A Little Common Sense about Heat.

This is long but please read it to the end. It’s getting to be summer and looks like a hot one. Why did I bother to write this. Cause you are my friends or at least friendly acquaintances and I want to get Christmas cards from you.
I’m a born and bred 6th generation Texican, 64 years old. In the AF I was in Korea and froze my ass off. In Saudi Arabia I was happy with the 135 degrees. Of course, I wasn’t humping a 60 lb pack either, but I could do everything I was supposed to.

 

The point of my story? You have to be very careful in high heat. Stay hydrated, wear protection of sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat with a brim that’s not touching the top of your head. And stay out of the sun in midday. Siesta is a way of life to us old timers. It’s not a cute custom, its necessary. Did I say drink lots of Water! Coke, beer and coffee don’t do it. Remember, once you get Heat Exhaustion its like malaria, it never quite goes away and you have to be extra careful. My German farmer ancestors would get up at daybreak, do whatever needed to be done, come in at noon, eat a good meal of protein, carbs and veggies, then take a long nap. Then they’d work in the house or barn until 4 PM or so and go out to work to dark. No A/C at all cause it didn’t exist back then.
As a 911 operator I saw two heat-related deaths. Both AF guys in great condition. A pilot and a high ranking officer. Both went out in the midday heat wearing skimpy clothes and ran for exercise. The pilot was literally found in a ditch, no ID so it took fingerprints to tell us who he was. The other gent was running around perimeter road. But they knew him cause of who he was. But his rank didn’t save him.
So, here’s the third tip. When you do decide it’s safe to run, at the very least carry your identification and a list of your medications. That way if they do find you alive its easier to help you.

 

And last but not least, if you run at night, please run in a well-lit area, and wear reflective clothing (or at least white). I was driving out to our old barn along a dark road, no lights whatsoever. All I saw was little flashy things close to the ground but I pulled over as to not hit the bunny. As I passed by I saw it was a young lady in a dark sweat suit running beside the road and in a large grassy field. I went on out to do the horse thing and noticed a very large tractor mowing the grass. This Scared me stupid. On the way back, I passed the gal again. This time I stopped and made her get in the car and took her back to her car. Why? She was running in the dark in a place that had rattlesnakes, coyotes and stray dog packs. But what really scared me was if she had fallen, been bitten by one of the above or passed out, that big ole tractor would not have seen her. She would have been found by someone in the morning all shredded. I still get the shivers.

 
So, here you go. Please, please think of the worst thing possible and move to prevent it. I’m not that smart, but my grandparents and their parents taught me some common sense and self-preservation. I can only hope this tirade of mine might, just maybe prevent some unnecessary injuries or save a life.
I’m through now. Thanks.


For new and prospective Terrier Owners.

Dear people who want a terrier. I see a lot of lost terriers on facebook. I know many of them get out of yards and go a hunting on their own. But bad things can happen to the babies in the big bad world. Here are a few suggestions from me and maybe some other terrier moms can pitch in their words too.

1. Lock the gate. If someone comes in, chances are the Jacks will get out. They are fast little stinkers. No one can successfully grab a terrorist on the fly.
2. Be sure your fence has good footing. A new fence with soft dirt is nothing to a digging dog. Pour concrete, lay big rocks or attach something as simple as chicken wire at the base of your fence an cover it with grass or gravel.
3. Don’t leave your dog outside alone for long periods of time. People will steal them, hawks and owls can take them and coyotes will kill them. Just don’t. ESPECIALLY in a storm. They will panic and if that fence goes so will the dog.
4. The underground electric fences are a joke. These little guys laugh at electricity. They see a cat or a squirrel and they go right through the zap. Also, other animals can come and go as they please. That chain link is a whole lot better.
5. If you have a wooden fence, be sure to check it regularly. If they can force their heads through an opening one day, the next day they will be gone. Be sure to check your fences after a bad storm. Lots of pets get run over when they get out.
6. Don’t leave them alone in a yard with an underground pool. As smart as they are, they may not swim or know how to climb out of the pool.
7. Keep them on a leash. Forests, parks, wilderness areas, lakes and oceans are also dangerous. Things live in them that can bite, poison or eat a little dog. Alligators, boa constrictors, (yeah, you read that right), sharks, bears, lions and the ubiquitous coyotes. Your little warrior will see prey and head for the wild open spaces. There, he will be the prey.
8. Be sure their leash, harness or haltee fits properly before you leave the yard or house. A terrier who can get loose WILL get loose.
I never put ID tags on a leash thing. I like a separate plain collar to carry their ID with my phone number and address. I use a martingale collar for the leash so the tag stays With the dog if he slips away. This is important. If you do lose a dog, a nice neighbor can call you if they find your dog or even a police officer may do it. If all you have is a city or vet office tags no one can help as the offices are all closed after 5 PM or weekends.
9. Carry a stick, a cane, golf club, etc in case you are attacked by loose or wild animals.
10. Microchip your pets. They work to help return or Identify your pets. Even if the worst happens it’s better to know.
11. Get your dog a job! Obedience, agility, flyball, hiking or just walking together. A Tired Terrier is a happy dog. And you’ll be in better shape too.

