I Bought Me a Truck


In a fit of madness I went to the lot
just to see what  they have got
in the way of new trucks which I am told
that my plans for the future will really involve
my car that I have had for a while
which I really like for its style
can’t do the things I have planned
like getting ready a piece of land
and hauling brush and clearing trees
a Tiny Home is what I need
and sell this house and move away
for something smaller where I can play
I will be sad to leave my friends
and the ponds I built and to this end
but the house is way too big for me
and would suit a larger family
as my needs are so very few
the space I need to live like I do
a Tiny Home in so many ways
where I can live the rest of my days
will I ever make the move
and make my Little House dreams come true
well I bought the truck so thats a start
the land comes next to play its part
water and gas and electricity too
and a septic system for the loo
hopefully by this time next year
my life will have a whole new veneer.

Two months later and things have changed
no land no little house but in exchange
I plan to buy a trailer home
to visit the Parks and be alone
to spend time away just me and the pups
and walking the trails and taking cups
of coffee or some other fine brew
under the stars with only a few
other campers doing the same
as we play the Nature Game.

Written 11/10/2017
Amended 1/21/2018



Meandering Thoughts


Samantha, Fats at the back, Whiskey Bean, Manfried is the Maltese in front and then Ennery. plus two cats.

I just finished writing a blog
an exercise in thoughts you might say
as I had to remember back fifty years
when the first dog came my way.

In it’s own way it was fun
remembering back all that time
and the memories of all of the dogs
stirred other thoughts of a different kind.

Of time spent in the country where I was born
and the people there that I knew
the life I lived and the jobs that I had
and the wives of which there were two.

A childhood romance when we were young
not knowing what life was all about
bringing into this world two beautiful sons
before life filled us full of doubt.

Into another’s arms her love to feel
with struggle and strife along the way
and finally making it all worthwhile
as off to America a new life a new way.

Sadly America was not the cure
for after ten years of married bliss
all of the dreams came tumbling down
my world fell into the abyss.

Another lady filled the void
with her life was full as it could be
after fifteen years of married bliss
once more back to misery.

I decided I was not the marrying kind
and spent the next twenty five years alone
except for the dogs of which there were many
everyone important as though to atone.

For the fact that I make a terrible mate
but a friend to the dogs is not very hard
and the love for a woman seemed not to be there
but I love all dogs with the highest regard.

If I could live my life again
there would be many things I would change
but there is one thing of which I am sure
my love for all dogs is stronger than before.

Wives would have no part of that life
as they only bring trouble and strife
instead my life would be full of dogs
with wagging tails and sloppy tongues.

And love so strong it is a shame
their lives are so short and sweet
but another is ready to take it’s place
with instant love as soon as we meet.

Written 1/19/2018

Link to the other blog here.

My Family of Dogs – Part two.

Zippo (2)

Zippo, my old Arabian

We had been keeping the last of our horses that we had on our five acres, an old Arabian, at a local horse farm but I decided to move him to the backyard where he spent the next ten years. Zippo was his name and he eventually had to be put to sleep at the grand old age of thirty six. I was left with the four cockers and Manfried and a Pit Bull puppy that had been found close to my office at work and I said that I would take care of. The Pit Bull I named Molly and our little family of six lived happily together for a while. I would occasionally run into my ex-wife at the soccer fields and she would usually have Bianca with her so I was able to keep in touch with that dog. As it turned out, Bianca passed away sitting next to her on her couch several years later. Nice way for her to go.


Minnie, Abigail, Be-Be, Manley and Fat Cat

Molly being a puppy and also very insecure, had the constant desire to chew on things. No amount of chewable toys and treats seemed to be enough as I came home one day and my Sit Up Bench was in tatters where she had done a number on it along with the cane woven bottom on another chair. Then, on another day, I took her and Manfried for a ride in the car and stopped at the grocery store. When I came out, Molly had literally chewed the steering wheel to where the airbag had almost deployed. I had to buy a new steering wheel which cost me $500 and at that point, decided that Molly had to go. I called my ex-wife who had a place in the country and she very graciously elected to take Molly.

