Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making and Keeping Holiday Memories with Charms// by francy Dickinson

by francy Dickinson
Come visit me at my website for support of spouse and senior care givers

Along with the actual old pictures and family stories come the bits and pieces of memory; jewelry, buttons, badges, service pins and oddities. Every family has them…and I wanted to keep mine close to me to enjoy not put them in an old jewelry case and never see them again.

So out they come; coins from faraway places and charms from childhood. Baby rings in gold and an old locket that was my great grandmother’s with a tiny diamond in the middle and red hair tucked inside; all of this ready to put to use. I sorted through and found the things that would fit on a charm bracelet. Not the type of bracelet you see on QVC, but just all these little things that once meant so much to those who have now passed. From George’s dad there was one lonely gold and platinum cuff link and my aunt had a tiny pendant from her childhood Sunday school days. Two darling little frames for my dear mother and my sweetheart Georgie’s pictures and a gold four leaf clover that mother gave to me ages ago. There is a gold boat that George gave to me when we were cruising many years ago, it always makes me smile. A small earring from the Civil War era nestles in alongside a Eiffel tower charm from Paris all showing their stuff around the cuff. There’s a space needle charm from the Seattle World’s Fair next to a coin from the Alaska Bicentennial.

Along with a gold charm from my husband’s old travel business there is a tiny glass ball for dreaming. Someone gave us a charm on our wedding; a very small house that when you open the roof there are two people in beds inside. A mini fan from Spain and a polished rock from Mexico and a coin from Taipei marked 1987 all dangle and reflect the light.

Do you have a charm bracelet put away? Get it out; add a few family memories to it to make it your own and you’ll carry those stories with you whenever you wear it. It’s easy to do, don’t worry about gold or silver they blend together and my little pearl from my sister mixes in with it all. You will need gold rings that you find in the jewelry craft department of a place like Michaels. You will use these loop rings to attach your charm pieces to a sturdy silver or gold link bracelet that will be safe on your wrist. The loops come in all sizes so find one that is a little larger and strong so your charms will hang nicely around your bracelet. You might want to pick up a very small set of tweezers with a little magnifier from the store too. You will just open the little gold ring loop slightly and slip the charm through and then put it through the bracelet link. You close the loop ring back tight, with a squeeze of the tweezers, as it was before you opened it. Then move on till they are all done….as you work lay out the bracelet with the charms around it so they go on even and leave room to put new finds in here and there. I double the loop if the charm is heavy. This does not require you to be artsy or crafty… just open to the beauty of family memories carried on your wrist and willing to sit quietly with your mp3 player and a towel on your lap or table as you work. This towel will catch anything that magically tries to escape your fingers as you work.

When you have finished putting the charms on the link bracelet then lay it out and take a look. If you want to re-adjust it, this is the time. Once you have a collection that satisfies your eye…you replace the bracelet on top of a brown paper bag and then very carefully with your glasses firmly fixed to your nose and in a very good light…you put a tiny drop of Superglue on each small loop ring closure to make sure it does not come apart and let the charms drop off.

This is a great project to do on Christmas day or the week between the holidays. Take a look around and gather in any of your finds in a zip lock baggie. Ask your mom, sister, or spouse about special things they might be able to share with you and then your ideas will start ticking away to make your bracelet special and different from anyone else. This does not require fancy gold or solid silver…it will be a reflection of what you and your family treasures are at this time.

Now, I’m wearing my bracelet when I’m at home hosting a dinner or an “at home” night. I’m very careful when I go out to an event and only wear it when I can keep an eye on my wrist. I would wear it to a small dinner party, out for drinks or family gathering. That way the bracelet is kept next to my wrist without pulling on it or pulling it off in my coat cuff or gloves. This just protects you from a heart breaking loss. When I am not wearing it, I keep it in a nice padded bag so it has gentle comfort storage. I often rub the charms down with a jewelry cleaning clothe to make them shine. I also tuck in a small silicone square into the storage bag (you can find them inside your new purse or shoe boxes) they keep the bracelet dry where ever you store it. If you use a lot of gold in your bracelet, be sure to tuck it in a safe box so it is not easily taken.

You will find people asking you about the bracelet and it’s a great way to share family stories and keep the memories of those you love close at heart. Take a picture of the bracelet and add info on each charm so the next lucky gal to inherit your sweet jewels will understand the love and honoring that it represents.

There are so many bits and bobs in jewelry cases from your family and those around you…things you never wear any longer, or things that are odd looking and you always wondered what to do with them. Look at it all with a new eye and see if you can attach a loop and a ring to it to add to your collection. You can bring in things to jewelers and they will add a little loop to the top to add to your bling.

When you travel or something sweet is happening to you…add those little memories in with charms that may not be thought of as the usual charm. It makes for hours of comfort and pleasure. I am no longer afraid to ask for things from my elders. I have kept silent so long and seen the things I wanted to save and remember - just thrown away or sold at garage sales for pennies. So if you have seen something that you’re Auntie or Grandfather have had - just ask if you could have it given to you one day for your charm memory bracelet. Explain how you want to remember them and a special coin or other memory charm would be just the ticket to add to your collection.

What treasures do you have tucked away? I wish I could see in your grandmother’s sewing kit. I have my grandmother’s thimble and want to have a loop put on that as soon as I can and I have a very small Masonic pinky ring that was my uncle’s and I know it will be perfect. Oh, and there is only one of my first very tiny diamond earring left and I think I can have the jeweler fold the post over to make a loop. My mind’s eye is now trained to see charms in all that I view. Hope you find your treats and treasures rich and mild- start looking for those little things you have tucked away and get them out in the light again.

Blessings on your holiday …. Sometimes gentle gifts to our own self; are the moments of joy that we treasure the most.

Enjoy the project and think of the generations of girls that will wear your treasures for years and years to come. I always put a name on my special things with a note to the person I have designated to receive it in years to come. That way they will really feel a kinship to the jewelry and wear it with as much pride as I do. They will be remembering me and my family members from the past. I often tell them that one day it will be theirs and it always makes them feel even more interested in the stories and family memories.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Use and Enjoy Twitter with Your Pet

by @MissBusyBiz 

(I’m a Bichon with lots of Twitter friends and having loads of fun with Anipals)

It’s not everyday that I can go for a walk and meet great friends on my way. When I do I make sure that mom has my business cards in her pocket. Yup, even though I’m a dog (a very cute Bichon dog) I have business cards that tell everyone to join Twitter and become my friend by following me!

