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Archive for World According to Duff

Cousin Clara and the Birthday Cake

Duff here. I wanted to share The Story of Cousin Clara and The Birthday Cake. She was a scalawag, always into Something. Following in My Footsteps, She chewed the toes out of Slippers. Nothing else but the Toes. And that Girl had energy! Running. Playing. Scampering about. Getting into Mischief. Generally living unstuck.

Her Master was celebrating His Second Birthday. So many Little People there to let loose and party for The Big Day! They played Games. Ran around the Yard. One wee fellow even Curled up for a Nap. (My style.) But Cousin Clara stole the Show. She snuck up on the Table and tucked Her Nose into the Birthday Boy’s cake. Oh what a To-Do! Her Mistress decided to take a Picture to commemorate the Occasion. Then Banished Her Pup to the Laundry Room. All was well for everyone but Clara. Living unstuck. How about You? Have You gotten into Mischief? Then got Caught? And perhaps Banished? I say: Every now and Again, Push the Envelope. Test those Limits. And I recommend You look innocent If Found Out. That’s what I do. It works. Living unstuck. #unstuck-living#banished-pup

I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

—J.K. Rowling

(Cousin Clara’s motto)

Excuses or Progress?

Duff here. Mom and I have a Flight of stairs We take to get to our parking Area. I am Agile and strong, well able to Navigate the steps. But Mom gets in This Pattern of Going Up and Down those Stairs. Up and Down. Now, if She brings up rotisserie chicken, I am all for It. (The fragrance is so enticing.) But it seems to me She carries things of no use to Me: Office supplies, Kleenex, canned goods. You get the Drift. Not unstuck.

I give Her the First Descend. Then wait by the Steps as She returns with the Load. After that, I greet Her at the Top of the Stairs. Seems only right to have a Friendly Greeting as She toils for Us. No excuses, for that’s My Job to help People live unstuck. And She qualifies. That’s progress. Living unstuck.

How about You? Do You make progress? Or Excuses? I say: You can follow in My Footsteps and Greet Others as They Work. Or lend a Hand and Keep Peace in the Family. I’m right With You. Living unstuck. #unstuck-living#excuses-or-progress

You can make excuses . . . or you can make progress.


Adjustment Part 2: Vindication

Duff here. First, I want to thank You, My Loyal Readers. You touched Mom’s Heart. Remember when She brought Home that Fluffy Bed? Yes, the One that was too Small. Well, We got comments, some Written and some Spoken, about the need for that Bed to go to Another Home. It needed a Smaller Dog. Out it went! Living unstuck.

Mom shopped. And Shopped. And finally brought Home two different Beds. One was Medium Sized, while the other was Large (for Me). I preferred the larger One, for I do Like to Lounge About. Thinking about it, This Adventure reminded Me of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Heroine had Focused on porridge at first, but then got down to the Important part: The Bed. Both She and I found exactly the Right Size of a Pallet. Now, that’s living unstuck.

How about You? Have You made a Decision in the Past? Then outside Input changed Things for the Better? And You got what You preferred? I say: Be patient. Life will Work out, and You’ll be content once Again. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#patience-rewarded

Stay patient and trust the journey.


My Nemesis: The Smoke Alarm

Duff here. A while ago, Mom and I were having a peaceful morning. The Sun was shining. Birds were singing. A gentle Breeze was wafting in the trees. When suddenly: the Smoke Alarm erupted with that Abysmal Sound. You know: the Dratted Chirp, Chirp. And those high Pitched Tones? Hurt My delicate ears. Not unstuck at all.

I slid off the Sofa and Sidled over To Mom, asking Her to make It stop. Please. (She’s good at doing That.) The dilemma? Mom was on her way out the door to Walk with a Friend. What to do? She thought for a Moment, Then gathered Me up. Down the Stairs We went, proceeding over to the Car. She Popped me inside, then Closed the door. At first, I barked once. Then Twice. But quickly realized the problem was Gone. (And Yes, she fixed it before I came back Into Our abode.) Living unstuck.

