Old people should not get puppies.

I’m sorry ahead of time if I hurt any feelings.

This came to me after reading a story on another list. When I worked as a PD dispatcher I was always shocked and saddened by what happened to elderly people’s dogs after they died or had to go to a home. Often times they were just taken to the city shelter by kids who couldn’t afford them or flat didn’t want them. The dogs were so sad, so betrayed, by humans that had loved them their whole lives.

If you are over 60 or maybe even younger, please consider getting an older dog and not a puppy. Jack Russells, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Rat Terriers and other breeds of small dogs will often live upwards of 15 years.

In my Never To Be Humble Opinion, A 70-year-old person should NOT get a puppy because the dog will probably out live you. Now having said that, there are thousands of good healthy older dogs in pounds, rescues and shelters all over the US. Please go and rescue those dogs. Some of them come from situations just like you, an older person. They are neutered, up to date on shots, microchipped, and house trained. They are there through no fault of their own. And when you do get a dog, or any other animal be sure to make provisions for your dog in your will. I personally work with a wonderful rescue and next time I plan on taking an older dog as a foster so that if anything happens, he will be returned to the rescue NOT dumped in a pound. Thank you for thinking of your dog


Our Princess.

I am very sad. A true Princess has left us. As the child of Eddy Fisher and Debby Reynolds , Carrie Fisher was as close to American Royalty as it comes. She was a girl who made mistakes in her loves and her life, but she was a talented woman who gave us the Galaxy far far away as a strong, vivacious person.

You were one of my heroes, not because you were perfect, but because you accepted your imperfections, fought them and won the battle at the end. Your books took us on a journey of your other talents.  You succeeded in places where many of your peers had failed.You fell into a vortex but then you emerged stronger and an example to many people who loved you.

Rest In Peace, General. May the Force accept you and grow stronger with your presence. You will be missed on our Planet.


LOYALTY

A commentary on LOYALTY and our little Jack Russell Terrorists.

True loyalty is a very rare commodity in today’s world. A companion who will always stand by you is a ‘pearl of great price’ and of untold value. There is an ancient bond between mankind and our canine companions that was struck in the darkness of time immemorial. Many people have forgotten and violate the pact by ignorance and heartlessness. Some dogs don’t take it as seriously as others. They will run and hide in times of violence or danger to them. But not the Jack Russell. The old Parson would still be proud of the strain that he developed from his great lady bitch, Trump.

One of the things I seriously love about Jack Russell Terriers is their tenacity and their undying loyalty. We’re always hearing about the ones who go down a hole like Alice and can’t get back out. Or they get lost in the woods and have to be found.

There are even negative stories of them attacking other small pets like cats, ferrets and gerbils. These are unfortunately often true due to the innate nature of this little rascals, because they were bred to be brave beyond common sense and savage to their prey.

On the other side of the coin, however, there have been many many true stories of the little ones standing by their owners/masters/parents to the bloody end. There’s the story of George, a courageous Jack Russell from New Zealand who in 2009, was awarded a posthumous PDSA Gold Medal -( People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals,) the animals’ George Cross – for saving five children from attacking dogs. There’s the story of the South African JRT who remained to guard his master’s body after the man was killed by rebels in that country’s civil insurrection. There was the JRT who in England, saved his Mistress from a rapist by viciously attacking the man after being kicked numerous times. Then the story of the JRT who defended ‘his’ pub from burglars after they were closed. These news stories are becoming legendary.

Even television has given them a bow. There were the too perfect versions such as Eddie and Wishbone. But then on Law and Order there was an episode where a woman jogger was attacked and killed by an attack dog that had gotten loose in Central Park. The investigating detective (Lenny) sadly commented on the death of her little terrier dog who had fought the much larger dog to protect her.

I believe that if Nicole Simpson had possessed a JRT, there would have been proof of her murderer because he would have sustained injuries. The dog would not have been found wandering the streets in confusion. A Jack would have saved her or died with her.

Oh, yes. We know they have their problems and not all personalities mesh successfully. You can have a JRT who doesn’t work out for you. Something in their background may interfere with the bonding. Or they may be too high energy for your circumstance. If that happens, all you can do is return or rehome the dog. They are too strong willed to conquer if the relationship doesn’t take.

But we know that when we find them, that perfect dog, or they find us that we have a soul mate for life. We are blessed with our little hairy Angels. And the loyalty they give to us can only be returned as fully and as tenaciously as we can.

Because to do less than that, is simply not acceptable.


Holidays

Holidays are certainly interesting.  You hear from and are visited by your family and you need to be able to deal happily and quietly with them. And this year my family had to look past who was missing in the celebration.

But I am by nature a bit of a loner.  I’m happier at home with my dogs, than going out to visit.

I think we are all this way just a bit.  And unfortunately the one person who was the central cog/linchpin for us was my Mother.  I say that sadly because she left us a year and a half ago.  She knew all our foibles, our preferences and our dislikes.  She knew what to say when we ran to her with skinned knees as children or money problems as adults.