I had no idea when I joined Twitter that so many wonderful anipals were a part of the community. But now that I have been enjoying the daily chats with dogs, cats and guinea pigs from around the world, I don’t know what I did before Twitter. (BT to those in the know) Twitter may seem like a waste of time, or a 140 character a tweet routine that you don’t need to add to your daily duties, but it is so much more. It’s a community of other like minded anipal friends that chat about everything you can think of during their time online. Now, you know that I tend to tilt towards the fashion, shopping, and food areas of life. I am very much like my mum Francy and we like to talk to others about their lives and what they are fixing for dinner, what book they are reading and even about their day and what has happen in their part of the world. There is so much more, lots of boy dogs get on twitter and talk about sports, politics and bacon treats. Lots of girls talk about hobbies, travel and local events. Lots of anipals talking about what has gone on in their own home towns and homes all over the globe. It is very interesting and fun to be apart of it all. Yes, I do have some regular humans that read my tweets and write back to me but most of all I have best ever dog friends that teach me so much stuff - every day.
@PrincessGwenie is always talking about travel and her toys, she buys a lot of them and she sends me cards in the mail and gives me help when I have questions. @SmokeyPoodle is always there for me with ideas on how to use my iPod, laptop and anything about cooking. He is even working with his dad on a cookbook that has recipes from loads of anipal moms all over the place. Little @Niqqi talks about fashion and loves to shop. I do have to hold her paw when we go shopping she is still a young dog. @Danapixie is in charge of putting together paw circle for dogs that are unwell or lost and if they pass away she helps them find a place at the rainbow bridge. @SamthePoodle diets with mommy and @lunabellasworld ‘s mom talks about life on the east coast. @Tallulahsmom is a fancy designer chick and keeps me in the know with home d├ęcor. Yes my Twitter home is filled with hundreds of pets with expertise in all fields as well as good runners, jumpers and cuddlers.

Are a senior? Are you a busy parent, a young tween, a professional under stress or a just a regular guy it is good to have friends. Everyone knows that “man’s best friend is his dog” and that is no truer statement that those friends on Twitter.

If you have not gone on Twitter yet and wonder why you would? Then it is time for you to give the anipals a try. Go ahead and join Twitter which is all FREE…you type in and it will come up and you can walk through the sign up information. Always remember to keep your privacy high and use a fun name to represent your own real anipal. So my name is Missy. Since I am never in one spot longer than a minute mommy thought Busy was a perfect way to talk about me. And because mommy has home business she added Biz to the end of my name. So I am @MissBusyBiz on twitter. When you join you want to go and look for other dogs and people that you know on Twitter so be sure you type in the @ sign and then the name. I would be so pleased to have you as my follower. Then you just poke around and find other dogs, cats, fish, ducks and click on their page, read about them and then start to follow them. Send them a little Hello Tweet and wait for them to follow you back. That is how you do it, you slowly add a few friends at a time and suddenly you have a group of pals to talk to each day.

There is a little profile or bio on twitter so other people know a little about who you are when they follow you. I had mommy talk about me and her and daddy…Oh, and my brother Mac who is a westie/schnauzer mix. He is boring so no bother talking about him any more. But this profile section is under SETTINGS and you will find it important to those that look you up.

There is a place to put a website. So if you have a business you can put the website there, or a blog address, or just a site that has your family pictures on it would be fun too. This is an important place, lots of people will go there when they come to look at who you are…so direct them to a place they will get information or enjoy.

Pictures are called avatars on Twitter. They are what people see when you post on twitter so its important. You need to make them real. People do not like to see fake pictures or place holders from Twitter. Just take a friendly picture of your pet or you and your pet, and use that as the avatar. You do not need to have anything fancy, just real. Mommy goes through pictures of our family and crops out my picture and then posts that on the avatar. This picture will change through the months. Some times people do silly things with their picture. People will add a ribbon on a dog or a little toy on a picture of a cat…just for fun. What you do with you avatar says a lot about you as a person. Lots of very talented artists do very fun things. But simple photo of a pet is just right.

You will select a time zone and that will be posted, but you don’t have to tell where you live. You can say “West Coast, or Puget Sound Washington“…or your actual home town and state or country…you use what ever you feel comfortable with as you fill out the information. Time will pass and you will change your password, your avatar and your information, so just use something simple in the beginning. I like to check out new friends or followers and see where they’re from and what their parents do or what kind of a dog they are it makes it fun to know about them. I also know a friend in the UK is going to be on line at different times than I am, so it helps to grow a friendship anywhere in the world when you know what time it is at their home.

You check into Twittter each day and you quietly read over what messages you have in your twitter folder. Sometimes they are ads and you just ignore them. Sometimes they are peeps that want to know something and need help. Just hang out for a while and see who they are talking about and then ask them a question or tell them a statement from you and your life. You want to make sure you are on twitter with a group that you feel safe with when you come online each night. So at the beginning just say Hello and tell every one what you are doing like this:

Hi all, I am waiting for mom to finish dinner, having pork chops and I’m so hungry

When you are new you might not hear anything back, but after a while, you will get someone answering you and telling you HI and what they are having for dinner. Or they might ask you to send a pork chop over to them cause they are hungry too. This is just the usual chatter that goes on, on twitter. It is usually fun and informational so just read and respond. If you have a question, then click on the Return button and the name of the person you are reading comes up on your screen and you type in your message.

@MissBusyBiz hey Missy send me 2 pork chops plse, I am so hungry I could eat a bear-BOL

See that shows that this person is wanting to talk to you, they are hungry and making a little joke. The BOL is Bark Out Loud…some use LOL for Laugh Out Loud. To show you they are being friendly. You do not have to know all the short letters, they are just a way to use less letters and say more with a 140 character count. People would appreciate spelling to be easy to understand. So use words you know and know how to spell, make it simple and easy.

I try to make a few tweets each day. Even if I don’t have a lot of time, I go on and say what I am doing. Then I read what is being said by my follower group and enter into a conversation if it has interest to me. Or I might just leave a message for a friend that is not online at that time. To do that start the message directed at your friend.

@Niqqi just thinking of you, here for little while will be back later tonight got UR card, thanks!

That is called a Reply and it goes out for everyone to read and shows up under @Niqqi s in box so she can read it when she comes online. It is public, but directed to a special friend. Now if you want to say something to someone that is private you click on DM or Direct Message. This message goes only to the friend and not the general public.