Time moved on and I had my routines worked out. I would go into the large run that the Cockers had, every morning to check on them and then feed them and give then dog biscuits as a treat. One morning, I went in as usual and made a fuss of them and I noticed that Whiskey had a large lump under her chin. I called in to work and then took Whiskey to the vets where they operated and removed the growth. The prognosis was good so I was hopeful that she would be OK. Six weeks or so later, following my usual routine, I gave them cookies before I left. Whiskey was laying spread eagled with her back legs in a frog like position which was one of her comfort postures. She nudged the cookie that I placed in front of her and wagged her tail when I made a fuss of her. That was the last that I saw her alive as she was in exactly the same position with the cookie in front of her when I came home except this time, she was dead.

Two weeks later, I came home to find that Ennery had also died. As far as I could tell, there was nothing wrong with her and I believe that she died of a broken heart after losing her friend and buddy, Whiskey. The two of them had for their whole lives, been at each other trying to work out the pecking order. The way it was set up was that Samantha as Mom was the definite boss, next to her was Fats who was a very large Cocker, then came Whiskey followed by Ennery who was a very small dog and the runt of the litter. This didn’t stop her and for sixteen years, the two of them had fought one long running battle. When Whiskey died, Ennery, having just lost her lifelong friend, just gave up living.

That left Samantha and Whiskey and of course, Manfried. Both Cockers had lost their eyesight but it didn’t stop them from roaming around the yard and negotiating steps to the deck. I came home one day and couldn’t find Samantha anywhere. I eventually located her under the shed and I had to literally dig a tunnel to get her out as that was the only way I could get to her and she wouldn’t come when I called. A couple of months later, I came home one day and Sam had died in the yard. She was eighteen years old. That left Fats who was fading fast and I had to take her to the vets and have her put to sleep. The three offspring lived to be sixteen. All of my pets with the exception of Zippo are buried in the backyard.

Now I was at just the one Maltese, Manfried. That was until another vet called me to see if I would be interested in taking a Maltese named Dusty. Naturally, I jumped at the chance and quickly rushed over to pick him up. Maltese are a bit of a pain to take care of as they need a lot of grooming and trips to the hairdressers but Dusty had the straightest and easiest hair to care for. One day, I noticed that Manfried was constantly trying to urinate but seemed to be having trouble. I thought it funny at first and then realized it was serious. So, back to the vets where they diagnosed that he had gall stones in his urinary tract and would need surgery to get rid of them. He died overnight of complications and now I was left with just one dog, Dusty.

I had a party for my Women’s soccer team on one Saturday evening and Dusty was the life and soul of the party. He got more hugs and loving that night to last a lifetime and as it turned out, that is what happened. Following the usual habit we had gotten into, I came home on the Monday and Dusty and I went to collect the mail. As we had done many times before, I went in with the mail and Dusty stayed outside util it occurred to me that it was very quiet and where was my dog. I went back out to the front of the house and discovered Dusty laying dead in the middle of the street. The Volunteer Fire Department located across the street had been holding a meeting and the inquisitive dog had started to cross the road and was hit a glancing blow by a truck. I was totally heartbroken at losing yet another friend and buddy and was inconsolable. The next day, I immediately searched the advertisements in the local paper and found one saying they had a Maltese Puppy and made arrangements to go visit knowing full well that unless the dog rejected me, I was going to bring him home.


Me and Manley at a soccer match.

So, now I had Manley, a six month old male Maltese who, as it turns out, was the last of the Maltese. Up to now, I have had four Maltese and four Cockers but now I was at one dog and a couple of cats and thought that I would stay at that number. That was until I was driving into work one day and taking the back roads as was my habit, I noticed this big brown dog on the side of the road. I pulled over to see if she was friendly, which she was and gave her my lunch as she was obviously hungry. I went to work and she was still there when I cam home so I went home for more food and then came back to feed her. This went on for several days until one morning, I noticed her under a small bush with several puppies. She would not let me near her so I left the food and then continued on to work. That evening, she had moved the puppies and I discovered them in an old drain not very far away. She would still not let me near but I kept feeding her in the hope of gaining her trust. Then it happened. One morning we followed the usual routine of me stopping and leaving her food but this time, she was much friendlier. So, I took a chance and called her to get in the van which to my surprise, she did. I then found and collected all four of the puppies and put them in the van and we drove back home.


