What To Do On A Grey Day


The front yard showing the Asiatic Jasmine.

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.

Written 01/13/2020

The Dogs on a Rainy Day


Mikey, my affectionate little boy
Buddy just living out his life
Sandy looking pensive…

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.

Written 12/20/2019.

Losing Another Pet


Ginnie has been with me for 12 years

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…

Written 12/5/2019

What to Write About


Mikey

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

Written 9/12/2019



Just Sitting Here…


Ginnie has been with me for 12 years
Sandy the new girl

Just sitting here with nothing to do and waiting for the time to pass which is unusual for me as generally I am always free to write a poem or words that last.

Failing that there is plenty to do if only I would look to see out in the yard to trim the plants or work on the ponds as growing they are most rapidly.

The reason for this waiting game are reasons not hard to explain as today is spent on two of the dogs the new girl Sandy is being groomed which includes a bath and she thinks she is doomed

She is not happy with me at all as all of this handling makes her sore and hurts her feelings and although a girl she may be clean just causes controversy

Ginnie my 12 year old little girl has gone to the Vets for an annual check to keep her fit and trouble free pretty good for an old lady everything is working great the Vet had said as stroked her head and he stuck in the needle one more time with a another shot to keep her fine.

So my day is split between the groomers salon and the veterinary scene but I don’t mind as I love those guys and if you ask the reason why I will tell you that they both love me and in their case unconditionally.

Tomorrow Sandy and I have a date this time a trip from whence she came. She too needs to see her Vet for treatment needed most urgently as heartworm has she from her owners past who did not treat her for her to last.

I hope that young and strong and full of life she will beat the worms and her heart grows strong and she can run and jump and play alive and well for another day.

One thing that you can be sure that we are working on a cure and have every hope we will prevail for Sandy’s sake we cannot fail.

I love my pets this can be said and will do what it takes to keep them well and give them the best that I can afford regardless of the price to pay to have them around another day.

Written 8/9/2019

The Love of a Dog


I have one dog upon my lap
another standing up on my knee
looking at me with big brown eyes
as if to say why him and not me
the same is true when I make a fuss
of anyone of the four dogs
the others are there as if by rote
climbing and jumping trying to be boss
I pat them all upon the head
taking in turns so as not to miss one
as they push and shove each other away
cold noses exploring to add to the fun
Ginnie is my oldest girl
a special place in my heart for twelve short years
she is a part of the original pack
the rest all gone to other frontiers
then comes Buddy a funny little guy
as old as Ginnie but lacking some sense
as deaf as a post and with failing sight
he does his best to recompense
Mikey is but a young pup
at two years old and full of life
demanding attention at every turn
not caring if he cause a strife
Sandy is the latest guest
she too is only two years old
but full of love and energy
as her life with us does unfold
I love my dogs and I know they love me
as between them all I share my heart
something that the whole world knows
the love of a dog and troubles depart
if there’s anything bad about a dog
it’s that their life so short can be
and for all of the pleasure they provide
there is that moment of misery
but in the time they are alive
they know no bounds in the love they give
sharing their life with their human friends
helping each of us to live.

Written 7/17/2019


More Thoughts


I got to thinking the other day
after many long years of living alone
just what is it that makes us this way
with nobody else to share our home
history shows that things went well
in the first few years of married bliss
but then as time did tell
things started to come amiss
and all of the love of those early days
could not withstand in so many ways
the pressures that life brings to the fore
and loved walked out of the open door
leaving behind a broken heart
and the price to pay is living apart
three attempts at trying to find love
in a marriage and a happy home
each one ending just like before
with me being shown the door
and finally choosing to live alone
rather than try to do it again
as a broken heart is not easy to mend
and it’s much easier to just be friends
after twenty five years of living alone
with many pets that I chaperoned
I do not wish to share my life
or have any other form of strife
and the remaining dogs get along just fine
and the quiet life is so sublime
they give me love and affection too
and sense when my moods are blue
they cheer me up with cuddles and wags
and lots of kisses if I get too close
these are things that I like the most
so instead of a wife my life to share
I have the love of my pets that are in my care
there have been a lot of pets in that time
as their lives are short beyond compare
new ones fill the holes left behind
each special in that moment so dear
they ask for nothing and in return
I give them love and caring too
and together we will see the end
when that final moment comes due…

Written 6/21/2019