D niqqi this is my personal phone 555-222-1345 call me around 10 your time

You see this information only goes out to your @friend…but, you must make sure you are careful. Most Twitters will give out their email and ask you to send personal information out through that venue. They worry about privacy on Twitter and it’s good to worry. You want to have Twitter a fun place not a place that brings you trouble. If you tell people you are leaving town, your home could be burglarized…so keep your personal information private and Twitter will be fun, not scary.

Using Twitter to ask questions is so helpful. One of our family members had a problem, they thought their dog had been poisoned and did not know what to do. They sent out a tweet and three Vets (moms and dads of the dogs and a cat on twitter) answered them back right away and they were able to save their dog.

It is hard to explain what Twitter is until you begin to use it on a daily basis. I would say your beginning would be 10-15 minutes once or twice a day. As you go forward and have friends you may want to set up a time that all of you can meet to chit chat each evening or a couple times a week. You plan to use a time that will fit - We use 7pm on the west coast so the friends on the east coast can check in before they go to bed. It makes it fun for our group to enjoy each other and our day’s ups and down with friends.

What I like about Twitter I think is the nice friendship without requirements. You don’t have to take someone out to lunch, or talk to them each day, or call and spend time on phone, or to worry about dinners together for a friendship to bond. On Twitter you just check in and talk about little things and check out. It is a nice way to feel a part of something bigger than your regular day, but still within your own limits of tastes, language and interests. There is a friend for everyone on Twitter you just go out there and find them.

Twitter will show you how to look for your friends on their system. Then when you find a dog or cat you like you click on the picture and it will take you to their Twitter page. You can read their bio and see if they sound fun. If they do you click on the Follow tab and there you go, a new follow is on your list. A message will be sent to them that you are following them and they can then decide to follow you back. You will also see a bunch of pictures of other people and pets that are following this friend on the page. You can double click on those followers avatars and go to their Twitter Page and you will be able to gather in more and more friends. They do the same back.

At any time you can unfollow someone. If they are using language that is not to your liking, or do to many messages that have advertisements in the twitter or what ever reason. You once again double click their avatar and their twitter page comes up and you click the unfollow button. If you click the block button they will not be able to see your messages either. I use the block only if the person is doing spam or is talking porn. That is when I draw the line. Otherwise I just unfollow and forget them. I have loads of other nice friends to talk to so I do not miss a person or dog that has been using blue language or sending information that has nothing to do with my interests or lifestyle.

The more followers you have the more fun you have online and more friends to talk to and enjoy. But the followers just come, it is like a snow ball going downhill…it happens with or without you. On Fridays lots of people will put up names of their new friends and ask you to follow them. Its called Follow Friday or #FF. You can take a little time on a Friday and go to a friend you like and see what friends they enjoy and then click on them and follow them.

If you have a hobby, profession, health challenge, type of pet, place, or common interest of any kind, those friends will come to you when you just post a Tweet. Talk about yourself and be real and you will find interesting people coming out of the Internet walls. Its what’s fun about Twitter.

What you do not do? The NO NO, Bad Dog Stuff? Do not say hurtful things about anyone. If someone does not please you, unfollow them instead and forget it. Do not use nasty language, we all have to see it and read it. Do not allow yourself to get so mad you go nuts over a conversation or thought. Everyone has options and you need to read them and respond to those that you have interest in each day.

Do not click on Internet addresses in tweets until you know a person. They could be places with sex or a bug that might hurt your computer. On the good side, when you get to know people and talk to them a lot they will send you fun pictures and to places on the net that have interesting information that you both share. They will do videos for your viewing and exchange information about SKYPE (it’s a video and phone site) that will further enhance your time as a friend. Its like anything else, it is building a friendship and it is all on your own terms. If you want to participate you can- if you don’t - you don’t. That is what makes it safe.

I adore my friendships on Twitter…they are fun and helpful and make me laugh and learn all at the same time. So, when I am out and about at my own home town, I carry a business card with my Twitter name and picture on it to hand to new friends. They can then join twitter and find me! When I go on my walkies, they are in my mom’s pocket.

You can order your simple @anipaltwittername business cards Free + shipping on…give it a try and collect friendships as you go on play dates and meeting mutts at the dogs parks -- Don't forget when you get on Twitter be my friend and follower! See you there...Missy

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Twitter Anipal Pawpawty is a Destination Holiday!

Long before I began my time on Twitter I read a piece on a dog named @frugaldougal and his mother, Lynn. They were gathering #anipal parents from Twitter and giving a #Pawpawty. This pawty (as it is called in Twit talk) is for fun and for collecting money towards animal charities. At the time of the article they had collected a total of tens of thousands of dollars (at a $1-$5 a hit).

I remember the read, but by the time I joined Twitter in the late spring of 2009 I had forgotten the details. So when I was given the invite to my own first #Pawpawty I did not go, because I didn’t really understand the routine. Yet month after month these pawties of anipals from around the world went on. I was finally invited by a friend and given instructions and I found that the next #Pawpawty I could at least look through the door at the festivities.
The #Pawpawty runs for 24 hours and they celebrate holidays, or the month’s special #anipal. Thousands of Twitter peeps and their dogs join in and the event has become quite the “be there or be square” activity each month.There are other gatherings of friends on Twitter, but this has been the King of all Pawties and many of us have spent hours enjoying the fun.

It takes a whole crew to put on the pawties in the void of space that we call Twitter and There are ad guys that let us know the dates and times, there are bartenders that serve wild and crazy drinks like nipitinies and Hank's Bacon Beer for the anipals' delight. There is a full menu to order from and many a pawty goer enjoys the buffet of invented cookies, tuna treats and liver cakes.

You could not go to a #pawpawty without the hard working sekurity details that keep all safe from those nasty Twitter bots that bad folks seem to enjoy dumping on those of us who enjoy our Twitter time online. They also ease the crowd of revealers and keep them down to a low roar. They help find the lost and guide those that have enjoyed too much time at the open bar.

There are quiz times and donated gifts from wonderful purveyors of pet products. Those that enjoy games answer the trivia questions and the lucky winners go home with new collars, cat toys or doggie rain coats. All of this is happening like a well choreographed ballet, for hours and hours over a weekend.