If someone has other suggestions, please feel free to add on. This is important enough for a village.

A friend wrote in and advised she has her Driver’s License Number tattooed on her dogs. She said it helped her to get her dogs back from a ‘neighbor’ who wanted to keep them.


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.

 


Jacks and Rats in the house Pt 4

I’m back, trying to catch up with writing.  So here’s another chapter in the series so far.

So, what’s with the Rats?  Are they victims or characters. This is the story of my Rat Terriers.  I love Ratties.  They are the sweetest little dogs.  Same size as Jack Russells but a bit more delicate, and less carousing in their nature. My grandparents raised them so I knew more what I was getting with them.

After Bridget passed so unexpectedly, I was flummoxed.  She was my darling and to lose her so unexpectedly was soul breaking. She had been a true Warrior Princess  There was a hole in my heart and next to me in my bed.  For me to heal, it had to be filled.

Now, I’m not a person who sits and moans for months.  As a rescuer I knew there was little darling who needed saved…maybe today.  So a week after losing Bridget, I was deep in Pet Finder.  As I scrolled through the pictures, one in particular stopped me.  She was a black and white terrier mix, her photo was a profile and strongly resembled Bridget.  As I examined the picture, the video activated, and she turned to look at me. She was crying out to me for help. I showed her to my husband but the vid wouldn’t work again.  He gently pointed out ‘it wasn’t a video, just a picture’.

I called the number listed for the pound and through the machinations of Russell Rescue of Texas and a credit card, I was able to secure her freedom.  I purchased her on line, a wonderful lady went and picked her up from the pound, another drove her from Garland TX to New Braunfels TX where I met them.  We got her on Friday.  Saturday, she had been scheduled for euthanasia.  The RR ladies had also secured 3 other terrier mixes at the pound saving them as well.

The little black and white girl crawled into my arms and tucked up under my hair.  She was very thin, about 7 pounds for her 9 inches of height. Her age was judged to be about 7 months old. I named her Katie, after the character in my book.

But this was no happy puppy.  This was a very needy, sad, broken little dog.  Abbott and Jessie accepted her with no qualms, and she was house broken so we just let her follow us around and crawl in out laps whenever she wanted.

When looking at her paperwork, it showed she and another dog were picked up off the streets of Garland on the 16 of Oct, We took her on the 3 of Nov. Due to her poor condition, I wanted to wait a month for the spay so she would be stronger.  So she was scheduled for a well dog visit on 1 Dec, and to get her appointment for neutering.

To make a long story shorter, my vet informed me my baby dog of 9 months was pregnant.  Merry Christmas.  No spay for her.  Mother hood loomed large, even though she was still very thin.  (I thought her belly bump was worms.) and she a mere pup herself.

So on 17 Dec, we returned home from dinner to find her in the middle of our king-sized bed having her babies.  3 males, 2 brown spotted, one solid brown.  Poor Katie looked  embarrassed and afraid.  But we welcomed everyone, put them in the nest she was supposed to have had them in, and closed the door.

My husband looked at me and said. ‘No, we can’t keep them all.’

I, of course, agreed.

 

(to be continued)

 

 

 


Knowing Horses

I’m taking a break from one heart passion, my terriers, to my soul passion, the Horse.

First, I would like to take this chance to thank Vicki Ives and her daughters at KARMA FARMS for doing this thing I’m so madly ranting about.

We wonder why the world is so unconcerned about wild horses, the mystical antique breeds or just horses in general. I hope KARMA FARMS with their summer programs for children and adults continues to educate and impress our youth with the love and appreciation of these magical creatures. Not enough people know horses today, even in a little way. They watch them on video or read about them in books but they don’t know the truth of them.

Those of us who have touched, brushed, sweated, stroked, ridden or driven them know of their beauty, their strength and their gentleness. The modern person only sees them in two dimensions. We, the horsemen of the world, need to unlock the secrets of the horse to the children and the dreamers. The Passionate ones need to be awakened.

