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Choose Something Like a Star

by Robert Frost – 1947

O Star (the fairest one in sight),
We grant your loftiness the right
To some obscurity of cloud —
It will not do to say of night,
Since dark is what brings out your light.
Some mystery becomes the proud.
But to be wholly taciturn
In your reserve is not allowed.

Say something to us we can learn
By heart and when alone repeat.
Say something! And it says “I burn.”
But say with what degree of heat.
Talk Fahrenheit, talk Centigrade.
Use language we can comprehend.
Tell us what elements you blend.

It gives us strangely little aid,
But does tell something in the end.
And steadfast as Keats’ Eremite,
Not even stooping from its sphere,
It asks a little of us here.
It asks of us a certain height,
So when at times the mob is swayed
To carry praise or blame too far,
We may choose something like a star
To stay our minds on and be staid.

Right now, I am seated at my study’s desk with two pups sleeping around my feet, so close my slippers are nearly pulled off. Flyer’s blindness keeps her secluded to the boys’ room, sleeping on one of their beds, and only coming down to go to the restroom or eat. Her visually limited world feels safer upstairs. Despite the pups filling some gap, I do miss Flyer’s companionship that has accompanied me these past ten years. Logan, at almost 17 years, still has energy, and stamina, and is now sleeping on my desk with her chin resting on my forearm as I type. I am sure it must be uncomfortable, but she continues to show her love and devotion.

Chief’s primary pre-occupation is the kitchen table. The little chap finally discovered why Logan was hopping onto the table. She has a constantly filled food bowl! I have always had to set Logan’s food up because Flyer loves to eat it for her. With the cat’s food on a higher location Logan can eat throughout the day as she wishes, and a nibble here and there.

Well, Chief observed Logan hopping up on a chair pulled slightly away from the table, and quickly followed suit. Jose and I pushed the chairs up to the table. Naturally, that did not deter Chief who figured out how to push the chair back on its back two legs to create enough space. Next, Jose and I folded the chairs, stacking them against the wall on either side of the table. One chair went crashing to the floor as Chief attempted to use it as a ladder. When that failed, he decided my old swivel desk chair, which we use at the table for the three of us, would be his best route to Logan’s delicious food. This he has not yet mastered; however, I am sure he will by week’s end as this little lad loves a mission!

Navi… sigh… Navi… I think Navi needs a puppy IEP. She is small, cute, and sweet, but her Friskeys don’t go all the way to the top of the bowl. She is slower than Chief when it comes to picking up new commands, but the potty thing is still beyond her grasp. Still, she is a sweetheart, and often the one cuddled due to her impish features. Though Navi is much smaller than Chief, do not assume that he is the more aggressive one in puppy-play! Navi is the instigator, and the first to whelp when Chief gets a little too rough. She knows how to capture sympathy from everyone!

Like Flyer on her second night with me in November 2001, the pups began sleeping up near my pillow. Now, they are gravitating to the foot of the bed with Logan who must not sleep much for her watchful eye lest one of these little scalawags trespass into her personal space.

The little peeps come to lessons, and remain quite focused. My middle school and high school students, however, are reduced to teeth-chattering idiocy when they see the pups.

Twice a day, Flyer and I have our time together when I take a break from work.

The pups are a good deal of work, but if they are to fit into the Haasienda, behaving and performing as wonderfully as their older siblings, Logan and Flyer, the work’s investment will be worth it. They, too, will learn commands in English, German, and Sign Language, and will grasp the acceptable behaviors when Dad is teaching.

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March 2011
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