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.


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.