Tag Archive: Storm

The final post about the dog

Family Movie Night
by Karyn Bowman
We were in the back yard that is open to the side street since we do not have a fence.
A couple of kids were walking by when their voices became louder. “Burying your dog? Did your poor little dog die?”
By the sing-song tone of their voices I knew they were not being sympathetic. I knew they were trying to make a joke at my grieving family’s expense. So I gave them the look. The ‘mom’ look that let them know if they continued there would be trouble.
As some of you may know from Facebook, our black lab died suddenly at the end of February. We believe he had a heart attack. All I know is that I was there for his last moments, his last breathe. I patted his side and let him know it was ok.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur family was heartbroken. People cried or did ‘useful’ chores so as not to deal with the grief. But it has been very strange not to have the dog around prowling for food or sharing the couch with his humans.
A few weeks before his death my husband, the two younger kids, and I were on the couch watching a favorite tv show. The dog began pacing in front of the couch until he found just the right space to get up and join us. Once he was settled, the dog began slowly pushing off my daughter while making sure his head was on my lap. As far as the dog was concerned he was the favorite kid.
While we miss his companionship, we do not miss his food stealing or clothing eating ways. I found one of my husband’s favorite winter vests in the dog’s hiding place. Sadly, he had already chewed a piece of it off.
So now we must go on without him. Doing the daily walk, which I haven’t done in any sort of regular form since winter started, is going to be tough without the dog tugging and pulling for every squirrel and rabbit. Meal time seems strange without rushing to put everything away before we ‘let the dog out.’
I thought about him as my daughter and I watched Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. The story remains the same – boy meets girl and manages to offend her in every way despite his admiration for her. Only after she learns the truth about an unfortunate situation does she begin to realize his true worth.
Image from IMDb com

Image from IMDb com

The setting, however, is in India. And because this is a Bollywood production, the action can suddenly turn into a song-and-dance production featuring hundreds or a handful. The songs are fun, beautiful and always meaningful to the story. And who can deny the incandescent beauty of Aishwarya Rai?

As we watched the movie, I thought of how much Storm would have loved sitting with us, especially if there was the hope of eating some popcorn.
Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


This morning around 4:00 a.m., my husband woke me up to say he thought something was going on with our dog.

I smelled the smell of poop and thought the dog had been sick.

But it was worse than that.

He was dying as he tried to get up the stairs to be with Mom and Dad one last time. I sat with him until he breathed his last. I patted him and tried to be comforting. I told him it was okay to go on.

A google search suggested it could have been a heart attack or a stroke, especially since there had been no signs of problems in the last 24 hours.

Here is a better accounting from my husband’s blog called Rambles With Storm at his Stray Casts website.

Making the Christmas List

Family Movie Night


by Karyn Bowman


Now that snow has fallen on the ground, it can truly be considered the holiday season.


It is not Christmas, or winter even, until the snow has fallen. Otherwise, winter becomes this cruel joke with cold winds and gray surroundings. There is no fun in pulling a sled across hard dirt or grass. While a fake snowman made from scrap wood or metal pieces might be funky and kind of cool, it cannot replace the real thing.


I like winter days when we brave the cold, spend an hour or so doing something ‘outdoorsy’ before coming in for hot chocolate and cookies. There are also days in which I spend time playing games or doing puzzles because it is just too darn cold to go outside. Cookies and hot chocolate make those days special as well.


For now, Christmas will seem like Christmas, especially if the temps stay in the low 30s so that it is not too cold to enjoy being outside. Those temperatures make it possible to be out without being an icicle in two-minutes flat. Very helpful as there are many outdoor events to take in during the next few days and weeks.


Sifting through our mail find the start of Christmas cards and holiday catalogs. I love seeing all of the different products that are out there. We also get dvds from various companies. But one that I felt I had to watch is called Chicago’s Christmas Tree Ship.


Image from VAP Films

Image from VAP Films

The story is about Captain Herman Schuenemann who brought thousands of trees from the Upper Pennisula of Michigan on his schooner every year to Chicago. He was known as Captain Santa. But in 1912, as he prepares his ship for its annual run, the weather takes a nasty turn. Barometers belonging to the local people in Michigan start going crazy. Even the rats flee the ship. Schuenemann decides to go ahead anyway.


It is a storm of epic proportions that water logs an already burdened ship. The waves confronted by these sailors are massive. Water that goes into the open hulls freezes immediately. The ship is lost. That is until the early 70s when a diver finds the wreckage, nearly intact, approximately 60 miles from its destination.


If I was giving this video to someone, it would be to a Chicago history nut, someone who loves diving around old wrecks, someone who loves being on Lake Michigan. If they love the History Channel, as my father does, I am thinking they would like this dvd. It is filled with old pictures of the time period as well as pictures of Capt. Schuenemann and underwater footage of the wreck.


Now you are probably wondering where you can buy this wonderful video that will make an excellent present to Uncle Al who used to sail on Lake Michigan as a merchant Marine or whatever shipping company it is that brings/brought goods back and forth on the lake. All you have to do is visit www.VAPFilms.com or call 608-873-5784. They will happily process your order for $24.00. There are other movies in the catalog that might intrigue you as well.



Until next week, see you in the Rental Aisle.

Dogs and Rain Storms

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman

If you have a Labrador retriever, you know what I am about to say is the truth.


They are the smartest dog and the dumbest dog you will ever meet.


My black lab will remember if I have left the front door open. He remembers every place he has ever seen a cat or a rabbit. He knows how to find hidden candy and makes the nightly search for food that has fallen to the floor or simply left out on the table.


But the moment he gets loose, my Storm becomes the biggest idiot on the planet. He runs to yards that have dogs and purposely gets them barking. He runs into the street without looking, runs up to people and barks at them for no reason.


The other night when it was raining, my black lab got out of the house. How it happened does not matter because he will take advantage of anyone when he wants to escape. But there we were, trying to catch a black dog on a night with an inky black sky. We could barely see him and tried to do what works best which is make him follow us.


Well, eventually, we succeeded in doing just that. But not before he was almost hit by a car. Thankfully that car made him slow down and we caught him. But for a moment I thought the dog was going to get hit and I would not have blamed the other driver one bit as he is so hard to see.


We were lucky but one of my neighbors was not. Their dog died in a similar incident.


Losing a pet like that matters. Pets become a part of our daily lives, a member of the family. They depend on us for everything, even that daily walk. Neighbors have told me sad stories over the years of the loss of a pet. Maybe it was a different dog that killed their dog or a long illness or a sudden cold that did in the animal. But what was most important was how the loss of the pet was felt by the family.


This is reflected in movies as well.


Poster Image from IMDb.com

I am not sure how many people saw Old Yeller. It is about a family in post-civil war Texas who is adopted by a dog. The father played by Fess Parker, is out of town on a cattle run and the oldest son has been put ‘in-charge.’ His first instincts are to chase off the dog but Yeller proves his worth time and time again.


Sadly, there is an illness going around that affects animals and Yeller gets it after protecting his family one more time. The boy must make a hard decision most adults do not want to face.


I can’t say you won’t cry when you watch this movie; I am certainly thinking about it as I write about this movie. While this movie is better suited for tweener family members and those who are older.

Another movie that focuses on the loss of a pet that is best suited for all members of the family is Bolt voiced by John Travolta. The story is about a TV dog that is purposely lost and works to find his way back to his owner. But along the way, Bolt learns some lessons about making friends and living life in the moment as he has never done before.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.