Retired from the University of Texas and too old to play soccer anymore. Now, in the twilight of his years, time is spent writing in this blog, hiking and exploring Texas Parks, photography, working out, gardening and tending to the five ponds he built .
One of my little dogs, Buddy, short for Buddy Holly, who was almost blind, deaf as a post, no sense of smell, very senile and almost 14 years old, took a turn for the worse. I had taken him to the vets a week before as he was not eating and they ran a whole bunch of tests, kept him for a week and then sent him home with a stack of pills that I had to administer on a daily basis. The little bugger fought me all the way as I literally forced the bloody things down his throat. He seemed to be doing much better until Thursday when he was more confused than ever and would walk his way into a corner or up against furniture and would just stand there for 10 minutes or so before moving again. He could still figure out the doggy door and when he did go outside on a walkabout, I had to go with him to be sure he didn’t fall into any of the ponds as he would get very confused and rush around from place to place unable to figure things out. On Friday, I had to go to pick up my truck that just had the on board computer replaced and when I came home, Buddy was in a terrible muddle. He had walked under a chair and could not figure how to get out. He had peed everywhere and could not stand on all 4 legs and no matter how hard he tried, he could not do it. So, with a very heavy heart, I took him to the Vets for one last trip and they put him to sleep. I brought him home and buried him alongside of all of the other dogs where he will rest forevermore. So now, our little pack is down to 2 dogs, Mikey and Sandy.
I am not sure if I will find another dog to fill the void left by Buddy but maybe if the right one comes along and gives me that special look, we will bring another one or two, home. Both Mikey and Sandy are acting really quiet as if they know that Buddy has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. My Sister passed on the same day and I will miss them both. Maybe it is because I have a guilty conscience for having to put Buddy to sleep something that I hated to do especially with the memory of Ginnie still very fresh in my mind.
I have lost six dogs, Pete, Richie, BB, Gizmo, Ginnie and now Buddy these past couple of years albeit that most of them were growing old but it is still hard to handle and I miss them all.
The day was one of those miserable grey days with a very light drizzle, so light that it was hardly visible except that the deck was wet and there was moisture in the air. The temperature was hovering around the fifty eight degree mark but due to the damp air was of the chilly kind. Not the sort of day to want to go outside unless there was a very pressing need like feeding the fish and checking on the ponds to make sure everything was operating OK.
I had nothing planned, no doctors appointments and nothing else that I needed to worry about. Normally, I would have plenty to do outside. Yesterday, I was out in the front of the house where the yard is covered with Asiatic Jasmine which is a pretty good groundcover. Here and there protruded other taller plants and young free growing trees which kind of made for a very raggedy effect. I set about cleaning this up and cut back a lot of the unwanted growth to give the yard a more smoother contour. I do have a lot of Texas Lantana that has self seeded and is growing up through the Jasmine all at one end of the yard and I left that to grow. This is technically still winter, although it has been remarkably mild here in Central Texas and nearly all of the plants have started to grow buds and shoots already. What appears to be dead plants has this young growth making it difficult to know what is alive and what had died off. I will wait to see just how much and if any of this needs to be trimmed especially if we do have a late frost.
Which brings me back to sitting in front of my computer wondering just what to write about. The dogs are very happy and content to be indoors with each of them having there own special place to snooze. Mikey has his own chair right next to mine and often decides that it is time for a cuddle as he steps from his chair onto my lap. He will stay there for a while until it usually ends up with him getting back onto his own chair as I don’t have the most comfortable of laps. Amazing how much of their lives, the dogs spend sleeping. Not a bad way to spend your leisure time.
Sandy likes to alternate between two of the four dog baskets on the floor or on one of the two couches. Any interaction between myself and Mikey is instantly noted and in a flash she is right alongside for her share of attention. Then she goes back to her selected spot of the moment. Sometimes, she will go out through the doggy door and wander around the yard on her own but usually, she waits for Richie and me to lead the way. She has this habit of taking any dog bones that I give her outside and burying them. Yesterday, she came back in with a ratty old bone that had been buried for some time and proceeded to chew on it. I guess it tasted OK to her as she ate the whole thing.
Buddy, the little old man of the group is a definite loner probably because he is 14 years old, very deaf, partially blind, has no sense of smell and more than a little senile. He divides his time between the other two dog baskets and does a lot of sleeping. Quite often, he will go on walkabouts outdoors where he does very well finding his way around. I have gravel walk paths around the ponds which all lead to the grassy area at the bottom of the garden which is the actual creek in my address, Murmuring Creek. This only has water in it if we have a gully washer of several inches of rain as it flows through mine and neighbors yard from the thirty inch culvert just outside of my fence.
