritis acts up, painkillers, and a vet is going to teach us how to do doggy physiotherapy for her. I imagine I will be doing this physiotherapy in the day because she lets me touch her paws and she doesn’t let a lot of other people, even her pack (the rest of the family), touch all of her. But at least we know what she has and can manage it appropriately. I hope that she doesn’t get too arthritic. She comes from dog breeds who both are long living breeds so she could have this for 6 to 8 more years unfortunately.

I am using a new sleep medication called Gabapentine. It works well once you get use to it. I was taking too much melatonin to fall asleep because that was the only medicinal product that worked but now after getting used to Gabapentine and getting over the initial day time tiredness, I love it. I had forgotten how good it is to sleep so deeply and well. Commonly, Gabapentine is used for patients who have seizures to help them sleep deeper but it is more for the drowsy side effect that I am using it. And so far so good. But I haven’t heard anything from my family doctor about the Chronic Fatigue medication yet so hopefully I hear back from him soon, when he gets back from vacation next week.

I want to deal with side effects of the Chronic Fatigue medication you see because I have just received all but my text-book for my Editing 110 course. So far the course looks great! It won’t be to hard but if I finish early, I will start another course. I mailed in the first assignment that is worth 10 % and I have 3 more assignment worth 30 % and a great deal of reading to do in my Study Guide and textbook eventually. The assignments don’t look too hard, but it is only a 100 level course. However, I better not say too much about it being an easy course because I do not want to jinx myself and then not be careful when I am doing my assignments. I need a B- in all of these editing courses I will be doing because that is the requirement to get the certificate. I will take a few courses before I apply to the program, maybe even most of the courses because you can apply anytime for the certificate.

But editing seems quite interesting and I was already learning a lot of material I’d forgotten looking up why certain sentences were grammatically and otherwise incorrect. I have a good deal of experience proofreading and I think it will just be a matter of watching that I am careful to be detailed and learning all those interesting facts about the editing process which will maybe help me publish a book one day, or some articles, or a story or two.

This weekend, I am looking forward to going to lunch with my friend and giving her her Birthday/Christmas present. I saw her lots in the summer but not often since then. We are going to the new Cactus Club downtown. I must make sure to eat healthy as my new sleep medication made me put weight on as I suspected. So it’s back to measuring food and living off of salad. But I will be much more comfortable in my skin when I am 10 lbs down again, so will my clothes lol. I also have to see my boyfriend again as he is up and bring him his new stuff for his apartment. I ordered him some towels (etc.) and items that he needed. And I’m looking forward to receiving my ” New Year’s Present,” but I don’t know what that is so I’m waiting in anticipation.

Take care, that’s all for now!