As a guest you're invited to a special sign up page and you see the theme for the month’s gathering. You click, the YES I will attend button and you are then a part of the official #Pawpawty collage of avatars expected to attend. You're given date, time, place and free entry. As you step into a world of the happy #pawty atmosphere, its like getting off the plane in Hawaii and feeling the warm breeze on your face, hearing the island music and having a fragrant flower lei put around your neck. You know you are on a mini vacation. All during the pawty there is music being played for you by your hourly appointed DJ and a reminder that all tips and donations can be gratefully accepted on the month’s featured animal rescue donation page-- featuring a safe charity donation site.

It used to be hundreds and now its over thousands of dollars, donated during the pawty. I know you can relate to the smaller animal rescue situations around the world. They are usually a family event to save wild or rescue animals in their area. Rescuing feral cats or keeping wayward dogs from being put down - these small caring groups need all the help they can get. How nice to know that a bunch of #anipal parents are able to help the small guys of the world. The donations are guided to known animal rescues that a group of @frugaldougal friends suggest during the #Pawpawty planning meetings.

As this #Pawpawty has evolved and grown the amount of energy put into these wonderful monthly gatherings has stepped up to a higher level. Now you can enjoy the “Hot as Hot Fudge” Dawg Rock Band @ShibberingC They play mean guitars and some of them dance and throw cheetos and love beads to the pawty crowd. All of this done in 140 characters each tweet!

As dogs and cats bogey on the dance floor, the hamsters, pigs and feathered friends keep busy at the bar. If there is not a food fight, a dig in or a lost dog event, then there’s another round of trivia for a chance at the goody bag filled with donated treats.

The Twitter avatars always help to advertise the event as pictures change from everyday dog or cat mugs to Scifi characters or Irish leprechauns. Pictures of cookies and special treats pop up for you to see during the pawty so the guests can make a quick grab for pizza and Irish green bacon beer. There are rides to and from the event and the pawty moves around the globe as the east coasters sleep and Japan and the always pawty hungry Aussies join in the fun.

When I first joined the #Pawpawty I walked quietly in and just listened to the many voices of all the pawty goers and those that serve. I (as my best friend and little Bichon @MissBusyBiz) was sent over a drink and passed a plate of peanut butter nibbles. I was invited to dance by @SidTheCatahoula - we danced and dipped the night away on his big paws to never ending tunes from the DJ.

It’s a place to go and be away from the world at the same time a place to express your creative side and your love of fantasy and fun. The pawties are always well planned by @frugaldougal ‘s mom and all her many helpers. It may seem like a fantasy that is too much for your well honed mind. But for me - it was a few hours of fun and enjoyment away from my everyday life that is filled with full time Alzheimer’s care of my husband. Before you shake your head, you should really peek inside the #pawpawty to see the show. You will find a room full of caring and loving folks that are having fun and giving to others at the same time. From the graphic artists, bloggers, music research and theme designers, full pawty planners to each of us that just give a little to the tip jar - everyone has their own hours of gifting to the events.

At this writing @frugaldougal is having health challenges and we are all concerned. But I know that what has been started will not fade away. It will go on and on in our own #anipal twitter world and I am so pleased with all that has been done to establish it and bring it into a realm of reality and pride for us all. Like a snowball, the events have grown each month, more and more creative folks join in and the festival becomes an even better adventure with each gathering.

Thank you to all that give so much each month. Thanks for all the guests that have come and gone through the years and have given their dollars to animals that need rescue all over the world. Special thank you to the peeps behind the genius of Twitter and Tweetgrid that allow us to pawty and escape our lives for a few hours each day. We may not be able to fly off to a destination resort but we can all make a few clicks and join in the #anipal fun with our monthly gathering of celebration and give a dollar towards the rescue of animals that have no one to help them but us.
Find out more information at

PS @MissBusyBiz is a back up dancer for the band...she rocks!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Brothers - Boy! by Missy

At Christmas I thought that Spring would never come. My brother Mac is an outside dog and to get him off my turf by the front door -window pillow or daddy's lap you have to have no rain. Now, no rain is not easy in the northwest. Even on a blue sky day...rain clouds can blow by and dump sprinkles and Mac is very sensitive if he smells rain, he is back in the house.

But yesterday the miracle happened. I was out with Mac in the back yard and there it was....a bulb coming into bloom. It was tiny, just up and breaking into a buttercup yellow drop. I smelled it and it hit me. Spring!

I know, I know there are gray skies out there...but when you see a bulb the next thing is the trees bloom and then the sun starts to come out more and more. Some times the sky actually warms and before you know it Mac is out the door and in the backyard more and more each day.

Our new neighbor Bailey, a very nice guy, is also a backyard kid so Mac is enjoying his time outside more than ever before. They just go to our mutual fence and talk to each other. You know "shoot the breeze" so to speak. So, that means I am almost in the peace time of the year.

When Mac is outside he is not here to share little tidbits that dad gives out when he has lunch. Mac misses the whole production of daddy going out to the mailbox and so I am usually chosen to escort him for safety purposes. I also get to watch mom go up and down the stairs to the office and be by her feet in case she has time to drop a small treat on the floor. There are tweets to send and cards to send out to my Twitter friends. There's online shopping to do to buy Hello Kitty stuff, like my new Tshirt and new toys to mull over. There are girl friends to call on my cell and doggie blogs to read --- all without interruption from brother. 

Mac carefully resting in the grass or digging (a very small) hole in the yard means that March can be filled with shopping trips with Auntie Cheryl and cookie baking with mommy. Its a good life in the Spring for a fluffy dog with her brother out of the house.

Oh Mac will come in every once in a while. He rarely goes a whole hour without finding mommy for a hug. He is a bit of a sissy with that sort of thing. He acts all huffy and tough around peeps and other dogs, but you should see him kissing up mommy when he's lonely. Geesh.

And even though he would never admit it...sometimes he joins me in a sunspot on our mini couch pillow by the front window. Its big enough for both of us to share and if no one is when they go out and we are all might catch me and Mac curled up together. Well we never actually touch, we just come really close and know that we are not alone. I mean a brother has to be good for something, right?