Danielle or Danny for short

Over time, I managed to find homes for two of the little guys but ended up with the mother and the other two puppies, one male and one female. By now, Zippo the horse had been put to sleep so I moved the big dog and her puppies into the very large shed that used to be Zippo’s home. It had a large run where they could exercise. The mother was named Big Girl and the puppies Boy and Danielle.

Time passed and I had a travelling vet stop by to take a look at them and give them their shots as they were now getting on to be over a year old. For some reason, the male puppy, Boy went into shock in the Vet’s van and died which left us at Danielle, and her mother Big Girl along with Manley who lived inside with me.



Then another friend called to see if I would be interested in taking a Scottie named Minnie. What the hell, what is one more dog, I thought and added Minnie to our menagerie. Then yet another friend called, whose marriage was on the rocks, and offered me two Dachshunds both female. I took them both but as it turned out, my friends ex mother in law was interested in the full sized female which I turned over to her leaving me with the mid sized little girl named Beatrice which quickly was turned to Be-Be. At this point, I resolved not to have any more friends as obviously, the word was out.


Beatrice shortened to Be-Be, on the deck

Now all of a sudden, I was at six dogs all of which lived inside with me, as Big Girl and her daughter Danny were now indoor dogs along with Be-Be and Abigail, Mini and Manley. Things stayed like this for a while until my ex wife called wanting to know if I wanted another Dachshund as she had a workmate looking to find one a home. Of course I said yes and so we added Richie, a rambunctious medium sized Dachshund who quickly established himself as the leader of the pack. As time went by, Big Girl got old and I had to have her put to sleep.

Mini was the next to go as she had developed an open cancerous wound in her side. Before I took her to the Vets one last time, I watched Minnie walk around the garden taking a last tour, stopping and smelling things. Whether she knew her time was limited, I will never know. I cried like a baby when I took Minnie to the Vets for the last time and had to make a phone call for one of the Technicians to come out and take her in to do the deed. It must have appeared very odd to see this twenty something young lady consoling this seventy something old man.

Richie smaller (1 of 1)-2

Richie, the all time favorite

Another Dachshund joined the group, a gift from yet another vet who was only too glad to find her a home. Her name is Ginny and she is a miniature Dachshund. As though in exchange a couple of months later, Manley died in my arms following a massive heart attack. He had a long life living to be fourteen years old. Manley was special as he filled the void left by losing Dusty.



Dannielle stopped eating and try as could, she wouldn’t respond. I had already taken Abigail in to have surgery as she had managed to rupture a disk, a common and very expensive complaint on full sized Dachshunds, so Danny joined her. The Vet kept her for a few days and had her on fluids and finally told me that I needed to let her go. He put her to sleep and I brought her home in a box and buried her along with all of the other dogs, She was the very last of the big dogs whose lives I have shared. There have only been four of them. The rest have all been small dogs.

All of the dogs with the exception of Danny, sometimes slept on the King Sized bed along with me. That included Be-Be up until she started having bladder problems when she voluntarily stayed off the bed. This was a part of her general health decline as she was also beginning to act old and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I had to let her go. We were on a routine trip to the vets for a check up and as I sat waiting for our turn with Be-Be in my arms, she gave a long sigh and died. She had been with me eighteen years and I could not have asked for a more loving companion than her. Her final present to me was to literally die in my arms. For that, I am eternally grateful.


