Buddy just living out his life

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.

Written 3/9/2020

Looking to Clean House.

I looked around and looked some more
looking at my dirty floor
hoping that someone would pick up a broom
and sweep the dirt right out of the room
then the thought I suddenly did see
that the someone would have to be me
the last I looked I was alone
just me and four dogs and they have to be shown
anything that I want them to do
I have to do first as they don’t know how to
and even after I showed them the way
they ignored me completely and had their say
“Cleaning house is not what we do
so get to it Dad, we don’t have a clue”
I took a deep breath and picked up my mop
as they disappeared not up for the job
and I swept and cleaned with no help from them
and I really thought that we were friends
it just goes to show that in times of need
even those that you house and feed
are not up to cleaning the mess that they make
what good are they you ask, for goodness sake
and then when your through at the end of the task
out they come wagging no thoughts of the past
but glad to have you back in your chair
the house is so clean but they do not care
just give them the time and before very long
“The house needs cleaning” will be their song.

Written 7/1/2019

Another hike at McKinney


Gloria and George (holding Nina).

My friends, Gloria and George called me to see if I was interested in a short hike at McKinney Roughs. The weather was cool and very clear and the sun was shining although it didn’t have a great deal of warmth in it. The temperature was around 50 degrees, pretty good for a winter’s day in Texas.

I jumped at the opportunity to go out with them and we all met at the Hwy 71 Trailhead entrance. The sign said that the trails were open to hikers and closed to horses and it would be muddy in places. Both George and I changed into our hiking boots ready to brave whatever the Roughs could throw at us this fine day. I grabbed my camera and hiking stick and we set off with both dogs, Nina and Bobby leading the way. There were a couple of other cars in the parking lot and others were pulling in as we set off. This is a very popular place to hike with well kept trails, tall trees and great views.

I didn’t expect to take many pictures as there are no blooming flowers and the birds and wildlife are pretty scarce. The buzzards were flying overhead and the usual pair were perched up in one of the dead trees as they rested. McKinney Roughs as with all other places in my part of Texas, has its winter cloak on with not much in the way of greenery except for the grass which was exceptionally green.  We have not had any frosts yet which accounts for the very green grass. The rest of the vegetation was many shades of brown.

When we go out walking, I seem to be the one deciding which trails we should take. I guess it’s because I have walked most of them before and I act like I know where I’m going. This time, I took them on a couple of trails that they had not walked before and we found one that I had not been on (Woodland Ridge) which judging by the gravel path and the number of benches parked along the trail, must be the principle trail for walkers just looking to get exercise and fresh air without braving the longer and more difficult trails.

We started off walking Whitetail and then branched off onto Foxtail for a short distance before hitting Riverside which is one of the main trails in the park. This led us downhill towards the river but I didn’t want to go all the way to the bottom as I knew that trail would be pretty wet and muddy. As it was, we ran into several muddy areas on Bluestem and Bluff Trails Loop. George commented that we were carrying around another 5 pounds of mud on each foot which would strengthen our muscles. Me, I thought it would make them more tired than usual. We lost the mud when we got onto Woodland Ridge which is the well finished gravel path I mentioned earlier. This brought us back to the Main Office area and parking lots of the main complex but as we were not parked in this area, we stayed on the trails taking  Foxtail and then Whitetail back to our cars.

MonarchWe covered about 7 1/2 miles by my trusty pedometer and burned a little under 400 calories, which as Gloria pointed out, is equal to one piece of pie. We passed a few walkers all going in the opposite direction and all mentioned the beauty of the weather and the surroundings. At one point, Gloria who had on a bright yellow windcheater stopped and an Monarch  butterfly landed on her. It stayed there long enough for me to take pictures before flying onto her hat for another photo session.