Sometimes he gets all turned around and can be seen madly rushing from one place to another at a very healthy trot until he gets himself familiarized once more with his location. He is a funny little guy through no fault of his own and seems to be happy enough. As long as he is healthy and does not have any issues, he will always have a place in both my heart and my home for as long as it takes with no costs spared. Incidentally, the other dogs treat him in totally different ways. Mikey acts like a gentleman around him while Sandy tends to pick on him in a friendly way trying to get a raise out of him. He tends to just ignore her although if she gets too rambunctious, he will try to defend himself. Buddy, on the other hand very rarely interacts with the other two dogs and is definitely a real loner. At this particular moment it is all quiet as they are all asleep in their chosen places. Heck, he doesn’t even interact with me although I do try to make a fuss of him.
It is already late afternoon, 3:30 or so and because of the overcast skies is a miserable and very drab looking day. I do have to go to the HEB store and replenish our food supply and of course, grab my usual Starbucks Latte. This is my one major vice and as I usually buy one every day and at $4:48 a pop, things mount up. You do the math. What the hell, it’s better that being a drug addict. Wait a minute, maybe I am a caffeine addict although I like to think that my habit is just that I like to get out and about and mix with people and not for a desperate need of the stuff. There are some afternoons when I skip it and I don’t feel any the worse for it. I have my own Latte machine and make one in the mornings to have with my breakfast. I was going to say, to get me started but that kinda points to a desperate need for the Latte and its caffeine. A lot of the time, I like to get out and just drive so that I can listen to my latest Audiobook and this usually includes a Latte.
Well, I managed to find something to write about after all albeit pretty trivial stuff. Nothing earth shattering happens in my life and hopefully, nothing ever will and I like it that way.
Today outside it is rainy and cold and my interests in being out there are on hold as I had planned to hike today but the inclement weather has made me stay indoors along with the dogs in the heat who are all snuggled up warm and asleep all of them have their favorite places where none of the others dare show their faces Mikey has a chair right next to mine where he spends most of his time when I am working at my desk this is the spot that he loves the best just a paws length away and close to his Dad surely the best spot of all to be had and occasionally when he thinks it is time he will jump from his chair and onto mine looking for attention that he knows is there spending time on my lap which the others can’t share although Sandy is not going to be left out her favorite spot is without a doubt one of the dog beds that are spread around of which at least four can be found but the minute I get up or stroke Mikey’s head she is right there beside us with a, stroke me instead making sure she gets her fair share of attention wiggling away to be part of the action and the minute she figures the treats are all through back to the beds more snoozing to do there is only one more dog in the clan since Ginnie has gone to the Promised Land Buddy the little old man of them all at fourteen or so and not very tall who is deaf and half blind but still trucks around on walkabouts in the garden where he can be found wandering on pathways where he gets confused and quickens his pace as he tries to choose the right way to go to get back inside as his senility is sometimes a little hard to hide he always eventually gets it right and pushes through the doggy door with all of his might and heads back to his basket where he can sleep and dream of the walkabout his memory can keep it’s great to have four legged friends who are loving and faithful right to the end who sense my moods if I am down or join in with me if I act the clown who ask nothing more than to be by my side with love and affection they do not hide if dogs have a fault then it has to be said their short lifespan breaks hearts when they are dead till another comes along not to replace but to fill in the voids in that big empty space that their passing does leave as Nature does say that the cycle goes on for another day I will always have dogs right to the end until my flesh is so weak that I cannot fend for them or for me and my time will cease as I lay down by their graves my spirit at peace.
Once again my heart is heavy with grief. Not for any of my human friends or acquaintances but for another of my furry buddies.
This time my oldest living dog and the one remaining survivor from the original pack of eight, a female mini dachshund by the name of Ginnie, has joined Big Girl, Manley, Mini, Abigail, BeBe, Richie, Pete and Gizmo at the Rainbow Bridge where one day, we will all be reunited, never to be apart from each other again. Ginnie was with me for twelve wonderful years and was a couple of years old when she joined our family making her about fourteen or so.