My dad has never been one of those touchy-feeley sorts.  He grew up in the 30s and 40s when men were too busy making money for the family to really be a part of the family. It was always up to the wives to pull everything together and keep the cookies baking and the meat roasting.  And his career in the Air Force kept our Dad often away for a day, a week and sometimes even a year’s deployment.It was her wisdom and determination that held us together. So even now, there is an unmistakable hole in the center of the family when we get together proving once again that though the husband may be the head of the family, the wife and mother are the heart.

So, if you’re one of the lucky ones who, on a holiday trip home, walk into a bright, warm kitchen filled with love, laughter and the wonderful smells of turkey, ham or delivered Chinese Food give that woman (or man for that matter) a big hug,  a loudy smacky kiss and spin them around while laughing together.  Because a house without a wife is only a building with a lonely husband inside.

 

 

 


Self Publishing your Novel (from my pov)

When you are a self published author there are a few things you need to know.  First question from most people is ‘we love your book but why don’t you sell it to a big publishing house?’.  Well, I’ve been told (and I believe it) that there are thousands of people writing manuscripts for various reasons.  They want to prove they can, they have a need to try to help people and the old ‘I need to make some money and it seems easy’.

I wrote mine for the ‘I’d like to make a little extra retirement money’ reason, but I also noticed a void in the market.  There are lots of stories about men going off to wars, coming home with issues and rebuilding their lives from various complications.  But there are none about women.  Women are seeing more and more battle action in our various services.  Most often in the Marines and the Army. So I decided I’d write one for us.

I was in the Air Force.  My job as an NCO was to insure our mission got done.  I was in Transportation, the Chief Dispatcher.  So I ran the shuttles, the taxies, and the supply trucks.  My drivers went out and picked up broke-down, abandoned vehicles and basically kept the wheels turning. But even I, though not in actual combat during Desert Storm, suffered repercussions.  Due to exposure to oil well smoke and who knows what else from the battle vehicles I developed Gulf War Syndrome which is a catch-all phrase.  For me it is asthma, sinusitis, COPD, sleep apnea and various and sundry other problems.  But enough about that.

My Book, The Homestead, is about a woman Marine combat veteran who was wounded and lost her fiance to an IED when they were en route to their assignment.  She spends time in a medical facility and winds up inheriting the old family farm, discovering a 50-year-old cold case murder mystery.

I sent it to several big name publishing companies and received a series of very polite rejections.  I seems that they were wanting something of a more supernatural bend like Vampires or Zombies in south Texas.  Or a torrid sex scene.  Or, while we liked the book we are not presently publishing this genre.  Really?

So, I went in search of a Self-Publishing house that I could get along with.  This is what I found out.

First you must find a publishing house to suit your needs: financially, responsibility, and work wise.  I didn’t have $4,000. in my hip pocket, so that knocked a lot of them out.  I had also heard stories of people who paid up front and got forgotten as time went on.  I actually found one who takes monthly payments. And I kept 100 % of all rights to my book. I have a fantasy of that movie contract.  LOL!

Second, you must find one where you have a real live contact person who will pick up the phone, give you good answers, make suggestions, and (at least seem) to care about you and your book.

Thirdly, find one who will do the basic sales deal.  They will post your book on various venues.  Amazon.com,  Createspace, BarnesandNobles.com, the Apple Store, K0bo, the Google Play, etc.

And you must have one that fulfills your needs.  Mine has a cafeteria plan.  They have a long list of services and you can choose which one you wanted.  I did’t want it edited, just proof read, got a nice cover design, print on demand, and a webpage.  There were more options but that was all I wanted.  Build a relationship with your customer account manager.  Remember names of people who you WANT to deal with.

Now, actually selling the book is up to you.  Go beat the bushes, get out to venues like bookstores, expos, conventions and things that are a part of your books.  Mine has dogs in it so I advertise in Jack Russell Dog Show Flyers when I can find them.  I also have horses so I went to the open house of my horse’s breed, American Indian Horse and I advertise in their magazine. Go on your FaceBook Page.  And to the Group pages you belong to, (Ask Permission First, some have rules about this.)  I know people through a Writers Guild, my husband’s bass club, and whenever I talk about the book, I hand out flyers with info on how to order it. Talk!  You’re proud of your book, show it.  Most of my doctors have flyers from me too.   And donate to your local library, VFW, fund-raisers for your groups and anything else you are involved with. Oh! And Blog.  Here we are, talking about the adventures and knowledge I’ve enjoyed since writing the book.  So people say Twitter, but that’s too ‘right now’ for me.  I like to write my blog and then re-read it before I post.  It’s too easy to blurt stuff out I’ll regret later.

I’m sure you’ll think of lots else to do with your book, you just have to think about it.  Good luck to you all.

By the way, the Publishing House I’m talking about is BookFuel.  Google it and talk to the nice people there.  Good luck.

 


Rats and Jacks in the house pt 5

Previously: I have lost my Bridget, but found little Katie.  She had been imprisoned in ‘the pound from hell’ with a little identical male, possibly a litter mate. I has now been discovered that she is pregnant.