The last addition, Pete

With our numbers dwindling, I saw a blurb on our local neighbourhood watch site of a Chihuahua in need of a new home which I was very glad to offer. We now have this fat little overweight male dog joining the ranks in Dachshund territory but he turned out to more than able to hold his own. Not only that, he and Richie soon became real buddies as they would play wrestle together.


Abigail snoozing

Then disaster struck. I was working on the septic systems and turned my back for just a second and Abigail fell into the tank and drowned. She had broken her neck in the fall so technically that is what probably killed her. What a terrible way for her to die. She had been the least pretentious of all of the dogs preferring to spend her days on her back sleeping on the couch.

With three dogs left over what has been a lifetime of sharing dogs in my life and when I thought that nothing else could go wrong, fate once more turned nasty and struck us a real hammer blow. Richie, definitely the most favorite of all of the dogs I have ever had, was struck by a rattlesnake in the neck and died the next day. Him, I miss the most and his memories will always be with me. I had just visited him the following day and had spent time with him when my Vet called me to say he had passed. I am not sure that Richie even knew I was there as he was really out of it. I was driving at the time and had to pull over as I was crying so hard. Losing him has hurt the most and I am still not really over it. In the 34 years of living in this house, I have never seen a Rattlesnake in my yard or on any of the many hikes that I go on and I didn’t even see the one that killed him as I was in too big a hurry to get Richie to the vets. As usual, life goes on even with a heavy heart.



Now, we are at two, Ginny a very sweet and small Dachshund and Pete, an overweight Chihuahua with Pete the youngest of the group at around eighteen months. Ginny is about four years old. Both of these two spend most of the day asleep and are not the most energetic of animals. Neither do they like each other very much as they sometimes squabble if one gets in the others space. Will I get anymore dogs? Who knows as it becomes a toss up of who goes first, me or them.

For me, as you can tell by this narrative, dogs have been a very important part of my life and as long as it is possible and I am capable of looking after them, will continue to be so. Over the past fifty two years, I have had the privilege of sharing my life with twenty one wonderful dogs. They have each had something different to offer but the most abiding thing of all is the love and trust that they put in me, each and every one of them. I loved them all to the point of complete abandonment especially in my latter years as an older single man living by myself. I was not ever alone as I always had my dogs to keep me company and still do. I have spent quite literally thousands of dollars on their health and upkeep and would gladly do it all over again. The hardest part of taking any animal to the vets for anything other than checkups and shots is the uncertainty that you will ever see them again. The worst time is waiting for that dreaded call from your Vet when he calls to tell you the news of the overnight stay and whether the dog made it. I have had way too many of those calls and never want to receive another one.

Will I ever get any more dogs? It all depends on who has a dog that needs a home and that will get along with Pete and Ginny. Notice that I have barely mentioned the cats that have also been a part of my life. That is for the next blog, sometime in the future.

I do not have pictures of all of the dogs. I wish I did but I can remember every one of them in my mind. Now I feel depressed after writing this. All of those wonderful dogs with their independent spirits and personalities. I miss them all.

The three wives, not so much…

Written 1/14/2018

Postscript. February 5, 2018

Since writing this blog, Pete, the fat little Chihuahua has succumbed to the heartworm that he had before I got him and even after countless treatments, his lungs and heart finally gave out. You can read a poem to Pete at this link. He and Richey have crossed that Rainbow Bridge together and are now in Doggie Heaven and are living amongst the stars. RIP Pete.

End of Life Crisis…

End of life crisis just what is that
not what you would expect it to be
this one comes when someone is old
and still has dreams the truth be told.

We are born, we live and then we die
is the normal way of things
but in between are a lot of years
each a reflection of our fears.

When we are very, very young
our life is spent on an upward swing
as we wend our way through life
learning a part of everything.

All of a sudden we are middle aged
with responsibilities galore
kids to raise a mortgage to pay
and worst of all our hair turns grey.

Then the kids are gone and just the two
living in a house that’s much too big
shall we move into a smaller house
with all of this room what do we do.

Now we are old and no longer play
and go for long walks every day
just to keep the muscles free
in the hope to extend eternity.