I acquired her from a Veterinary friend who knew that I was looking for another dog at the time. She moulded into the household full of dogs and cats and although a bit standoffish, more than held her own when she needed to. Ginnie remained a bit of a standout her whole life never really making friends with any of the other dogs. Because she was the smallest, more than once she had to stand up for herself and did so very well. She had this remarkably soft coat which felt like velvet when you stroked her. At night, she had this habit of sleeping with her back touching me and I was always aware of her presence besides feeling her warmth on cold nights. Even though she was small, she would not take any crap from any of the other dogs and could sound quite ferocious.
I will miss her as she was always glad to see me and always made a fuss of me whenever I came home. It’s so sad when we lose our pets and they are never with us for very long. Just when you are used to having them around, they up and die because their lives are so short. Ginnie died from complications with pulmonary lung illness within three days of the symptoms and did so in her own way. She had been on the bed, her usual spot, and I watched as she pushed her way through the doggy door as she had done thousands of times before. She went out onto the deck and barked a couple of times and sat there looking around. Then, she moved onto one of the lower flower beds by the two ponds and lay down and passed quietly away as I watched, with tears streaming down my face.
I buried her along with all of her other buddies next to the big pond where she will spend the rest of her days. There are now ten dogs and two cats in that area all sleeping their final sleep together.
I should point out that my most recent adoptee that I have had for almost a year is another dachshund by the name of Buddy Holly, shortened to Buddy who is half blind, mostly deaf, has no sense of smell and more than a little senile. But, he gets about just fine and takes walkabouts out in the garden and is living out his life with us. His estimated age is twelve but I believe that he is probably a couple of years older so he and Ginnie were about the same age. I was hoping when I got him that he and Ginnie would become best buds but Ginnie, being who she was, just wouldn’t be friends.
Will I ever get another dog not to replace her but to fill the void that is left? Probably another rescue is the answer…
My thanks go to Dr Donop and all of the staff members at Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital who as usual, did all they could to help Ginnie. It was just destined not to be…
Sitting here at Covert Ford waiting for my truck just a routine service call and with any luck I will be out of here real soon on the road to home back to the happy little dogs whom I had left alone they will be pleased to see me back with waggily tails for greeting and I will make a fuss of them and show them how I’m feeling happy to be back home to do my normal things tend to the ponds and feed the fish and calm all their misgivings
I was reading about some well known folks
whose lives made them famous in years gone by
all of them living in the past
they never knew the reason why
today we read about their feats
and wonder what made them the way that they were
what drove them on against all odds
with no thoughts of any retreat
Will I go down in history
I doubt very much if that man is me
as I am not famous in any way
and have accomplished nothing to say
to the rest of the world take notice of me
for I want to be part of history
so what can I do for the world to see
the next famous man is going to be me
Fame and fortune are not my lot
content and happy with what I have got
my house and a little piece of land
enough to make my life grand
my pets for company who wants more
no one knocking on my door
food on the table and a truck to drive
making everything great just being alive.
I was looking hard for something to do to pass the time on this day it was way too hot to go outside or take a hike in my usual way I’m already blogged out for a month ahead at two a week which is my goal so what is it I can do instead to keep me busy and fill the hole I could clean house but that is a chore not something that is my usual way no interest in that sort of thing guess I’m not the housework king a typical batchelor you might say I could go to the gym but that sounds like work this time of a different kind to push and shove and grunt and groan I think I’ll leave that for a different time I’m running out of ideas fast can’t think of anything that will last long enough to pass the day until this evening when it is time to turn on the Tele and watch a match between the English football teams to cheer on my favorites of which there are two sometimes they win and sometimes they lose and I really have to pick and choose to see which game that I need to watch first and at the end of the day it makes no difference who beats who I spent an hour this afternoon listening to 2Cellos as they played sometimes they play with a wonderful sound easy to lose oneself in this way and others they lose control on the stage and the noise they produce stimulates the soul and gets to the very depths of the mind fast and furious of the rock and roll kind for the purists definitely way overboard for those of us with an itch in our pants going crazy with them with hardly a glance at anyone else watching them perform knowing full well it is only an act and the next time you see them they will be back to playing straight in a beautiful way and listening to them will make my day well I managed to fill an hour writing this poem so what to do next I guess I’ll just have to jump in my truck and go for a drive a very long way listening to Audiobooks as I drive in awe of the authors whose stories I buy and wonder how they can write what they do such talent and such wonderful minds me I do not have a clue as poetry is the best I can do I do not have a devious mind and can only think in the usual way and so without a story of any kind reporting the facts is how I pass my day.
Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".