The dogs, Nina and Bobby had a great time. It was interesting as Nina, who is a small Chihuahua, wanted George to carry her early in the walk but as we walked on, seemed to get more and more energy and towards the end,DSC_0780 she and Bobby were racing ahead, chasing each other and generally having a fine old time. As you may have guessed, we were on the homeward trail when Nina came to life.

When we arrived back at the Trailhead, there were many more cars in the lot. Not surprising on such a beautiful day and one of the groups that we had met on the trail, walked in behind us. We chatted for a bit and they commented on how much they like this park, as we do.

My friends went home with two very tired and happy dogs. Me, I headed into Bastrop for my usual stop at Starbucks and with a Grande Latte in my hand, made the drive home. Gloria’s comment about the calories we burned measuring up to one piece of pie got me thinking so I just had to make a small detour to Whole Foods and picked up a couple of Cherry turnovers for my desert. It was as though my car has a mind of its own and like the way it can’t pass a Starbucks without stopping for a Latte, I am afraid that it now will not go past Whole Foods without stopping for turnovers.

All in all, another very enjoyable walk out with my friends enjoying the beauties of Nature. What more could a man ask for…..


Grand old oak tree

Grand old oak tree

If I had my choice to be
anything else other than me
and not another human kind
but something different I had in mind

I could be a dog or maybe a cat
to sit upon my keepers lap
and make a fuss of them to see
just how much they might love me

I could be a bird and fly so high
way,way,way up in the sky
always searching far and near
and sing my song for all to hear.

I think that I would rather be
a grand old oak, a living tree
watching as the world goes by
for centuries, my arms to the sky.

Standing there for hundreds of years
tales to be told of all I have seen
spreading shade and shelter to one and all
and telling my stories before I fall.


Change of Season

Windy Day

Windy Day

Today the weather has changed
and there is a chill in the air
a little early for us here in Central Texas
as we usually get winter in January
but Nature has decided to be a little different
and the air is cold.

The sun is shining bright but has little heat
unless you find a sheltered place
out of the wind and in the sun
and then you can feel its warmth
my dogs already know this
and are laying in the sun
out of the wind
in their sheltered spot.

I do not like the cold
I like to feel the sun on my back
and to feel its warmth without finding that special spot
but I am cheered by the thought
that this is Texas and the cold will go away

The Nature of Life



People are their most interesting when
they get together with their friends
especially those whose likes are the same
a special group just for one thing.

Over the years in my long life
I have belonged to many such groups
all with a passion for the same thing
that brings us together from time to time.

It used to be my time was spent
on anything to do with games
preferably football of the English kind
about which we would argue as we drank our pints

Now too old to play but not to watch
and so many years spent in learning the game
I am the expert in my own mind
although my friends don’t think the same

Last night a meeting I did attend
with a group of comparatively new friends
and we listened to a speaker tell us how
to take pictures of our ponds and fish for show

Although many years I have kept fish
and built five ponds in my back yard
an expert in this field I am not
although opinions I may have

But often the same interest have we
as we listen to each others words
Do we believe what they say
it matters not at the end of the day

As we will go about our tasks
from day to day with nary a care
for none of them will come around
and work with us our task to share.


Farewell my Turtle friend…

Red eared slider Turtle

Red eared slider Turtle

The turtle died I’m sad to say
I know not why he passed away
in the bottom of the pond he lay
no more to swim another day.

I recognized him by his shell
the back of which was beat to hell
as Richie found him years ago
and chewed on his shell as dogs will do

He had to be at least 15 years old
how long do turtles live in the wild
although a protected life he led
to no avail as he ended up dead.

I hope he enjoyed his life with me
and living with the other three
although in truth I rarely saw
unless on the rocks the sun to draw

He has not left us all alone
as young turtles this year I have seen
and maybe his last act to perform
was to give life to others to be born.

One thing Nature has shown to me
is not get attached to things wild
life comes and goes without control
as usually only the strong survive.

Rest in peace small turtle friend
I hope you had an easy end
as I shall watch your offspring grow
and hope they will continue your show.