Happy Spring, and if you have a brother that happens to be a terrier -- happy peace with them in the backyard! Your friend and offical Pink Pup, @MissBusyBiz

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine from a Princess

   The day began so simple, but ended so special. First Missy was sleeping by the front door and that means that brother Mac was by her side. The day was sunny for winter and warm on the pink bed and just as she was closing her eyes for a little nap --- a strange man walked up to the front door and rang the bell.
   Mac jumped up and down and barked to alert mother, Missy ran up the steps in the hall to be safe and bark from a distance. The man just stood there waiting for mom to come to the door. Mac was jumping higher and higher and drooling from the mouth. He was going to rip that man right off the porch, throw him over the banister and down into the pit that surrounds the house. It was going to be bad, really bad.
   Mommy came running into the hallway and told Mac to calm down and Missy to stay where she was on the step. Then she talked to the man through the window. He was trying to deliver a package for Auntie Cheryl and wanted to leave it by the door. When mom opened the door there was the package and a card dropped on the floor.
   The card had golden writing on it and looked very important with a crest an all. "Its addressed to Missy", mommy said. Missy came down a few stairs and smelled the card and asked mommy to open it up.
   Mommy used a silver knife to slip through the envelop top and tear it open. She then carefully pulled out the card and read it to Missy -
   "Oh Missy, its from Princess Gwenie, your friend from Twitter and she is sending you the prettiest Valentine from the is it pretty...look, it looks just like you in a pretty rose sparkle dress" Missy smelled the card and smiled, she had gotten her first Valentine of the year and it was from her good friend Gwenie. Gwenie lives in a castle in the desert and she knows all about fashion, food and good times. She's a shes a corgi just like the Queen's dogs - but twice as royal.

Mommy took the card and put it on the front greeting table so everyone could see it and Missy has the prettiest Valentine of all Gwenie's subjects in the land. Great Day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sisters, A Dog's Tale

By francy Dickinson
Twitter @MissBusyBiz

It had already turned out to be a great day. First the walkies with mom where Polly and Anna, two very small and very white teacup poodles, had an extended journey around the neighborhood. Mom was in a good mood and wanted to stretch her legs and the dogs followed suit. How fast they had to walk to keep up with her. Each of her steps took eight of their steps so they ran along and kept close to her side. The day was wet and they avoided puddles and big rocks on the side of the road.

They looked terrific of coarse, they both had their pink JuicyDogCouture jackets on with the hoodies up to keep their hair bows from getting wet. Their pink jackets matched their mom’s pink rain slicker and her pink mud boots. They walked along at a good pace and smelled the grass and jumped over the occasional puddle. They used Mrs. Johnson's side yard for potty. Mommy had cleaned it up with her packet of baggies from the stylish leopard print wallet hooked onto her belt. There was a treat waiting at Mr. Mondale’s as they walked past his back sliding door and waited for him to see them there. Once they caught his eye he hurried over to the door and slid it quickly open.

"Hello there, girls. How is your walkies today?" he said with his kind voice. He nodded to mommy and then reached down and gave each of them a small treat that he had bought special for his little girlfriends. Mr. Mondale had lost his wife a few months before and the short visit from Polly and little Anna was eventful for him each day. They bounced and wiggled as he gave them a head pat and off they went as their mom nodded to him and pulled on their leads. She kept them on their journey. Polly looked back and smiled at him as she ran to keep up with her mom and sister.

There was a scary large bull dog barking at the next home they passed but mom had checked and the gate. it was closed, as they hurried past. Both the little dogs caught a quick movement in the next yard and watched it go up a tree. A squirrel, running as fast as it could to get into the safe branches way up high. Lucky that squirrel was fast because both dogs had stopped and barked at the squirrel, pulling hard on their leads. Polly noted that you can’t let them get away with running around willy-nilly. The least that the two little girls could do was tell the squirrel off and keep her high on the branch. The two dogs did not see that they were just a head taller than the squirrel, in their mind's eye, they were giants.

Mom had quickly jerked the leads and they turned and ran to catch up with her walking and passed the huge grey house. This house was very big and always dark inside the windows. They once were attacked by the owner's large dog, just a few months ago. It had come out of the back yard on a run with snarling teeth and nasty breath and bit at Polly's bottom and it had drawn blood. But mommy had reached down and brought both of the dogs up into her arms to save them. She yelled at the dog until the owners came out to drag the beast back into their back yard. They had apologized but mommy always kept their leads pulled close when they passed the house.

There was a quick sniff of Barney, the beagle, who was out in his front yard while his mom picked up the mail. He lived just down the street. Barney was always nose to the ground, smelling out invaders that might have been in his yard and rarely had time to play. They moved on for another hello to Tallulah, the Bichon, that was sitting on top of her couch by the front window. Mommy took them on the wet grass and they tip toes through it to get to the window. They excitedly barked at each other while Tallulah jumped up and down, wildly wagging to come out and play. Her mom was at work and so she could only blow them a kiss as the two little poodles kept walking on their trek back home with mommy.

Mom stopped at the letter box and collected the mail and then walked slowly around the front yard . She pulled a weed here, grabbed a empty soda can and picked up a small branch that had blown down in the last big wind. The little sisters were busy smelling for intruders that dared to come onto their property. Mom put her armful of greenery and garbage in the recycle bins and they went into the house through the garage.

Both of the dogs sat right down on the rug inside the laundry room door and waited for mommy to take off their leads and dry their feet with the pink towel. Mom took off their walking hoodies and ran a quick brush through their hair so they looked fluffy. She cleaned out their eyes and gave them both a hug. Then it was time for them to sit very still as mom opened the treat jar and gave them each a little treat. It tasted so good but they were both thirsty from the walk so they followed mommy into the kitchen to get a cool drink from their pink water dish, painted with Princess on the front - of course. Mommy waited until they had left the bowl to reach over and refill it with the filtered water pitcher. She put down the mail and a catalog for Niqqi's World fell to the floor. The girls smiled because they knew it meant something new to wear or a toy to play with when mommy got her dog catalogs.

It was time for their early lunch and mommy had it all ready in their special bowls. Down the bowls went with the kibble all mixed up with some chicken gravy momma had served with dinner last night. The girls ate their small meal and danced around again for their “after dinner treats”.

The excitement of the walk and their lunch had taken both of the little girls into a slower pace and they watched their mommy start to prepare her own lunch. Mommy sang a little tune about her cute little doggies and worked around the kitchen opening the refrigerator and pulling out things to make her afternoon sandwich and yogurt. They knew there was nothing coming until she was almost done with her meal. Then she would save a small bite for each of them.

