“IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER”

Prose, including snippets (mini-memoirs).
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sooZen
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“IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER”

Post by sooZen » June 20th, 2017, 1:56 pm

“IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER” (Yogi Berra)
Journal Post, 6-20-17,

[I don’t know where to start…(at the beginning Soo!)]

It was a lovely weekend in Ruidoso spent with our friends. I had driven up earlier to be with the women as most of the men had to work. Cecil planned on hitching a ride with one of the hubbies after they got off work.

That Friday, his last job of the day, Cec was doing a pre-move survey for the family business (moving & storage). It was a young soldier who was shipping out. Plus his wife, also a soldier, who had already left on a medical leave (she had PTSD) back home to her family. Cecil was walking through the house to see what shipping materials would be needed for the move when the young man took him out into the back yard where two puppies were in a small pen. The soldier told him he could only take one of them where he would be stationed and would Cecil like to have the other? “Please Sir, I’ll give you twenty bucks and the food if you will take one, your pick.” Cec proceeded to tell him that his wife (moi) would NOT like him bringing home another puppy but he would think about it…

Well, Cec took a another look after he finished the job and couldn’t resist the larger puppy (about 8 wks old) with so many wrinkles he thought it must be a Sharpei. “Keep your money son…I’ll take that one…” That puppy was sooo grateful that he put his paws around C.B.’s neck and hugged him all the way home.

Turns out his friend and ride was not happy about bringing a puppy in their van all the way to Ruidoso so Cec stayed home with the new doggie. He called me to tell me what he had done… Needless to say, I was not happy to have another ‘thing’ to take care of. (Daddy worked and I was going to be the responsible party.) But when I came back home, that puppy was irresistible. He had a smile as big as the Grand Canyon (and his feet were that size too!) That wrinkled head and every time he looked at me with those huge ‘bedroom’ eyes, he licked his lips. Turns out, the Yogi (his new name) never could hold his ‘licker’.

Yogi was a terror as a pup… tearing my plants out of pots, and digging holes to China. We spent a lot of energy putting sticks and stones into said holes but he would just find another spot to dig. One time I caught him standing on his hind legs picking pomegranates off the tree! I used to say he “was into demolition and destruction!” But those big eyes were impossible to resist.

As he grew into adulthood, Yogi always wanted to be, like Pinocchio, “a real boy.” He liked any and all other dogs but human girls and women were his preference. He had a special fondness for them but he sure didn’t like a man in uniform! Not sure what had happened with that young soldier but the Yog was scared to death of soldiers most of his life.

Not only did he want to be a real boy but he wanted to be a chef. I always said “he would flip flapjacks if he could!” He would stand at the kitchen door (“NO DOGS IN THE KITCHEN!”) and watch Cec or I when we were cooking, tail a-wag, a big grin on his face. Every morning he would give his adopted momma Annie (our other orphan that Cec had brought home) a new hair do by licking her up one side and down the other. Evidently, he had some special kind of hair gel in his spit because her long hair would stand straight up by the time he finished. He continued that with Chang after Annie died. Chang got a lickin' and would come and stand next to Yogi to get the spa treatment.

Not only a great hairdresser, Yogi was a dancer and a drummer. If I clapped my hands to the music, he would drum a beat, in time, with his broken tipped tail (got it caught in a door!) Sometimes he and I would dance in the living room. He loved to dance, laughing all the time as we circled the floor. One of his favorite things was ‘dressing up’ whether it was a bandana or one of my old tee shirts. He would strut around like, “Look at me, I am a real boy!”

I used to liken him to John Wayne because he had that funny sideways walk. It really wasn’t funny because it was due to bilateral hip dysplascia. He never let that stop him…not till the end when his spine and hips just quit on him. He had incredible strength in his front end, huge shoulders and a heart that just wouldn’t stop. He was a Boxer/Rhodesian mix and the size of a small Shetland pony. Yep, he eventually grew into those big paws.

I have to saw that Yogi was well loved by any that met him, be they animal or humans. He had a special place in his heart for our friends Mary and Leti, regular visitors to his home, and would show special charm when they were around.

Nate used to call him “Scooby Do” (rut roe!) or “Doggie Doggie” and yesterday after we returned from the vet, Nate cried. Heck, we all cried and are still crying. Chang is very subdued (and sad) as are Mary’s dogs Frida and Zeno. Chang is lying in Yogi’s bed as I write this, the epitome of a "hangdog." It is going to take awhile for us to get over his loss.

Yogi used to hold my hand when I made a fist. He would take it gently in his mouth briefly with that sweet sparkle in his eyes. If I winked at him, he would wink back. Truly, he was one of the Greats!

He and Cec used to share a beer. Yogi loved a sip or two (or three!) and last night we had a beer so we could toast his memory which will live on as long as we do…

Safe journeys and Happy Trails Yogi… I know you are still with me and will reside forever in my heart.
Freedom's just another word...



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Arcadia
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Re: “IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER”

Post by Arcadia » June 20th, 2017, 6:00 pm

gracias Soo for sharing with us so detailed and loving Yogi´s memories... We somehow also met him through your words in all these years...! Sure he still enjoy the beer sips with you!!! :)

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sasha
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Re: “IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER”

Post by sasha » June 21st, 2017, 11:30 am

Astonishing, isn't it, how these mere "critters" can become so entwined in our own lives. The church I grew up in claimed that only the properly baptized had souls. I say bullshit. Every dog I've lived with (including my present roomie) knew how to push my buttons - how to lure me away from the keyboard and onto the living room floor for a round of keepaway, wrestling, or a simple tummy rub. They knew the meaning of my laughter, and my tears of grief. They were all "leaners" - standing on my feet & leaning against me while I slapped at their rumps. They sought out gentle physical contact as a way to express their trust and affection.

And unlike us, with our superior intellects and powers of abstract reasoning, they never lie. A dog won't pretend to be happy to see you. They either are or they aren't, and they tell it like it is.

So sorry for your loss.
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sooZen
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Re: “IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER”

Post by sooZen » June 21st, 2017, 1:38 pm

Thanks Arcadia and Sasha for your sentiments and replies! My other dog is a "Medical Alert" service dog who is very sensitive to my health issues (or anyone else in the family). He never steps on me, leans on me, jumps on the bed... but is very acutely aware of how I am feeling (my blood sugar, if I am 'shaky" and my other stuff). Lots of people look at him askance as he is an American Staffordshire Terrier... commonly referred to as a "Pitbull" (which a generic term for a multitude of bully type dogs).
He goes everywhere with us...the grocery, restaurants, farmer's market, trips up to the Sacramento Mtns, stays in hotels and is always a model of decorum and good behavior. I am proud to say I trained him but he really trained me because of his sensitive nose and nature and he loves his job!
Yogi was my big baby and I spoiled him (unlike service dog Chang) he stepped on me, leaned on me, and even knocked me down once but was still, all and all, a very good boy. Dogs, unlike my human boys (& man ;)) don't argue, do what they are told and if you don't want them around...you can put them outside! Hah! :D
Freedom's just another word...



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mnaz
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Re: “IT AIN’T OVER ’TIL IT’S OVER”

Post by mnaz » June 21st, 2017, 1:50 pm

Yes, he loved to dance! We'll miss Yogi, for sure. I'm glad I got to see him one last time a couple years ago. Thanks for this look back, Soozen.

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