The vet assured me that she was indeed pregnant, possible 3 or 4 weeks.  We should have a Christmas Gift.  No, she doesn’t do abortions at this late date.

My husband was out of town, so I called him and told him of the good(?) news.  As I expected, he was underwhelmed.  Telling him about the more than likely father, he seemed better.  At least they were going to be Rat Terriers, at least we could hope so.

But she was so skinny! So, I started feeding her like a French king, or Henry VIII. Every morning she got scrambled eggs with cottage cheese.  Though, that doesn’t sound good to us.  She quite thought she was in heaven and always asked politely for more.  Then I made sure she had a good quality kibble and raw meat once in a while.  She finally quit looking like a starving pup herself and began to look maternal, though she never got big. A woman I knew (nameless) overheard me talking to my friends about the food I was preparing for Katie.  She commented that she wouldn’t spend so much money on mutt puppies from a dog I got from a pound. I was taken aback.  I took a deep breath and replied that maybe so, but they were my mutt puppies and they were going to get the best start I could give them.

Well, it was the middle of Dec, a cold and rainy night.  I got off late, the kids on my school bus were in high spirits with Christmas Vacation due in two days.  My husband said to meet him at our favorite Mexican Restaurant. So during our lovely dinner, I asked if the dogs when out before he came.  He said, yes, all but Katie.  That seemed odd to me but I was in the middle of some great cheese enchiladas.

So when we got home, Abbott and Jessie met us at the door. No Katie. I found her in the middle of our king-sized bed on the comforter.  She had one baby already, and was delivering a second one.  For a ten month old pup, she was doing beautifully.  Then after about fifteen minutes, something else appeared, a dark lump.  Honestly , I couldn’t tell if it was afterbirth, a piece of poop, or another pup.  I poked at it with my finger and it squeeked.  So, it was indeed a puppy, a tiny little brown puppy, perfect in every way.

David came in and looked, seeing the two little spotted pups, asked “only two? Well, they are spotted after all.”

I had to laugh and point at little brownie. “Well, most of them.”

“Where did he come from?”

I pointed at Katie, who was dutifully cleaning her three sons.  “There’s the culprit. When in jail, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.”  She looked at me suspiciously. Yes, I had saved her, but she’d only known us for a month and a half.

“Why are they all brown?”

And that was a good question.  For a black and white mama, and ostensibly a black and white papa, the spotted pups were white with brown spots and browny was, well, totally brown.  But I had no answers.

We moved the little family into the small bedroom where her bed was set up.  I set up a little heater for them setting it at 80 degrees.  Little Katie looked up at me, and smiled.

 

 

 

 

 


My Ghost Story

One of my fellow bloggers challenged for a scary story, ghost story or something.  This is one that is true, but not scary so I’m not sure it suits.  But, none the less, here she be.

When I was a little girl, I lived with my grandparents out. My Grandfather grew up in Louisiana and later in life he and my Grandmother had moved to the outskirts of a small town in Texas. Cibolo creek ran through the town and wended its way past their rural home.

One evening, my Grandma had gone into the town for some reason. Grandpa, stuck at home with me, a 6 year old child, didn’t really know how to entertain me. So, for some reason, he decided that we should go frog gigging and cook the bullfrogs that ‘we’ caught over the grill pit.

At almost dark, he took his 10 ft aluminum boat down to the creek and put it in the water. My job was to hold the large flash light and point it in the water. The light would reflect off the frog’s eyes and he would hit them with his home made trident spear. We were out for about an hour and wanted a few more for the grill when it began to get really dark in the overgrown creek

I was flashing the light around the shore like I’d been told, when another light attracted me with its luminosity. I, of course, looked away from my chore and saw a man standing on the bank. He appeared to be glowing dimly against the trees and brush.

The man looked a little older than my uncle who was then 21. He was very pale, with dark hair and large black holes for eyes. He was wearing a raggedy gray ‘suit’ and he had a bloody rag tied around his head. He looked at us out in the boat and raised a hand like he was waving.

I turned around to tell Grandpa to look at the man on the bank. He did turn around but the man was gone. I tried to describe the clothing, but Grandpa never said anything to me about it. He just said we had to go home before Grandma got there. So we paddled and poled home and were cooking frogs over the fire when she got there.

Needless to say she was mad at him for taking me out like that. Later I tried to tell her about the man but she never did believe me. One day at my Great grandma’s house, I told her about him. She got real quiet then told me he was probably a poor soldier from a war who was trying to get home when he died at the creek. I’ve thought about it through the years, and she was a woman who was noted for having ‘the sight’ and she was probably right. Our home was right outside San Antonio, and lots of men had come through the area going to and coming from battles. As I remember the clothing/uniform, he might have been one of Hood’s Texas boys coming back from the War for Southern Independence. He might have been asking for help, or even saying goodbye.

I have seen a few other things, so I may have a touch of the gift, but nothing has ever affected me like that. I wasn’t scared, just terribly sad for him to have died so far away from his home. I don’t remember what day it was, but it was in fall as I was in school at the time, so it may have been in October but not Halloween.