Zoey

The Work (and Poetry) of an Assisted Living Facility

In Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, Poetry, Poetry Readings on October 14, 2018 at 5:30 pm

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Zoey the Cute Dachshund is her BFF Shelley Widhalm’s co-pilot when she does her writing.

My BFF Shelley Widhalm wrote about me in her blog about poetry, assisted living facilities and how everyone thinks I’m adorable. Here is her blog:

Every time I visit my mother at her assisted living facility, I walk down the halls, feeling wonder at the corkboards filled with cutout magazine pages.

One of the residents, Deloros, considers it her job to fill the white walls with images of wildlife, birds, historic ruins and travel—and sometimes people at work. She cuts out the images, tapes them to construction paper and highlights the text, turning routine magazine articles into art, education and entertainment.

Deloros says she needs to finish her work before lunch as I stop to talk and let her pet my dog, Zoey, a long-haired miniature dachshund. I commiserate, because I know I would want the same thing in my retirement years—some sense of work and purpose. She tells me it helps her get up and going with her day.

“Some feel lost until they have work,” is a line from a poem that perfectly fits our weekly encounters.

Good Work! Poetry Reading

The poem is about life at an assisted living facility and one of 15 that poets read Sept. 23 at the seasonal poetry reading hosted by the Community Poets in Loveland, Colo.

The poetry reading, “Good Work!—A Post-Labor Day Celebration,” featured an open mike and the reading of poems focused on the autumnal equinox, work and going back to school. The poems were on subjects as varied as working in a mailroom, doing a long list of random jobs, going to a job interview, questioning choosing college over steady work, disliking repetitive factory tasks and seeing the act of pushing a pencil across the page as heavy work. My poems were about doing dishes and taking the trash to the trash room.

“It’s easy to get lost in your career,” was a line from one of the poems, and I related.

I find that working too much pushes out real life and fun if the hours become too many—and then I realize I need to work less to be a little more balanced. I wonder what I will do when I retire and how I’ll fill my days. Will I think I have to work, just like Deloros does? Will I be writing my novels and journaling because I believe it’s incredibly important? Will I be published and have “my work” continue bringing in money? Or will the work be something that gets me up to be doing something, anything, just as long as I keep busy?

One of the poems was about Bud, whose job is listening to stories—and it turns out Bud is a dog. Zoey’s jobs involve going on walks, doing tricks and offering comfort to her human companions and those she passes by, like Deloros. She stops to visit Deloros and listens to her stories about her work, wiggling her body at the excitement of being included. I always smile, fascinated by the Deloros’s artwork and the love she gives Zoey.

Taking Poetry Notes

During the poetry reading, I didn’t take very careful notes. I scribbled on tiny yellow and orange piece of papers with poems on them, writing on the back sides of “The Real Work,” by Wendell Berry and two copies of a poem by Gary Snyder, “Hay for Horses.” I forgot my work of being a journalist, absorbed in being a poet and a listener of poetry, marveling at the beauty of the lines and images the poets presented. In other words, I forgot to work.

“It was so much creativity and beauty and heart and soul put into versions of work,” said Lynn Kincanon, a member of the Community Poets, adding that the poets sharing their work was “a community gift.”

The Community Poets, a group of local poets and organizations that organizes poetry readings and workshops in Loveland, will hold the next seasonal reading Dec. 16 on Frosty Nights and the Pleasures of Winter, inspired by the poetry of Robert Frost, at the Loveland Museum. The poetry readings are held every season, and the workshops are held twice a year in April and August.

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Birthdays and Presents (Oh My!)

In All About Me, Birthdays, Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs, On Being Cute on April 30, 2018 at 5:30 pm

My BFF Shelley wrote a blog about her birthday but made sure to include me, the cutest dachshund ever. I haven’t been blogging for a while but plan to get back at it. I got busy with my toys and rawhide!

Here’s Shelley’s blog:

Today is my birthday, and it is the last day of National Poetry Month.

Someone told me I’m lucky to have my birthday during this special month. I agree, though I can’t remember how old I am.

To celebrate, I thought I’d take a break from writing and editing and spend the day with my cute puppy, Zoey. She’s nine, so she’s actually not a puppy. I just think of her that way because when she walks, she bounces.

Here are some pictures of Zoey the cutest dachshund ever, including one of her as a birthday girl!

Zoey opens some of her presents for her second birthday.  She gets to open presents for birthdays and Christmas holidays and typically gets treats, rawhide and a couple of toys.

Zoey hangs out with some of her toys, including her favorite stuffed bunny!

Zoey loves teddy bears that are her size, but has a toy box full of them from mini to extra large.

Cute Dogs at Christmas

In Being Cute, Cute Dachshunds, Cute Dogs on December 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm

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Zoey the Cute Dachshund is surrounded by the gifts she just opened a couple of Christmases ago and is seeking more!

My BFF Shelley wrote about me in her newsletter, Shell’s Ink Newsletter, about how I’m really cute at Christmastime.

Here is what she said:

Every Christmas, I wrap presents for Zoey and hide them in the closet, along with the other gifts for my family and friends—if not, she’ll unwrap them because the sound of ripping paper is so fun!

I wrap a couple of treats, some new rawhides—she loves to chew—and a ball or other small toy, plus some of the doggie bears I recycle from her doggie toy basket. She plays with certain toys and is in love with Big Bear, a stuffed dog with floppy brown ears and holding a pumpkin, so she has plenty of playthings.

On Christmas Day, I give Zoey her gifts one by one, and she opens each items, sees what it is and stares at me, as if saying, “What’s next?” She rips through the paper with her teeth, shaking her head and scattering the pieces. She moves fast and makes a mess, and I take a video of it every year. I also put on her Christmas T-shirt with reindeer, and she puts up with it.

(Note: I prefer not to wear clothes, something I wrote about earlier this year, but I guess I don’t mind if I get attention out of it. So, do you like my Christmas shirt? Do I look cute?)

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Zoey the Cute Dashchund just opened all of her Christmas presents and now is at work chewing her Nylabone. She loves to chew!

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Zoey the Cute Dachshund wants even more presents at Christmastime!