A Dog Named Remi

Remi

My story begins last year when I bought a new home in Belgrade, MO. On the day of closing I drove out to my new home to take a look around. Upon arrival I exited the truck to only be met by a very angry dog.

Now I had never seen this dog and was to find out later that it was the previous owners dog. Now they had not only not told me about the dog but they seemed to have forgot to tell her they were moving and she no longer lived there. Bad, bad owners.

It seemed she was very protective of her abode and had no intentions of letting me in the house. She became even more angry and at one point had me by the pants leg.

My house

Well I managed to get loose and back in the truck and pulled out. Now all I could think was what in the hell am I going to do now. I can’t call animal control because she would have probably eventually been euthanized.

I returned the next day armed to the hilt with treats. The neighbor met me and explained that he had agreed to take care of her until they could get her. So he introduced us and we became friends. It is very difficult to explain to a dog that the home where she lived for five years was no longer hers. Being the sucker I am I let her in and she had no intentions of leaving.

My bed my house

So now I have a dog. She still goes and visits the neighbor. We are best of friends and she is a joy to have around. The old owners never returned to get her. She seems to be quite content and I don’t think she really misses them. I said I would never have another dog when I lost my two to cancer. Shows you how little I know.

Ahh. Home sweet home.

The Dark Side of Christmas

My Precious Kate

I love the Christmas Holidays but unfortunately there is a dark side to Christmas.

Soon the shelters and rescues will begin filling up with older dogs that were surrendered by heartless owners. The only thing they are guilty of is growing old.

Dogs that have been with the same family for 10 to 15 years find themselves in a strange place surrounded by strangers. They are scared and soon become depressed. Yes, dogs can suffer from depression. They have feelings too. When are they coming back to get me? What did I do to deserve this?

I just can’t understand how people can be so heartless and cold to an animal that gave them nothing but unconditional love.

Kate as a puppy.

Then a month or two after Christmas the shelters and rescues begin filling up with Christmas puppies. Owners who didn’t really research puppy ownership have decided it is too much work.

I beg of you, if you are thinking about getting someone a puppy for Christmas, stop and think. First are you going to consider this new puppy part of the family? Second can you make the commitment to give this new pup a forever home? If the answer is not sure or no then walk away from it. They deserve a forever home.

My Eros as a pup.
My Eros all grown up.

I unfortunately lost them 28 days apart to cancer.

As Christmas approaches I beg of you to not be heartless and surrender your old dog to a shelter or rescue. If you are thinking of buying one for a present STOP and ask yourself if you can be fully committed to accepting the pup as a family member and giving it the forever home it deserves. If you have any doubt at all then PLEASE walk away.

Remi
Remi

There is an interesting story about Remi. I bought a house and the people who owned the house left Remi and a neighbor took the job of caring for her.

On the day I closed on the property I went to the house and was greeted by Remi. Teeth bared she wasn’t going to let me in the house. At one point she had me by the pants leg. I managed to make it back to the truck without getting bit. She was just protecting her house from a stranger. No one told her it wasn’t her house anymore.

The next day I came back and the neighbor met me and properly introduced Remi and I. Now we are the best of friends and she lives between both houses. She really has the best of both worlds.

Gone But Not Forgotte

My best friend and me.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

On January 1, 2011 a wonderful Australian Shepherd was born. Little did I know how much she would change my life and bring so much joy to me. She unfortunately had a rough start in life. She was plagued with crystals in her urine that caused immense pain and at a year old she would have hip dysplasia surgery.

After surgery.

She was comfortable on the couch so this would be her hospital bed. I slept on the floor beside her until she was able to get on and off the couch by herself. She would try to chew her stitches and I refused to force her to wear the cursed collar so I improvised.

She adapted well to the shorts.

I was a farrier and Kate became my ride dog. We were together everyday and became quite inseparable. She loved going with me and took her job at riding shotgun very seriously.

Kate riding shotgun.
Kate with me on the job.

Kate was very well behaved and loved to take walks.

I think she is trying to tell me something.

I have never owned a dog as loving as Kate. She had to constantly be by my side and if she wasn’t she kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t slip off without her.

My constant companion.
In the Christmas spirit.

I have had several dogs over the course of 60 plus years but none of them touched me like Kate did. I was her human. She was a great listener and after a rough day she always managed to make me smile and lift my spirits.

Then the fateful day of a vet visit, x-rays showed her lungs were filled with tumors and there was no cure. I was devastated and my whole world came falling down around me. I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it. She was my everything and more. I know there are those of you rolling your eyes and saying she is just a dog and to you I say you have never recognized nor appreciated the unconditional love of a dog. She was family. She filled me with joy and happiness.