How about You? Have You had a problem Intrude on Your peaceful Day? Then had It easily resolved? I say: Cultivate solving problems in Multiple Ways. You never know when One will work. Or not. But with a Variety to choose from? Freedom! At least, that’s been my experience. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#smoke-alarms

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the silent voice at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow.”

—Mary Anne Radmacher


Duff here. Mom shopped online to Find Me a Soft bed. Not that I don’t have a Pallet Already. But in My Opinion, I can never have Too Many. She found One marketed as Luxurious: soft, Comfy, Irresistible to Canines. Click! It was Speeding on Its Way. To Me. Now that’s living unstuck.

The Packet arrived. Mom released this Hard ball from its Shipping Wrapper and shook It out. Poof! It was a Fluffy bed. In fact, It looked and felt a Lot like Me. I didn’t know what to do with the Gizmo at first, so Mom gently placed Me on it. You can see from the First Picture; I was hanging over both Edges. Not unstuck at all. Sigh.

I left That Contraption alone for a few Days. Walked around it. Ignored It. But this Afternoon, I gave It another try. Curled up as if I knew What I was Doing. See the Second Picture? Perfect. Just a Little Adjustment, both mental and Physical, and All was well. Living unstuck.

How about You? Were You unsuccessful when you tried Something out the First time? But then came Back, and Voila! Mission accomplished. I say: That’s the Ticket. And I’m with you all the way. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#adjustments

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

—Viktor Frankl

A Dog is Magic


Duff here. My personal opinion? A Dog is Magic. I am an Ambassador of Happiness. When We meet People, I am ecstatic. If Mom needs cheering up, I’m right there to offer Comfort. Snuggling is What I do best. Living unstuck.

But I also teach Mom things. Being attentive to Me? Oh yes. She has learned to look at Me when She addresses Me. I also notice Mom’s Tone of Voice and Her facial Expression, for My lead for Our Relationship comes from Our Connection. (I think the same goes for Humans, too.) We do very Well when She follows This Understanding. Those Facebook videos of Owners engrossed in Their electronic Gizmos when We Canines are begging for Attention? Not living unstuck at all.

I instruct Mom in Patience. Mom knows this well. The First walk of the day is Not Just a Morning Walk. Now, I’m sure some Canines will Power Walk through Life. But to Me, They’re missing all the Fun. I love to stop. And Sniff. And Stare. And Listen. And yes, Saunter occasionally. Patience. That’s living unstuck.

How about You? Are You appreciative of Your Dog? Or Cat? Or Gerbil? What do They teach You? I say: Watch and learn. You’ll be Better off for It. #unstuck-living#a-dog-is-magic

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

—J.W. Stephens

The Challenge of Darkness

Duff here. Last weekend, Mom and I went to the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Mom wanted to see the Glow, where these Giant gizmos Light Up as they Sail along in the Night Skies. We were late in getting there, and parking was non-existent. So We parked in a Field of weeds. Note: It was Dark. No Lights. And Mom wanted to get Out and watch Immediately. I am usually the First one to Hop out of The Car. But this time, I looked down and saw this Inky Chasm filled with Vegetation. Mom didn’t notice, for She was intent on the Balloons. I balked a Number of Times as She urged Me on. But She finally noticed the Problem and set Me down on the Ground. Finally living unstuck.

The Weeds were taller than I was by six inches. It’s one Thing to be a Lion Dog when it is Daytime. But this was a Totally different Thing. I tromped through the Brush, Grumbling to Myself. It was Dense Black, and Mom guided me to a flat Area with no Vegetation. We watched for a Time. Or I should say, She watched and I Checked out the Territory. When We left, Mom picked me up and Tucked me back in the Car. Now, that’s living unstuck.

Have You had a Time where you were challenged by Darkness? I’m here to tell You: It’s a Problem that needs to be Solved. I say: Go for it. And if You need Help, just ask. It’s usually there. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#the-challenge-ofdarkness

Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

—Helen Keller

P.S. Our Picture is from the Uplift the day after the Glow. At least it was Daytime.