Thistle the Funny Snoodle Dog And Candy the Calico Cat

“He Can See and the WALKING Pan”
“Yip yip yip yip yip” Thistle whined as he felt Grandpa’s warm hands. “Here you go little fella.” Grandpa softly said as he kneeled down. Grandpa made the 6 day old blind puppy a warm soft bed from some clean paint rags. Last summer he had found a pink chiffon bed cover for $2 at a yard sale and cut it up into small squares. Chiffon rags not only made the best paint and wipe rags but they made great puppy beds too. Thistle snuggled into and explored the soft material. Minutes later the interest in the new bed faded away and hunger set in. “ooooowhoooeeee.” Thistle began to wail, sounding out the emptiness in his tummy. “Ok little buddy it’s time for me to find that eye dropper and some food for you huh?” Grandpa went to his animal medicine cabinet. “Let’s see, vitamins, wormer, tick and flea shampoo, nope not yet for you, some old treats I forgot about and THERE is the eye dropper. “Let’s see if this fills that hollow place in your little tummy.” A mixture of warm milk and egg slid from the dropper into Thistle’s mouth and he didn’t stop reaching up for more until Grandpa saw his belly bulge and put the remaining mixture in the refrigerator. “Much more and you will look like a balloon with puppy feet attached. We’ll let that settle a bit.” Grandpa sat in his rocking recliner and held thistle’s shoe box bed. The puppy whimpered and snuggled into the chiffon again. Grandpa looked worriedly into the box when the puppy went bone quiet even though he knew his milk recipe with a dab of aspirin always put his patients sound asleep. He saw the rise and fall of the tiny belly and leaned back in his chair to rest. Grandpa and Thistle would awaken, eat and sleep every 2 hours for the next 3 days. Then feeding schedule was moved to 3 and then 4 hours over the next four days.

“LOOKIE HERE…LOOKIE HERE! I see a little shine coming from those eyes.” Grandpa told Grandma as he cleaned Thistle’s cuts and scratched the pup’s ears. “He is 10 days old now and he will be able to see us Momma. He can begin to learn more about the world around him.” Thistle explored his little bed. He found that he could pull himself up on the box’s side and peek over to see Grandpa and Grandma move about the dining room. His bed was in a corner out of the way of anyone walking by. Like any youngster, Thistle wanted to be where the rest of the family was. After his last feeding of the evening he went right to sleep. His nap was disturbed by the call of a regular country visitor. “HOOOO….HOOOO!...HOOOO!” The old owl didn’t know the puppy or anyone else heard him. He just did his nightly calls as his daddy, granddaddy and great granddaddy and so on had done for eons. People ask why some animals do nightly hoots or screeches like owls while some sing out long pretty calls. Some calls are said to help them find food or a mate to share a nest and eggs with and to raise young. Thistle would follow some of his momma and daddy’s handed down actions and calls but for now he just wanted to know what woke him up and what continued that annoying hooting. Grandpa heard the owl’s nightly hoots many years and didn’t think anything about the questioning song. “HOOO…HOOO…HOOO.” And then another “HOOO...HOOO...HOOO” Thistle used all his might to climb up and over the edge of his box and fell head first onto Grandma’s slick, clean floor. He slipped and slid but finally learned how to move in the direction of the owl’s calls. He felt the fresh air from outside blowing in under the kitchen door. His nose picked up scents, lots of scents that he couldn’t sort out. Later in his life he would be able to sort every individual smell as an animal, human, bug or something else he was familiar with. He scratched and whined and then jumped back as a swish and loud thumping came from near the house. “Flllaaaap Fllllaaap Fllllaaaap.” The owl had taken flight. The old bird didn’t like the scratching and whining any more than Thistle liked his hooting. The puppy ran under the bottom storage shelf in the utility room. Pans and a bag of potatoes fell from a stack and Thistle disappeared. “THISTLE …..THISTLE. Where are you?” Grandpa got up to get a drink and check on the puppy but couldn’t find him. He heard a rattle and

found ……..or sort of found the youngster. “Mom you have got to see this.” Grandpa called to Grandma. “How did my cake pan get out in the middle of the floor? Yeooowwwwooo!!!” Grandma screamed when she reached to pick up the pan and it walked across the floor on it own. Grandpa laughed. “I think I have found Thistle.” He said when he stopped laughing. Grandma began to laugh too as the pan ran across the floor and right into one leg of a dinning chair. “YIP YIP meeee” Came from under the pan. The pan made a loopy circle as the pup tried to get his oversized cap going again after his collision with the chair leg. “You may be able to see now but you are not superman…..or umm… super dog. You can’t see through a steel pan you know.” Grandpa gently told the little puppy as he picked him and the pan up. Grandpa scratched along Thistle’s head and ears for a minute to reassure the little dog that everything was alright. He sat down in his chair with Thistle in his lap thinking about what he was going to do about Thistle’s shoe box bed now that the puppy could climb out of it. Grandpa was thinking about taking Thistle back to Myllie and his mamma but the puppy’s crushed and broken leg wasn’t mending very fast with the puppy ……well being a puppy and climbing out of his nest and carrying pans around on his head… There was another reason Grandpa just couldn’t take the little fella back. In his sixty plus years he had several dogs but this little wounded puppy was reaching deep down inside him in a way he couldn’t even describe. The freshly opened eyes looked into Grandpa’s eyes with a trust and for help but above that there was something else coming through to the man that had doctored animals most of his life. It was a deep sincere request for something…something Grandpa had never felt from any other animal. Well, maybe a little……but not this deep into him before. It was a request of friendship………..unconditional, lifelong friendship. Grandpa couldn’t shake that off and Thistle HAD BEEN GIVEN TO HIM by Myllie, so he felt ok in keeping the puppy. A teacher friend and animal rescuer of Grandpa’s once said that she had read that there is one pet in everyone’s life that connects with them much the same way a brother, sister, mom, dad or child does. Animal