Kate the puppy.
Her last day riding shotgun.

On Friday morning (Jan 24, 2020) I had to go into town. That morning she clung to me more than usual. When I opened the door she almost knocked me down to get to the truck. She was going with me come hell or high water. I had to help her into the truck and when we returned I had to help her out.

I had an appointment on Tuesday to have her euthanized to end her suffering. Little did I know but I think Kate did, that that would be her last ride and our last day together. We spent that day together and I cooked her a porterhouse steak for dinner. It was a good day.

She awoke me in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Jan 25 gasping for air. What happened then was down right ugly and heartbreaking. She fought hard and I felt so helpless. At 1:26 a.m. her fight was over. I had lost my best friend. At least her suffering was over.

Kate on her last day with me. RIP

Many won’t understand the devastation of losing a dog because they have not really understood the unconditional love they possess. The loss of Kate left a huge hole in my heart. I still come home looking for her to greet me. I am pretty much a loner by choice and I very rarely get lonely and when I do it is because of the void she left in my life. I will never forget her and the joy she brought me.

Meddlin’ Kate Jan 1, 2011 – Jan 25, 2020

Tough Choice For Pet Owners

I wrestled with writing about this particular subject but I felt it might be beneficial to other pet owners facing this tough decision. I was faced with it in November 2019 and again in January 2020.

To euthanize or let nature take its course. It’s a very tough decision and when you do decide you almost always second guess yourself. Did I make the right decision? Who knows what the right decision is? We really don’t have anyway of knowing for sure. We have to ask ourselves if we are keeping them alive for them or for us. They can’t talk so we really don’t know if they are suffering.

In my case the first decision came when my Great Pyrenees, Eros, was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. The veterinarian gave me my options. Treat with steroids, chemotherapy or euthanasia. I didn’t want to put him through chemo so I opted for steroids and pain pills.

Eros responded well the first 3 days. Then he had a couple bad days. He began to get worse. I knew I had to make a decision and it was gut wrenching. I weighed the pros and cons and looking at them I asked myself if I was keeping him alive for me or him. In my case I decided it was for me so I made an appointment for him to cross the bridge.

I almost waited too long. The night before he got down and the only way he could get up was if I lifted him up on his legs. I practically had to carry him to the truck and load him to go to the vet’s office.

They had a room for us to go to without going through the waiting room. It was nice but just seemed such a cold impersonal place for him to take his last breath. I got down on the floor and held him as the vet injected him with the death serum. It was over quickly.

My second decision came in January 2020. My beloved Australian Shepherd, my ride dog, had developed a strange cough. I made Kate an appointment at the vets. I was afraid it was heart worms but that test came back negative. They decided to take some X-Rays. Her lungs were riddled with tumors. This was a Wednesday and when I asked the vet how long he thought she had he said a week two weeks tops. With Eros fresh in my mind I made the first appointment they had available. It was for Monday of the following week.

The vet had prescribed her some pain pills to help make her comfortable. Friday morning I needed to go to town so I took Kate with me. She had a rough time getting in the truck. We headed to town. Little did I know this would be our last ride together.

Back at the house I had to literally pick her up and set her on the ground. That’s when I noticed the spark was gone from her eyes. She got worse as the night progressed. I am not going to go into detail but the last 15 minutes of her life was not pretty. She took her last breath at 12:21 a.m. at home with just me and her.

I had hoped Eros would pass in his sleep but the memory of his death isn’t marred by a death struggle. I will always have Kate’s terrible fight haunting me.

I don’t second guess myself on my decision for Eros anymore. I had made the right decision with Kate but the appointment was too late.

For anyone having to make this decision I hope my experience helps you with your decision. Most of all I hope you don’t ever second guess yourself.

If you choose euthanasia promise yourself you will be there with them when they take their last breath. You being there helps their anxiety. Please don’t let them take their last breath alone with strangers. You owe them that much.

In Memory Of

Eros

Kate

Gone But Never Forgotten

Meddlin’ Kate

January 1, 2011

January 25, 2020

The picture at the top was taken Friday morning on our way into town. I had no idea it would be our last ride together. Somehow I think she knew it was.

Poor Kate was a victim of bad breeding. She had hip dysplasia and when she reached a year old surgery was performed. She recovered well. As a pup she suffered from crystals in her urine. They were quite painful.

This picture was after we brought her home from surgery. She slept on the couch after surgery and I slept on the floor beside her.

There are so many memories. I have never felt alone in my life but today I for the first time feel alone. RIP my precious girl.