If you own a horse, open your world to others and show them the magic. Bring others into the world of the sight of their beauty, the touch of their noses and coats, the smell of their bodies and their sweat, the sense of their power as they bend to our asking. Put a child on a gentle horse. Take your friend to the barn. Let their fear pass into our love of this Magnificent Creature who comes to us so trustingly and willingly. If we don’t introduce people to our world, they won’t know anything but ignorance, fear and false lies told by others who fear our spirit animal.

Lies like they are only animals, they are stupid, they don’t care for their families and they don’t have fear or pain when they are taken from us. That they don’t feel pain when wounded.  That they don’t mourn for their dead. We must educate the children behind the computers and in front of the televisions. Without the support of these people we will lose our miracle that is the horse. They will pass into history and leave us alone in the cold harsh world. So take a friend to your horse, or a barn or a farm and introduce them to the wonderous creature we call our friend and partner.

If you don’t know someone with horses, take a riding lesson or go to a rescue and volunteer to help.  Learn their smell, their touch, and their spirit. You will be amazed at what you learn not only about horses but about yourself.

 

 


Jack and Rats in the House Pt 3

This will be a happier one, I promise.

I was at home when I got the call.    Robyn from Russell Rescue was on the phone and was asking for a doggy favor.

While I do mostly transport of dogs from one place to another, this was a little bit special.  I had the two dogs, Abbott and Bridget, at this point.  We had discussed adding another dog, but these two were perfectly balanced for each other.  Having Jacks can be a challenging thing if they don’t get along and these two did beautifully.  The only fights were when they were defending each other against other critters.  But every once in a while, we’d keep a dog for a weekend or several days. This was one of those special times.

There had been a little mama dog picked up by San Antonio ACO.  RR had waited the period of time hoping she’d be adopted but no one had stepped forward and she was in her last hours.  So, one of ‘our’ rescued dogs was being adopted and it was decided to go and get her.  I live close so I was asked to go and pick her up.

Jessie,as she was dubbed, was about 6 years old. This is not old for JRT as they normally live 15 years or more.  But this little girl was in sad shape.  The theory was she had been used as a breeder dog, one whose lot in life is to produce puppies year after year.  I was told she’d been picked up off the street in the south side of San Antonio.  There were no puppies, but she was lactating.  SA ACO will only adopt a dog after its been neutered, so I knew she would still have stitches.

I got there to pick her up at 6 PM.  The lady was nice enough but obviously very busy.  I had a crate with a pillow in the back of the car all ready for her.  Then they carry her out and she’s still unconscious, stitches in her tummy and milk running out of her nipples.

Since no one had seen her, I was supposed to report on her size, her build and if she had a long tail. As an aside, a true good Jack Russell should be between 10 to 15 inches tall, have tipped ears and a docked tail of about 4 inches long. As I took her and put her in the crate, I realized that she did not fit this description.

If you remember my Abbott dog, Jessie looked like a pup of his.  They are both only 8 inch shorty jacks aka puddin Jacks, with Queen Anne legs (bowed like the furniture) with long tails, and in her case, one prick ear and one tipped.  So, I had to tell Robyn that she was not the beauty we were hoping for.  She also didn’t eat or drink for a day or two.  I was very concerned that the vet had over sedated her as sometimes happened with small dogs but in true terrier fashion she came out of it in a few days.

I had put her in a vacant bedroom and pulled the door closed when I went to work the next day.  But evidently Abbott and Bridgett wanted to see the new dog and had pushed the door open.  My husband had also been curious and had been in there talking to her and trying to get her to eat and drink. So after a few days she was released and began to perk up.

Jessie went from depressed, to scared, to even a little aggressive.  But this wasn’t surprising because her hormones were, to say the least, all fouled up.  From a mama, to a throw away, to captured, to frightened, to hurt(spayed), to given over to us she barely had a chance to know what was happening to her.

We’d kept her for two weeks, longer than expected. Then I got the word to bring her to her foster home.  But hubby had fallen for the new girl in the house and we happily failed fostering 101.  She and Abbott are two peas in a pod.

Taking a dog in that has had no socialization is not always easy.  She had to be house broken, she didn’t know how to walk on a leash, she was fearful of everything.  But the pack helped a lot.  She was the sweet little sister and the two dominants just took her along with them.  She loves her Papa, she loves her sibs and she is nice to me.  That’s okay, the others are ‘my’ dogs, and hubby needed his own darling.

We’ve had her for 4 years now.  She’s a bit fat, a little lazy, actually had to learn to run after being a breeding female most of her life and accompanies hubby on his walks.  She’s perfect for her position in our little pack.  And she is the HAPPIEST dog I’ve ever known. It’s fun just to watch her hop around the backyard.  She just wiggles around and asks for her rubs and scratches.  After an hour or so, she’ll go and find her box or corner of the bed and go back to sleep.

