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.


What you can do to help prevent Horse Slaughter

Info Dump from Me.  It’s heartbreaking in many ways but scary in others. Some horses are lucky. They live a good life, get retired and loved until they die of natural causes or are humanely euthanized.
Some lead a good life, then are sold off into Hell. Loaded in a cramped trailer, no food or water, driven hundreds of miles then butchered, often inhumanely with knives or clubs.
So who goes to Horse Hell? Surely not anyone I know. Yes, you do. From the parks, the race tracks and the television. In fact ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND American Horses go to slaughter for human consumption in Europe and Asia.
DRAFT HORSES (Belgiums, Clydesdales, Shires, etc.) go to slaughter quite freqently, but so do other types and breeds.  The big horses are ‘preferred’ by Asians and are shipped to Japan to be sold as sushi.
In fact a Budweiser Clydesdale was rescued from a kill pen. It wasn’t Buds fault. The older horse had been placed in a ‘safe home’ but due to circumstances was rehomed twice and then sold at auction. His old trainer stepped up and helped with his rescue.
But most have no such luck. They are work horses and their owners get rid of them when they are too old to work. The AMERICAN MORGAN horse also falls in this catagory because of its popularity as a carriage/ buggy horse. You know, the one you rode in his buggy and fed him carrots. Yeah, that horse.
Did you know that the AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION is so interested to breeding their wonder horses to get registry money that on average SEVENTY THOUSAND of their breed, many with papers, go through the Slaughter pipeline to Mexico or Canada either to be killed for human consumption in Europe or Asia?
The AMERICAN THOROUGHBRED Race Horse and STANDARDBREDS are also sold into the Slaughter business when they break down or just don’t perform and win money. Many fantastic beautifly horses are shipped to be eaten by people. They are the next most likely to suffer this inhumane fate.
And the American Mustang, Icon of the freedom of the west, is also vunerable. Initially, the horses that HAD to be removed from their historic homelands according to the Bureau Of Land Management, were held for adoptions. You could buy a wild horse for one hundred and twenty five dollars. Then after a year, you received title to that horse. Then you could sell him to whoever you wanted to. Some of them also go to the slaughter houses.
Now, thanks to the poor management of the BLM, there are over 40,000 wild AMERICAN WILD MUSTANGS in holding pens. There is a new motion in the upper echelons of our government to sell the ‘unadopables’ to slaughter to get rid of them. I’m not blaming the new people in Washington, but the old school who allowed this program to run rampant. They allowed the taking too many horses off their range to lease their homes to Cattlemen, oil men and other companies that want the land for their own benefit. Business wise it may appear like a good idea, but is that good idea worth the American Icon’s disappearance from our country? Surely, we can do better than to murder a vast number of animals  (think Ten Thousand innocent wild horses) that have been living in horse jail for years.
There are many more tragedies committed on purpose, but I would also like to mention horses that are STOLEN from their home pastures. They could be a child’s horse, a therapy horse that is being used to rehabilitate, a show horse walked right off the show’s property or even your pet horse from your barn. These don’t even see another place until they are purchased by a kill buyer and loaded on a huge trailer that is crammed full of horses suffering the fate of the damned.
I want to mention # 11 to these ten ways.  If you are against horse slaughter then call and write your Governor, your Representative, your Senator and your President and express your disapproval for their plans to support horse slaughter. Look up the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act.

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose.

“The permissive allowance of such horsemeat used for human consumption poses a serious public health risk.”1

If I haven’t lost you yet remember the restaurant that made the news last month for selling horse meat in a major city.  Yes, its illegal here now, but the move is on the way to change that.
Anyway, here’s the original blog from Draft Horse Rescue Resource.
And for more info, join the the american-canadian horse warrior forum on Facebook. Lots more info.
10 Things YOU Can Do To Help Stop Slaughter

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.


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.

 

 

 


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.


Genetics and silliness

I ran across Ancestry.com’s latest ad.  It was ‘exposing’ that Brits aren’t really British.  I had to laugh because of what I know about the history of the British Isles makes their whole ‘discovery’ hilarious.  For whatever its worth, my BS is in Sociology, with a minor in History and Literature.  Now I’m not arguing with them, they’re right, but lets explain it a little.

Here’s the original article complete with pie chart.

The British Are Less British Than We Think

And here’s my response.

I’m sorry I had to laugh at the pie chart put out by the Ancestry people. Anyone shocked at their results should pull out their history books and read them.  They show the Irish Celtic DNA (technically the Native Englanders) the Romans fought showed at 22%. Italian/Greek showed at 3%. It sounds like some Roman Soldiers had a little fun on their liberty days before being recalled from Hadrian’s Wall and Bath to fight the barbarians at the gate. Anglo Saxons ok. The Saxons moved into England and were in charge for a long time after Rome fell so 37% sounds right. As far as Western European/French uh, HELLO, Normans as in William the Conqueror who showed up and beat the Saxons show 20%. Scandinavians well, here comes the Vikings with 9%. The Iberian influx were maybeee survivors of Spanish Armada at 3%. and the infamous Other at 7%. Actually, I’m surprised that its such a low number. Give it another century, it will be much higher probably showing more middle eastern. But overall. It just doesn’t matter. its okay for fun, but I wouldn’t take it seriously.

Here’s the big main deal.  Populations are fluid.  We can track it in the history books, we can see it in the bazaars and the forums.  There is no such thing as races, only ethnicities and religions.  They come, they go.  We may or may not like it, but it is what it is.

Checking human DNA is like checking a Rat Terrier.

The Rat Terrier is a working farm dog.  It is part white terrier, part Whippet, part Beagle, and maybe some Jack Russell or even Dachshund.  Basically, whatever was successful survived.  A stupid dog, like a stupid person just doesn’t live very long without societal help.

Be proud of who you are. Because you are the result of successful blood lines.  Your forbearers survived feast, famine, war and pestilence.  Some traveled to different islands or even continents.  It’s okay to be new, you just have to be successful.