Alas it is a losing game
as things can never stay the same
time marches on and there is no wait
to stand outside those Pearly Gates.

All of a sudden there comes the end
along with a multitude of friends
as we reach the age when we all die
and everyone knows the reason why.

Time Marches On…

Written 11/16/2017

My Family of Dogs – Part 1.


Samantha, Mann,Whiskey Bean, Fats at the very back and then Ennery[/caption]

I was sitting on the couch watching an English Premier League soccer game with my two little dogs one on each side of me and I got to thinking about all of the dogs that I have had over my lifetime, for a time period spanning more than 50 years. With such deep thoughts as these, quite obviously, the game was not holding my attention.

I never had a dog when I was growing up and I missed out on the first thirty years of my life. It wasn’t until my second marriage when we had moved into our own house in Hailsham, Sussex in England that I first discovered the joys of having a fuzzy four legged friend in the form of Toby, a small Rat terrier. He was a busy little dog and as I was a Pipeline Boss working out in the country, he was able to come to work with me every day. That pipeline was several miles long and we traversed most of it on a daily basis. Toby was a hunter and would think nothing of finding a rabbits nest and eating the babies much to the annoyance of one of the machine operators. We had some pretty heavy discussions about it.

I had at the time, a small Mini Station Waggon and we would all pile into it to go places including Toby who was never left behind. Besides my wife, there were three daughters and a son so the Mini was pretty full up. Toby had this awful habit of letting off wind and many times as I was driving along, there would be screams from the kids as Toby would let one go. Sitting in the back, they were closest to the dog and by the time it reached me, it had dissipated enough that I would laugh it off and continue driving. Everyone else was rapidly winding down the windows.

He had another quirk that he was able to jump over the four feet high fence to the back yard but could not jump back in and would sit outside the fence and bark until someone, usually me, would rescue him and lift him over to our side. We had him a couple of years but unfortunately for Toby, he bit the neighbors little girl in the face one day when she wandered into our front yard and I had to have him put to sleep. A very sad time.

The next dog was a Cocker Spaniel that we named Melody. She really did a good job of selling herself when we were at the Kennel where we purchased her. She kept jumping up as if to say, “Pick me, pick me”. She had these big brown eyes and she was so appealing that she was the one that chose us. She had the distinction of sailing on the Queen Mary as we made the long journey to the USA. She was kenneled on the top deck in a special enclosure along with several other dogs and we would visit her several times a day so she would not be lonely. She made it just fine over that 3000 mile trip. Melody settled in to life in the USA and even adjusted to the heavy snow falls of the New York State winters. I started a construction business and again, like Toby before her, she came everywhere I went and it was not a bit unusual to see her up on the scaffold as we laid bricks on the houses.

A few years after arriving in the States, we acquired another dog, a cross between a Lab and something else. She was a beautiful short haired sandy colored dog with the sweetest personality and we named her Amy. Melody still came to work with me but Amy stayed at home preferring the company of my wife. At the time, we were having marriage problems and I eventually moved out. One of the daughters took Amy and I gave Melody to one of the guys that used to work for me. I was heartbroken to let her go as we had spent so much time together but the circumstances were such that I could not keep her with me and my ex did not want her. I learned that a couple of years later, he had to put her to sleep as she had just gotten old and had health problems. I should mention, an American country boys idea of euthanization is a 12 gauge shotgun. She had to have been at least 15-16 years old. I don’t know what happened to Amy.


Samantha and friend

A couple of years later, I had remarried for the third and final time. My wife was a dog lover like me. We acquired a cocker spaniel puppy that we named Samantha. At the time we were living in Albany in New York State but a job offer in Texas caused us to move there and of course Samantha also made the trip. We eventually settled just outside of Austin, Texas on five acres of land on which we built a house and a horse barn. By this time, Sam had a litter of puppies of which we sold two and kept three, Fats, who was the biggest, Whiskey Bean and Ennery. They were all females. In the meantime, one of my wifes friends had asked her to look after a male Maltese puppy named Mann, for a bit which eventually turned into a permanent move and our family of dogs was at five. The funniest thing was to see the three cockers all in a line as they went out walking early in the mornings. Fats was always in the lead followed by Whiskey Bean and Ennery trailing at the rear.