Polly lead the way across the clean kitchen floor into the puffy bed that sat right in front of the sliding doors to the backyard. As Polly’s nails clicked on the tiles little Anna followed her sister. Polly got into the bed and began to turn around in a spiral to find just the right spot and then sank into a ball. Little Anna then slipped in right next to her using Polly's bottom as her head pillow. Their little dance had been done so many times they easily slipped into their comfy pose. Their bed was right on top of the heater vent so it was warm and cozy and they hugged each other as their eyelids got heavy listening to mommy sing a silly song and they slipped into sleep to dream away the afternoon.

It might have been a noise that woke up Anna. She was surprised at the darkness of the room, she whined a little and Polly's head popped up. They both jumped out of the pink polka dot bed and ran to the back door where the noise had come from. Confused at the source of the noise and wanting their mom for direction, they started to run around the room in the darkness looking for her. Not finding her in the kitchen they ran through the hallway to the front room. Where they tripped over all their stuffed toys scattered around the room. Anna had stepped on the cell phone toy and it made a noise like a ring tone. Not smelling or hearing mom in there they ran down the hallway to the bedroom but the door was closed. The little dogs sniffed under the door to see if they could get their mother’s scent but got nothing.

They were not used to the darkness and did not know what happened to their day. They had fallen asleep in the day and usually mommy woke them up with little bits of her lunch. Then they would follow her up the stairs to her office where she would work on her computer all day. They would rest by her office chair in another puffy bed that she put in just the right place for them to look out the window and still watch her type. She would give them treats each time she took a break and stretched or walked around. Often times she threw a ball or a toy for them to fetch and they would play tag or pull toy to keep busy. But today there was no one up in the office. Polly had gone up the dark stairs to check it out and Anna had stayed at the bottom watching her and too afraid to follow. There was nothing in the office but the hum of the computer and the flash of the screen. Mommy had a big screen and Polly could see it was on but bubbles were floating all over it.

Polly and Anna were both the same age and sisters, but Anna has been the tiny one in the litter and she was shy and stayed close to her sister for safety. Polly was never afraid, even though she was super small she was very brave and felt it was her duty to take care of her little sissy. But mom did not leave them alone without telling them she was going and she did not leave them without goodbye treats and the music playing on the kitchen counter radio. The house was very, very quiet. No mommy, no noise, no new smells...Polly and Anna were both worried. Where had mommy gone and why had she left them there without telling them?

The girls sat next to the front door and looked out into the dark. The front porch light was off, so they could only see into the darkness. They sat very still and listened for any sound they could get. The neighborhood was all dark and nothing but the tick of the regulator clock in the front hall could be heard.

Anna was frightened, she whined and Polly sat closer to her to calm her down. Polly was trying hard to think. When had mom ever left them alone without telling them? She could not remember. When mom did leave she left in the car, maybe Polly could hear her out by the laundry room to the garage. She ran around the corner of the hall into the kitchen and through to the back door to the laundry room...but there was no sign of mom there either, their leads were still hanging by the back door and nothing else looked out of place. She sniffed under the door to the garage and smelled nothing, so she went back to her sister standing in the dark kitchen. Anna was smelling around the floor and found her bowl with a small piece of sandwich and she ate the little treat. Polly quickly checked her bowl and found her little piece of ham sandwich and ate it up. Mommy had left them treats so maybe they just didn't hear her leave. Maybe everything was OK after all and they should just sit by the front door and watch for her to return. They could always hear her car coming down the road and she loved seeing them barking and dancing at the window when she turned into their long driveway.

Polly and Anna sat on their favorite cushion that was covered with Hello Kitty material and placed right by the front door side window. They sat in the dark staring outside trying to see any movement in the darkness. They did not rest, they just sat and watched for movement. They did have a start as they saw a raccoon and her little ones walking down the front drive. They barked at her and told her to get off their property and she moved on pushing her little ones as they passed around to the side of the house. They returned to the darkness and quiet until Anna barked at a cat. It was the monster black cat, Hilda, from next door that thought she owned the neighborhood. She walked with a strut and came right up on the porch and looked at them through the window. Polly was appalled, after all who did she think she was? She barked and barked and finally growled a warning to get off their porch and Hilda nodded her head and slowly turned and walked off into the darkness. Anna was so happy she had left she took a deep breath and went into the kitchen and had some water. Then she went into the laundry room and whined at the door. Polly ran to her thinking she had found mom. Anna was whining and moving around because she had to piddle and she wanted out. But no one was there to let them out so she went over to the corner by the laundry basket and did her business. Polly worried; mommy was not going to be happy when she found that mess when she came home. Both dogs ran back to the front door window to wait.

The house was so quiet and then lights began to come on across the street, front porch lights and car lights were coming into the driveways with mommies and daddies coming home. There were voices and doors opening and closing and the two little girls listened very hard to hear their mommy's car.

As they watched all the activity they thought they heard a noise in the back of the house. They sat in the dark and looked at each other becoming very silent straining to hear. A moment later their ears perked up and they heard a small noise coming from their mom's bedroom. It was Polly that bravely ran down the hall again and listened at the bedroom door. She bent down and put her nose under the door and sniffed hard, squeezing her eyes tight to concentrate on any smell or small noise that came from behind the door. What was it? It sounded like a vibration on the floor, then it hit her. Her mother’s cell phone was ringing on silent, it must be in her room.

Polly made a decision; she ran back to Anna and pulled at her to follow her. Anna was quiet and very worried, she had sunk down onto the pillow by the front door and she did not want to move but Polly demanded her attention. Together they ran to the bedroom door and Anna began to scratch at it. Polly knew she could not open it, how could she get up higher and get at that handle that mom always used? She was so small and the door was so tall. Polly and Anna looked at each other and then on a dime Polly ran into the living room where her toy basket was and she picked up two toys at once. Running back down the hall to the door she dropped them and then Anna joined her. Back and forth they ran to the basket and back to the bedroom door building up the toys higher and higher until they looked like a mountain. Anna carefully climbed on top of the toys and stood tight and Polly jumped up on the back of her sister and grabbed at the door with both paws. She hit the door handle, but at the same time the toy stack scattered and Anna dropped down and Polly fell over her. Anna whined and Polly started to restack the toys with the bigger ones on the bottom this time, until the stack was a higher mountain than before. Anna carefully stood on the top of the toys and Polly jumped up on her sister again and this time she was just able to reach the door handle and twist - the door opened and the two dogs tumbled into the bedroom.

