Tag Archives: ivan

the same time

a day, a week, a month ~ it can seem like forever ~ almost never ending, and it can seem like just yesterday ~ both perceptions happening simultaneously.

how does that work?

ivan exploring bedminster  (2)

 “Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”
 ~ William Gibson






lessons from the country

#1.  wear boots in grass

as i stood barefoot in the grass today, a snake slithered right past my foot.  ivan was close by relieving himself.  he was a bit startled as the snake approached him.  he didn’t notice the snake but seemed to be some what alarmed by my blood curdling scream as the snake made it’s way toward him.  i may have scared the snake as well because i don’t even think he noticed ivan was peeing on him as he slithered right through ivan’s legs.

#2. i don’t ever want to be a cow

fly cow

hillsdale ny cow herd (15)

seriously, could you stand this for even 10 minutes?

hillsdale ny cow herd (17)

these cows are having a serious meeting.  presumably about the fly situation. 

cow herd 54

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
~ Auguste Rodin 



best friends holding hands


best friends

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
~ Aristotle

where the heart is . . .

we’re home!

Ivan Aug 2012 (1)

and resting comfortably. Ivan Aug 2012 (3)

the wildlife in the apartment isn’t quite the same as in the woods upstate, but it also doesn’t move around when you’re trying photograph it.

ivan cutest dog ever oct 2012 (9)

“True humility is contentment.”
~ Henri Frederic Amiel 

13 years

it was 13 years ago today that ivan said goodbye to his friends at the humane society on 59th st. and headed 4 blocks south  for his new home at 340 e. 55th street.  he was wearing a little yellow rain coat that the staff gave to him as a farewell gift.  i remember our walk down second avenue like it was yesterday. while holding his leash in my right hand, bursting full of puppiness, ivan sped down the avenue while i tried to keep up, schlepping his crate stuffed full of his belongings in my left hand.  the entire way home i kept thinking  “wow, you’re mine.  you’re going to live with me.  i have a dog.  you’re mine.”

funny how i thought he belonged to me.  it didn’t take long for me to realize that he didn’t belong to me at all, but i belonged to him. he stole my heart and now owns it completely.

ivan, december 8th 1999

he was the cutest thing i ever saw.

ivan’s first day at home

and he still is!  happy day boo!


ivan, december 2010


ivan, e. 52nd street, 2012

ivan, e. 52nd street, 2012

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller

the inept society

i know they are doing the best they can.

they are probably over worked and under staffed.

their work environment is crowded, loud and stinks like dog pee – so instead of ranting, getting over emotional, screaming at the top of my lungs and possibly hurting someone, i will simply state the facts.

ivan has cushings disease.  in april the vet said he could wait until symptoms worsened before having to go on meds.

symptoms: panting, excessive hunger, excessive thirst, excessive peeing, among other things.

by excessive, i mean he needed to pee a river every two hours – until it became every hour and 15 minutes – or less.

monday:  ivan gets blood test at humane society. he is there from 8:30 am until 6:00 pm.

i am told results may be in on tuesday, if not, call on wednesday.  i am rationing ivan’s water and he is panting a lot.

tuesday:  ivan peed in the lobby on his way to get out the front door as fast as he could.

wednesday:  after calling 3x and being put on hold for so long i had to hang up due to fear of going over my allotted  at&t  minutes for the month, i finally waited it out and around 5:00 pm i got through.  i left  a message for the doctor.  he did not return my call.  ivan peed in the elevator just  1.5  hours after he had last been out.

thursday:  called 8 times during the day and got a busy signal each time.  ivan peed in the kitchen 1 hour after we had been out.  it is his very first  “accident”  since i got him in 1999.  i am no longer giving him water, only ice cubes.  he goes to his water bowl every 15 minutes or so to check the water status.  ivan woke me at 4:00 am to take him out.

friday:  i called at 9:30 am and the line was busy.  i decided to walk to the humane society and wait for the doctor in person.  after waiting over an hour, i had to rush back home to let ivan out.  i did not see the doctor but felt confident that the receptionist would not forget to tell him i had been there looking for meds.  ivan peed on the carpet in the hallway while waiting for the elevator.

saturday:  i was put on hold 4x by the inept humane society receptionist and hung up each time after five minutes.  at 3:30 I called back and held for 19 minutes and 50 seconds before the receptionist answered.

receptionist:  “thank you for holding, how may i help you?”

me:  “this is my 18th time trying to get through to doctor rubenstein, who promised to have test results for me on wednesday, and i’ve just been on hold for 19 minutes and 50 seconds!”

receptionist:  “that’s actually not bad, our average hold time is over 30 minutes!  and dr. rubinstein doesn’t work weekends.”

Ivan Thanksgiving 2008 026 (2)

it has been challenging to remain zen in the city . . .

Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe     

boo bear

although he doesn’t look a day over 62, ivan is celebrating his 91st birthday today.  that’s 13 in people years.  in the 12 years and 8 months he’s lived with me he’s never said a word , yet i could write an entire book about him.

on december 8, 1999, i adopted ivan. when we got home, we both looked at each other & thought, “what do we do now?”

we went to the park on on 58th street & sutton place and bonded in an instant.  i think it was the most fun he ever had in his first 4  months.

after all that playing, i put him down for a nap.

 i can clearly remember not being able to take my eyes off him and i just stared at him asleep on the bed – until it was time to play some more.

as you can see, he’s exceptionally debonair,

incredibly modest about his good looks,

and not a bit fussy about what he wears.

(unless i dress him up in something ridiculous)

he plays well with others,

he’s adventurous & athletically gifted,

a compassionate listener,

and he loves a good party.

but most of all, he’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

happy birthday, my love!

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 
― Lao Tzu

3 day mission

there are 3 days left until my birthday. the start of a brand new year.  since i didn’t keep any of my new year’s promises, i decided to do it a little differently this time.  over the next 3 days i will give away 50 things, list 50 things in my life i am grateful for, give 50 sincere compliments and meditate for 50 minutes each day.  i’ll keep track of it all and post it in 3 days –  here is the start of the list of things for which i am grateful:

my wonderful parents   the peeps in the front row & the rest of the family!
boo-bear,  being born in america, living in the city & my car.  that’s five – 45 more coming up – but first i’m going to take ivan out for a spin around the block & dole out some compliments!

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
 ~ Steve Jobs 




“My favorite thing is saying something true, she said, but I’m a lot older than you & don’t have to worry so much about my reputation.”
– Storypeople

he thinks it’s free snow cones


“To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”
– unknown

still so handsome!

ivan;  derived from Greek ioannes. ivan was the name of six russian rulers, including the 15th-century ivan III the great and 16th-century ivan IV the terrible, the first tsar of russia as well as the name of nine emperors of bulgaria, none of which compare to the greatness of today’s birthday boy!


have you ever seen anything cuter?  thanks for the happiness you bring me every day – i love you, ivan! happy birthday to you !!


“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”
Roger Caras

43 & windy

i had to wear my down jacket to walk ivan this morning.  it’s the middle of may.  this is just wrong.


“California sunlight – sweet Calcutta rain – Honolulu starbright – the song remains the same.”
 Led Zeppelin

jan haus


next sunday i’m going with ivan.


“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
Thich Nhat Hanh


if you ask someone a question it is respectful to listen to the answer. the whole answer – not just the first part and then draw the conclusion on your own while you shift your attention to something else.  if you must type, watch tv or read your e-mail while in a conversation with someone, consider calling back later.

ivans nose

“Genius is nothing but continued attention.”
 – Claude Adrien Helvetius