A Tough Decision

“When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.” -W Bruce Cameron

My life has arrived at that very moment. My Great Pyrenees, Eros, has been diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 6. He came into my life as a pup in 2013.

He was so little and I had to help him negotiate the step up into the house. He was full of energy and joy. He bonded well with the two Australian Shepherd females.

I never thought he would attain a weight of 127 pounds. He was so small it was hard to imagine.

He loved sleeping in front of the sliding doors.

He loved the snow and had his paws full with his big sisters but he didn’t back down.

There are so many memories of our time together. He is my protector and one hell of a watch dog. He is quite intimidating to those who don’t know him. Actually he is just a big teddy bear and my own little polar bear.

“Having a dog will bless you with many of the happiest days of your life, and one of the worst.” – Unknown

He is on medication and I am taking it one day at a time. We have some time together as long as his quality of life is good. When that changes then I will make the decision for him to cross the “Rainbow Bridge”. It will be the second hardest decision I ever made in my life but I won’t let him suffer. I pray that he goes in his sleep to save him the trauma of going into a strange room and being put to sleep. If it comes to that I will be with him to the end along with his buddy Kate.

One Hole or Two

20476469_1403291303091577_5635808754571756927_n

If you use Facebook I am sure you have seen this before.  If you have used one you are going to know where I am coming from but if you have not I may be hard to follow.

My story begins in Lafe, Arkansas in the 50s.  My grandparents had a farm located here.  They lived in an old farmhouse with out running water and ………NO BATHROOM!  Yep you heard me right, no bathroom.

Now it just so happens that they did have an outhouse.  Because of their glamorous aroma, especially in the hot weather months, the outhouse was located some distance from the house.  Did I mention that it didn’t have electric in it.  Anyway ours wasn’t just any old outhouse.  No siree!  It was a genuine two hole privy.  Not just one hole by two!  Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, we were styling.

Or were we.  Now if you have never seen a two hole privy let me tell ya, the holes ain’t that far apart and there is no divider or stall like you see in the public bathrooms today.  Nope, just two holes cut in a piece of wood.  However my grandpa had installed a couple of real toilet seats which added some comfort.  Now for the life of me I can not, CAN NOT, imagine two people sitting there, that close together, beside each other having their morning bowel movement.  I read that back and it even sounds sick.  I don’t ever recall seeing two people coming out of the outhouse together.  One hole would have been enough.

 

DSC_0232

Grandparents old house.

Now when I was knee high to a grasshopper I became acquainted with my grandma’s tom turkey.  Now he had somehow figured out that I was terrified of him.  Now in my defense, if you have never seen an old tom all puffed up and strutting his stuff and coming at you don’t pass judgement on me.  I am here to tell ya that will scare the devil out of you especially when you are only 5.

Now every time I had to go to the bathroom that old tom would be between me and the outhouse.  I need to explain something at this point.  When a guy is headed for the outhouse that can only mean one thing because there were plenty of trees to tinkle behind.  Ok now that I explained that, when you have had a big plate of biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast time is of the essence.  It is dangerous to be playing around at this time.

DSC_0226

Another view of the old farmhouse.

My grandparents got running water in 1970.  All the kids, there were nine, chipped in and had a well drilled for them.  Then five years later my uncle and I put a bathroom in the old farmhouse for them.  I remember one visit in the summer not long after we installed the bathroom, I saw grandma grab the TP and head for the barn (outhouse had finally succumbed to gravity).  I asked her why she didn’t use the bathroom and she said it was too “purty” to mess up.  That winter when I was down visiting and the snow was whirling she used the inside bathroom.  I guess the bathroom wasn’t that “purty after all.

I had a lot of fun on the farm.  I wish my son would have been able to experience some of the things that happened on the farm.  It was a great time in my life that I will always cherish and Grandma White, well she was a saint and the sweetest person you ever met.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.   I hoe you enjoyed it.  Remember share the love.

 

 

They Are Family

 

10174966_10152104587103041_1598876884537563152_n

My ride dog and companion, Kate.

 

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me, they are the role model for being alive.” – Gilda Radner

One thing that I can not wrap my feeble little mind around is how can people abuse animals?  How can folks just give an old dog to a shelter and then they have the nerve to replace them with a new puppy.  It breaks my heart when I see this happen.  Folks whether you believe it or not animals do have feelings.

Kate suffered from crystals in her urine and she had to have hip surgery when she was a year old.  After surgery she slept on the couch and I slept on the floor beside her.  From that time on she was my dog.  She did her best not to let me out of her sight.  She went everywhere with me and since I am a farrier she was my ride dog.  She loves riding “shotgun” and loves to watch the road.