Adopting is a wonderful thing. Jacks are so smart and loving if you accept them for what they are.  They are active, bouncy and a handful.  They also need a job and to be shown what it is.  Don’t put them in the house, or the yard and ignore them.  Make them part of your family.  All they want is to love you. Let them.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rats and Jacks in the house.

I write a great deal about dogs.  They usually hanging around in both my fan fiction and in my novels.  I have even been known to write poems and articles about dogs.  They color my view of the world and society. So when you find one in my writing, don’t be surprised.

I determined that for you to understand where my characters come from, you should know a little about me and my dogs.  You can skip this and catch up later, but if you hear barking in the background, look for a wagging tail to show up.

A few days ago, I wrote about my Pits.  They were precious dogs, rare and irreplaceable, but I know wherein my heart lives.

The picture here is myself in childhood with our Rat Terriers.  The two in my arms are Sissy (prick eared) and Spotty (tip-eared). The one next to us is Tiger, these are all offspring from Mitsey, the one in the back from different litters.  These were dogs of my childhood, my companions in exploration and my guardians in my follys.  Tiger was mortally injured by a car, Spot died of a heart attack, but Mitsey lived for about 18 years and Sissy well into her 20s.

When my husband took work as a fishing guide on Falcon Lake after his retirement from the USAF, I determined I needed a dog. We had previously decided that we wanted a long-lived breed, either a terrier or a dachshund. Well he was not there and I was so when I found a Jack Russell Terrier at a flea market I immediately brought her home.  Her great and enthusiastic speed earned her the name Racer or Race.  She was my darling and protector while hubby was gone.  When I suffered a broken ankle she protected me from Pizza delivery men, postmen, my mother and mice.

Race also took on an orphan Pit Bull puppy to raise as her own.  She loved that baby beyond all expectation.  As a humorous none, one of the neighbors complained that my ‘vicious’ Pit Bull would kill my cute little white dog.  Later, she apologized when she evidently saw Race ‘savagely attacking’ my other dog.  Of course, no blood was ever spilt so when i explained their relationship the lady was more comfortable when she heard the play. In fact, the only blood let on the ground was that of possums, snakes, squirrels, some feral cats and unfortunately a 5 foot king snake.

When Bonny died unexpectedly, Race had a nervous breakdown and a possible stroke.  We tried to get another terrier puppy but I swear I couldn’t find one.  Finally, I heard of a wonderful organization called Russell Rescue.  http://www.russellrescue.com/   Two very nice ladies, sisters Sandra and Robyn, are the heart and soul of this organization.  I was advised to get a male and an adult who wouldn’t bother Race too much but would be company to her.  So we got Abbott.

Little Abbott is an interesting dog.  He was very respectful of the aging lady Race.  She was only 13 but she had never recovered from the loss of Bonny.  Mostly blind now, she didn’t really like him, but she accepted him and he was more or less her seeing eye dog.  But they were very different. She’d been raised by us from a puppy. Abbott was 2 or 3 years old already and had suffered abuse at the hands of a man. It took he and my husband a while to declare a truce, but they did, and finally became fast friends.

The best way I can describe the two dogs relationship came about from the final squirrel hunt.I was lucky enough to witness it from the kitchen window so I assure you it is true.  Since Race had gone blind, she didn’t hunt the squirrels any more.  Abbott didn’t really know how.  He could handle mice but not squirrels who were almost as big as him.  Well, one day a huge male squirrel came to earth and was generally ignoring my two terriers who were asleep on the porch. Abbott saw him took a run at him and somehow actually managed to grab the squirrel by the tail.  The squirrel, outraged, turned on him and bit Abbott on the foot, causing him to squeal.  Before I could get to the door, Race leaped up from her chaise lounge and ran towards the combatants.  She couldn’t see the squirrel, but I guess she could see the white form of Abbott.  By the time I got outside, Race had shown Abbott how it is done.  The huge squirrel was at least a foot and a half long with tail and was fighting so never saw her coming.  Race grabbed it and slung it in true terrier style. Then she carried it around the yard, proud of her success and basking in her glory. I took Abbott inside to give him first aide for the bitten paw.  Then I took a hot dog out to trade Race for the squirrel.

Race made it to 15 years.  A decent enough age, but far short of what we had hoped for her. I know the difficulty she had with Bonny’s loss cost her several years.  She suffered a grand mal seizure and we let her go while holding her in our arms. I brought her home and buried her in the back, with Abbott in attendance. When I put the stone down on her grave, he lifted his leg on it.  No one would bother her sleep, by his signature and pledge.

end of part 1.  to be continued.