They scrambled to their feet and started to run around the room in the dark smelling every corner and retracing their mom’s steps towards the bathroom. The bathroom floor was cold and the room was so quiet as they crept across the tile floor. They knew their mom was there, they could feel her breathing. Mommy had slid down to the floor and was spread out with her feet and arms in all directions. The dogs slowly were smelling her feet and legs, then her arms and up to her head. Mommy did not move, they were surprised because she had always reached out and touched them, she would kiss them and hug them when she had been gone. But this time she was just quiet, so the dogs pushed at her to wake her up. Anna whined a little and was pushing on her mom’s arm. She wanted to get under it to be close to her but it did not move. Polly was up at her mom’s face and she was licking it and smelling at her mouth, there was an odor on her lips and her cheeks were cold. Polly knew this was not good, something bad was happening to mommy and she needed to get her help, she would have to call the neighbors and have them come over and take care of mommy.

Polly nudged Anna and the two little ones ran together through the bedroom and leaped over the toy mountain and out to the front door. They began to bark at the neighbors and alert them to the problem. They barked and barked and yet no one came. They did hear Barney in the distance and they thought he got the message and would tell his mom that they needed help, but he was just a beagle. They barked until their throats were sore and they were shaking with worry. Anna went quiet and just crouched down and put her head on the window ledge and whimpered. Polly knew this wasn’t working. She would have to do something else to get help. She sat quietly thinking as she nuzzled Anna to calm her. Then a thought came into her mind, just a small thought - but a thought that just might work. She pushed at her sister to follow her and she began to run up the stairs to her mother’s office.

She reached the top of the stairs in the dark and smelled a bone that she had left the other day in the corner of the hallway. She ran over to check on the safety of the hiding place and then carried on towards the office. She jumped up on mommy’s chair and Anna followed her and then stepped over Polly to sit on the desk top. Mommy had a jar of treats there and Anna was checking it out to see if the lid was off.

Polly could see the huge bright screen and watched the bubbles bouncing all over it and then she hit the keyboard. The screen made a flash and there in front of her was a long line of pictures of all her anipal friends on Twitter. She was so happy to see them, they would know what to do. Mommy checked in with all of them each day, they all knew mommy and her two little white poodles. As she sat and typed she would read off the messages that each of their pals had sent and talk out loud as she typed a return message back from the two little sisters. They had their own avatars (tiny pictures) and mommy would take pictures of them often to share with the other anipals.

Polly looked down the list of her pal's avatars in Twirl and she could see her dear friend Sid. Now Sid was a very practical guy and he would know just what to do. He would always help Polly out of problems when they would send tweets back and forth. Polly’s paws hit the keyboard just like her mom and she pounded and pounded but nothing happened. Until Anna leaned over to look at the screen and accidentally hit the Enter Key. A beep came out of the speakers and Polly knew that when her mom sent messages there would be a beep, so she was sure the message went out. She was feeling so much better that she had told Sid to come over and help them. Right after that a few bings came over the speaker and Polly and Anna looked at the screen because those bings meant there were messages just sent to them. But Polly did not know how to read those messages.

The list of anipal pictures rolled down the screen and when it stopped it was on little Niqqi. Polly was so happy to see her, Niqqi was one of her best friends and a part of group that her mother called The Pink Pups. It was a group of very sweet little girl dogs, that spent a lot of time talking about shopping, clothes and fun things to do. So, Polly hit the keys again telling Niqqi to have her mommy come over and help. Once again nothing happened until Anna leaned over and licked Polly’s ear and when she did she accidentally hit the Enter Key again and a beep popped out of the speakers. Just like before there was a return of bings, but no way for Polly to know what they said. The screen just kept rolling and the pictures went by…Oh, there was TweetiePie now that dog knew how to rescue dogs in need. Then the sweet face of Jinx was up and Polly knew she lived by a big lake and would be able to take a boat here. Suddenly there was Luna her dear friend that was the prettiest doggie of all. Luna’s picture rolled away and Jimmy the Boston terrier was up. Polly adored Jimmy and she knew if nothing else, he would give her a smooch. He always gave everyone a smooch. As the screen refreshed and rolled again it was Sam the Poodle on the top of the list and she was so happy to see him. Polly once again pounded the keys in desperation, “Sam, Sam I need help”, she pounded. Sam was a very smart dog and she knew he could help her, he was always suggesting things for Polly to do. She knew she could count on him to be there. But nothing happened. Smokey’s picture rolled around and the lady with the little dogs in a pram was up, then Mattie and Barley, the Trailer park dogs-the avatars just spun down the page and she saw Fudge a very difficult cat that always had the right answer to any question. Anna adjusted herself to be closer to Polly and hit the Enter Key again. The beep and the chorus of bings were going off like shots into the night.

Then just as the rolling of all the pictures stopped there was a picture of her good friend Gwenie, a Princess of a dog. She was a corgi, just like the Queen’s dogs, and she would certainly help her. Her mommy was a great friend to mom. Before Polly could pound out another message to Gwenie the phone rang. It was mommy’s business phone right next to the computer. The two little girls sat and watched it ring and then their ears perked up and their heads tilted as the answering machine picked up the message. They knew the voice, hooray, it was Gwenie’s mommy talking.

“Hi Carol, I’m just letting you know I think that someone has hacked your Twitter page information and is sending out garbage messages under your name. You better check it right away. The stuff coming out is just a bunch of letters and numbers, who knows what they will do if you don’t handle it soon. Hope it works out and send me a quick e note to let me know you got the messa” Just as Gwenie’s mom was going to finish her word Anna hit the phone button and the speaker clicked on. Both of the dogs were barking and howling to Gwenie’s mom and telling her what happened. “Help, send us help!” they howled. But the phone went quiet. No sound came back and the red light was blinking not steady.

Polly sat looking at the phone and knew that this was not working. No one had heard her and no one was going to come and help them. All they could do was go back down to be with their mommy until she woke up. The two girls jumped down from the desk top and chair and ran back down the stairs, with Polly in the lead they ran down the hall and jumped over the toy mountain and back through the bedroom to their mother still quiet on the floor.