 

12120122_10153226619883041_5854805285195725208_o

Kate takes riding “shotgun” seriously.

 

179927_10150862397223041_920467577_n

Kate after surgery and her “jammies”.

 

540012_10150826463023041_908970282_n

Kate chilling after surgery.

 

 

 

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings

My dad never liked dogs and still doesn’t to this day.  He just turned 84 so I guess it is pretty safe to say he probably never will.  I know they aren’t for everyone but there is no reason on earth to abuse them.

Just imagine, you are 6 years old and your dad puts you in the car and off you go.  After awhile you don’t recognize the area you are traveling in and it appears to be in the country and it is raining.  Finally in a very secluded place your dad stops the car and gets outside.  He opens your door and he grabs you by the hand and leads you over to a log and tells you to sit down.  Then he walks back to the car, gets in it and drives off.  Leaving you there all alone, in a strange place and you are scared.

Now don’t give me that BS that I am comparing apples to oranges.  I am not.  Both are alive, confused, scared and broken hearted.  Neither have done anything to be treated this way.  Thousands of animals are dumped each year just because their owner doesn’t want them anymore.  Maybe I went a little overboard trying to get my point across but animals do have feelings.

Soooooo, if you are thinking about getting a pet remember that they have feelings and would like a forever home and they are a member of the family.  Please, if you can’t accept this then get a “Pet Rock”.

 

DSC_0316

For the cat lovers out there.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love!

 

 

 

 

Your(Self)- Esteem

addtext_com_MDEwMDE5Mzg0OQ (1)

Wikipedia tells us that self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth.  It is a judgement of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self.

I believe in today’s society we place to much emphasis on the opinions of other people.  I like this quote by Emerson, “It is easy to live for others, everybody does.  I call on you to live for yourself.”  

There was a time when I worried about what people thought of me.  I would find myself living totally out of my character in hopes that people would like me.  This went on for some time until one day I realized what a fake I was and how unhappy I was, pretending to be someone I wasn’t.  Let’s face it, when you are a red neck, country, hillbilly you can only hide it so long.  I mean you are what you are and you can’t live a lie just to prop up your self-esteem because it won’t last long.

I remember when I was six my dad took me to the barber and had my head practically shaved.  Now this wouldn’t have been so bad for some folks, however I have this curse that hangs over me.  Large, protruding ears.  Now take away the hair and ………OMG all the kids called me “Dumbo” the elephant.  This fiasco did absolutely nothing for my self-esteem.  It was tough but I pulled through and life went on.

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” – Brigham Young

As I have matured, during my stroll through life, I have learned to appreciate who I am and what I have accomplished.  When ever I see someone belittled or bullied it infuriates me to no end.  I immediately go into “salvage” mode and a lot of times I don’t even wait until the offender leaves Dodge.  I can remember being put down in front of a crowd and everyone just staring where if just one person would have walked up to me and said “that is not true” then gave me a big hug, my confidence level would have never crashed.  Now I am not saying that no one is deserving of a arse chewing.  If I screw up then I have earned everything I get.

What I hate to see is someone that is trying to improve and all they hear is, “you are so stupid”, “you need to just give up”, etc..  What happened to constructive criticism?  We as a society need to develop a bigger heart and the art of kindness.  Unless you are some kind of egotistical maniac, there are going to be times that you question your own self-esteem.

“Social media websites are no longer performing an envisaged function of creating a positive communication link among friends, family and professionals.  It is a veritable battleground, where insults fly from the human quiver, damaging lives, destroying self-esteem and a person’s sense of self-worth.” – Anthony Carmona

I think the above quote pretty much sums up how I feel about today’s social media.  People just don’t seem to care about one another’s feelings.

In closing I want to thank everyone that took the time to read my blog.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

Some of My Pics

 

l

Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

 

dscn0235

Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

This shot I took early one morning and temps were around 42 degrees and the fog was rising.

 

n

My childhood friend David Tripp

David and I have known each other since the second grade.  Dr. Tripp is a retired educator who claims two passions, painting and fly-fishing.  He is a very talented artist and writer.  You can see some of both at davidtripp.wordpress.com.

81 (2)

A little dock diving.

DSC_0149

IMG_1979

 

IMG_1977

Amazing what one can do with the photo software out there.

DSC_0154

 

 

 

IMG_1978

DSC_0348 (1)

New addition to the farm, EJ our little cow bred filly.

 

IPad 066 (2)

Eros and Kate

I have bored you long enough.  Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed.  Spread the love.