rescuers and lovers call this pet “Their Love Pet.” Grandpa had humored his teacher friend when she talked about a love pet. He sort of thought of his friend as being a bit too soft natured about things. But this little dog was bringing what she said to the front of his mind and…..maybe ….just maybe… Grandpa remembered how Clyde and he connected. Clyde was a sorrel horse he had as a boy growing up on his dad’s farm. They became so close that they seemed to know what each other was thinking when he rode Clyde out into the woods and onto trails after milk cows, calves and the wild old bulls his dad had on the farm. And when Clyde got injured his dad never really knew how hard the boy had taken it. Grandpa was 15 then, when Clyde was put down. He remembered walking out into the woods over the trails he and the sorrel frequently used just hoping a bad dream would end and Clyde, his best friend, would gallop up and nuzzle his pocket in search of a sugar cube. The lonesome walks usually ended with the boy sitting on the old pond bank behind the milk barn with a glazed damp eyed look on his face. Over the years Sam, a beautiful blood bay horse, took Clyde’s place…almost but not quite...and thoughts of Clyde would arise ever now and then…even 50 years later. Now Thistle came along. There was going to be something special between him and that little puppy. Thistle seemed to know that Grandpa rescued him. Every day Grandpa gave him medicine, shots, vitamins and doctored him. Some of the treatments and handling would hurt a little. But already, only days old, the little dog was beginning to take the discomfort of being doctored in stride. He could feel the tenderness in Grandpa’s hands and the deep cut, sore foot and hip was getting better, perhaps he knew do to the caring man’s efforts. “YEOOOOOOWWWWEEEE” Candy, Grandma and Grandpa’s calico cat leaped straight up in the air and onto the window stool. She had laid on her favorite sleeping pad and all of the sudden something began to crawl underneath it. She suspected a rat had invaded her private bed... She wanted to get to high ground to plan an attack. “GRRRRAAASSSSHHHHH,” went an Aloe Vera plant and clay container from the window stool to the floor. Grandma ran in from the laundry room to see what the commotion was.

“What are you doing up there.” She asked Candy but a split second later had the situation figured out…..or almost anyway. “So Thistle was in your sleeping spot huh? Well let’s get this mess cleaned up before that playful puppy decides he wants to EAT or tramp around in the dirt. I’ll put the plants in another planter. Grandpa uses these Aloe Vera plants on his cuts and scrapes he gets from building fence and gardening.” Meanwhile Thistle had smelled something even more interesting. A green plastic box had a mint and some other strong smelling STUFF in it. The pup was being cautious, a trait from his hunting ancestors. He began to sneak up on the strange smelling box. The first whiff over the side put his body on alert. He almost gagged. But this box MUST be investigated further. “NO YOU DON’T !” Grandma said to Thistle as she gently but firmly picked him up and headed for Grandpa coming in on the back porch. “Here……this little critter was about to jump into the CAT LITTER BOX.” Grandma was smiling as she handed the culprit over to Grandpa. She had raised children as well as animals and understood the curiosity all youngsters have. Grandpa took Thistle from Grandma by sliding his fingers under the pup’s belly. He then looked at Thistle’s paws. “No, he didn’t get INTO the litter box. He was just about to though.” Grandma chuckled. She knew Grandpa didn’t want Thistle’s feet up against him if there was any chance of cat poo being on them.“I was just being sure.” Grandpa mumbled as he carried Thistle over to the mop sink in the laundry room for his daily wound treatment and cleaning. Thistle’s last thought after his doctoring, and feeding was, “I sure need to get a better look at that funny smelling box and its contents.” Grandma’s chore after repotting the uprooted plant was to move the litter box onto an old plant table out of the mischievous pup’s reach. Candy circled and sniffed all around her bed this time before settling in for a nice nap. Hereafter she would always look for any movement in her bed before settling in. Another high leap from her bed at a sleepy time was not what she needed.

Can You Match The Following Words With Their Meanings?
Chiffon___ Eye Dropper___ Individual___ Collision____ Natured____ Sorrel____ Commotion___ Aloe Vera Plant___ (A) Brownish orange color….horse. (B) Disturbance (C) Natural way of life handed down (D) Small glass or plastic tube (E) Soft bed fabric (F) One person (G) Crash, wreck (H) A cactus like medicine plant

SEE THE NEXT THISTLE and CANDY ADVENTURES. Candy saves Grandpa Thistle learns about tight places. To see other stories by the author Floyd P Knipe go to Natures Nest Books Enjoy; Forest the Huggable Dog series Trackers series


Thanks to my thousands of readers and teachers at the school author visits. “If not my books, please read someone’s books to your children.” Floyd P Knipe