Anna ran back out in the hall and brought back her baby dollie and sat it right down on mommy’s tummy and then Polly left and got her blankie and brought it back and put it down by her moms side. The dogs sat on the blanket and waited for mommy to wake up, they waited and waited and the room was very quiet and very dark. Anna had curled up with her head on her dollie and her eyes focused on her mother’s face and Polly was sitting very still on the blanket thinking. She wanted her mom to wake up so she could tell her how happy they were to see her. She wanted her to know how they had been all alone and missed her when we was sleeping, but mom remained quiet with no movement at all. Their mother’s breathing was so small that there was no sound. They had settled into their vigil and sat there for what seemed like hours just keeping her safe and giving her love. The dogs were calming down now that they were next to their mom.

Suddenly, a large crash hit the front door. It was so loud that both dogs jerked up and looked at each other. Another bang hit the door again and the dogs took off barking. They ran through the bedroom and sailed over the toy mountain and took off down the hall using their high attack barks. They could see very large men, as tall as trees, coming into the house and they barked nasty and started to drool. They had to protect their mommy at all cost. The men were coming towards them down the hall, more and more men carrying suitcases and marching right at them. They ran back over the toy mountain and into the bathroom to protect mommy. Polly stood right on mom’s tummy next to dollie and little Anna had the door. Their barking was frantic and in such high pitch tones that the men were effected as they entered into the bedroom and turned on the light switch. The room lit up and they could see the wild eyes of the dogs in the bathroom.
One of the giants moved closer to the bathroom door and called out to the others that he found her. The dogs were not going to let him in. Polly stood her ground and it was the tiny Anna that was aggressive, growling and finally attacking the man’s ankle. He yelped and lifted his leg with Anna still attached and he shook it hard trying to release her. He yelped again and used a very mean voice to call to the other men to get the dogs. Polly was barking and had run towards the man to protect her sister.

Just as the men were putting down their suitcases and putting on some gloves to grab the dogs. A voice called out. “Don’t hurt the dogs boys, just stand back and let me take them. Just stand back please and let me through so I can take the dogs.” Polly recognized the voice, it was Mr. Mondale and she stopped barking for a moment as he pushed through the bathroom door and bent down to pick up Anna. “Let go Anna," he said and pulled her by the back of her neck and she released her hold. The large man made a yelp again and shook his leg.

Mr. Mondale moved over and picked up Polly and tucked her under his arm and then he grabbed the dollie toy and small pink doggie blanket and swooped the girls out of the room. He sat on the bed where they could still see all the men coming and going but they were out of the way. They watched as the mean men worked over momma on the floor.

Polly and Anna were tucked inside Mr. Mondale’s sweater to keep them warm and he wrapped their blankie around them too. The two little dogs were shaking and barking out at the men bothering mommy. “Don’t you worry about them little ones, those men are helping your mommy, she’s sick. Just calm down now.” He said in a quiet and calming voice. Mr. Mondale held them very tight and very close and they could not wiggle out of his arms. His big hands were gently caressing their heads and ears and he was rocking to keep them calm.

The big men brought in the gurney and put mommy on it and took her out of the house. Polly was growling a low growl as one of the men came close to talk to Mr. Mondale. Polly worried, “What was going to happen to mommy?”

“She should be OK.” said the man that Anna had attacked. Mr. Mondale got up to address the man and held tight on to the dogs to keep them controlled. The man continued “It looks like a diabetic shock and she passed out. We have her breathing deeper and her pulse is strong again. She did hit her head as she fell and that will be a welt for a while. I think an overnight at the hospital is all it will take. They will check her out and make sure her head is clear and her sugar levels are in normal range, then she will be back home and just fine." Mr. Mondale thanked the man and apologized about the dog bite.

“Oh, no problem sir, we get that with all house calls with pets. Those little dogs can be even more aggressive than the big ones trying to protect their people. Glad you were here to help them out. Now they won’t be left alone in the house. Those two are quite the talk of the town tonight. We got calls in to 911 from all over the country saying that something was wrong at the house. I guess the lady had Twitter friends that had been alerted by the dogs actually trying to send messages. One of their pals called the house and heard the dogs barking wildly and got concerned. Apparently the misses takes very good care of the dogs and it was out of character for them to be alone and so stressed. So, off we came to check it out and when there was no response we felt we had to make an entry. The door is a mess, but at least the lady is safe. Yep, those dogs are famous tonight - saving their mom like that.”

Mr. Mondale smiled and hugged the little ones still tucked in safe in his heavy sweater. “Well if you knew them like I do you would not be surprised, they have always been very smart and love their mommy very much." The two men shook hands and the rescue man left the room with a slight limp. Mr. Mondale followed him through the maze of toys by the doorway and down the hall to the front door that had been kicked in during the emergency entry.

He took the dogs into the laundry room and switched on the light and got the girls put into their leads and took them outside for a quick potty call. Then he took them through the garage until he found some scraps of lumber and a hammer with nails. They returned to the kitchen where he closed the dogs in the room as he worked in the hallway - nailing the front door shut.

He let out the dogs and they all roamed around the house making sure it was safe to leave for the night and then he gathered up the dog things he would need for their overnight stay. There were coats to put on for the walk home, dog bowls for water and food. A Ziploc bag filled with kibble, a towel to wipe their feet and a baggie container for their walkies. Of course baby dollie and the pink blanket which he noted was hand made with a Hello Kitty on the front and fun pink feathers around the edges, it was all simply a must. The girls had a leopard print overnight bag on rollers right by the cupboards with a pink poodle dog printed on the front and he loaded it up with their various goodies. Little doggies needed more stuff than he did for an overnight.

The girls wandered around the house still nervous and worried but when they heard the word “walkies” they both started to jump and do twirls. He gave them a treat each and walked out of the house leaving it safely locked down. As he checked the perimeter of the house he was thinking he would have his home full of fun tonight with the two little ones to care for and then tomorrow they would all go over to the hospital and bring their mommy back home. He would have to talk to her about all their friends that helped them when they were in trouble. He had never been on Twitter and had no idea you could make friends on the service and actually have them care enough to make 911 calls to help you out of trouble. Maybe it was time for him to get on the Internet more and maybe a little dog to keep him company would help him. But how could there be any dog as smart and girlie sweet as these two little sisters.

He smiled as the girls danced around and excitedly ran in the dark, smelling the ground and looking at him for reassurance. Anna was glued next to Polly and they were thrilled to be out and about. Polly was thinking of her anipals and how in the end, Pink Pups do rule. The three of them walking down the street; the two little girls working hard to keep up with his steps and Mr. Mondale pulling their fancy overnight case heading towards home.