We were at the time very active in the soccer community in Austin and Sam would go to all of the games a part of which was the consumption of large quantities of beer following the event. The guys and Samantha both discovered that she had a taste for it and they would surreptitiously give her sips of the stuff until they got her drunk. They thought it funny to see a dog that couldn’t walk a straight line. It didn’t appear to hurt her as she lived to a ripe old age.


Samantha, Fats at the back, Whiskey Bean, Manfried is the Maltese in front and then Ennery. plus two cats.

After a few years, we sold the five acres and moved into a new house closer to Austin taking our family of dogs and cats with us. We had bought land in Belize and took a trip to see it. One of our soccer playing friends house sat for us. We called our neighbor who was our main contact to check on things only to be told that Mann was dead, a victim of a car on the road outside the property. Apparently, there had been a very bad thunderstorm and the sitter had put the dogs in their pen and had assumed that Mann, who she hadn’t been able to find, was already in his kennel. Turns out, he wasn’t and he was so terrified of the thunder and lightning that he had dug out under the gate. My neighbor found him the next day and buried him. Incidentally, we never did hear from the house sitter ever again. No apologies, no nothing.


Mann and Whiskey Bean

I had also come by another Maltese, a gift from a Vet that was looking for a home for him. This Maltese name was Manfried. One day as I was working on my home business, my wife and her friend popped into the office to announce they had a gift for me. She opened her bag for me to peek inside and this bundle of fur in the shape of a miniature Maltese puppy, peeked out. We named her Bianca and she was the tiniest of puppies but really cute and she knew it.


Bianca on the left with Manfried

Then one day a year or so later, My wife announced she was leaving and so long and farewell. She took Bianca with her and I was left with the four Cockers and a Maltese. Time moved on as by now I was a single man and my wife was now an ex-wife. After three failed marriages, I decided enough was enough and that I preferred the company of dogs. Twenty six years later and I still hold that to be true.

For Part two – use this link

Written 1/14/2018


Follow Up with My ENT Doctor…

DSC_1169Just as I had arranged
a follow up for me to see
my doctor a friend of mine
following my surgery
I guess that is not the right word
as he did not cut into me
instead he went in through my nose
to clear it and make it free
“Your sinuses are diseased”
are the words he used to me
which I immediately took to mean
there was something serious he had to see
the surgery went as it should
of course I was fast asleep
probably dreaming of a hike in the woods
waking up when he said I could
now back in the office for him to see
the results of his work in the surgery
he took a look and got out his tools
knowing this could painful be
as he stuck the end up in my nose
and sucked till my sinuses were free
“You should feel much better now”
as the tears rolled down onto my knees
not because he hurt so much
more that the nose has sensitivity
“Come back in a week and we’ll do it again”
were his parting words in deep refrain
“You will feel much better now
and be able to breathe again”
I stumbled out wiping my eyes
cussing and swearing at the pain
do I want to come back in a week
and go through this all over again
of course I will be there at the allotted time
for my Doctor to inflict more pain
although I will have another week
in which to heal and strength to gain
and as somebody once said
there is no gain without the pain.

Written 11/14/2017

This is Day 2


Now this is already Day 2
and I have nothing new
the nose is sore
and what’s more
no pain to make me feel bad
and regret the treatment that I had
breathe through my mouth and not my nose
seems the way that this thing goes
although it’s just a question of time
and I know I will feel just fine
I have a follow up in a couple of days
to check with my Doctor and I am sure he will say
everything is fine and your looking good
acting just the way you should
“Be careful” he’ll say, “Don’t blow your nose,
be back in a month and we’ll see how it goes”.
so I mark on my calendar one month from now
appointment with doctor for this I will show.

Written 11/11/2017