Tuesday, February 26, 2019


My son found Joe wandering around his place of work. Joe was a little-ish black dog. He was so happy to have a home.

We had trouble keeping him at home. He had been on his own for a long time it seemed. But he always came back.

Joe liked to run. I was driving home from work one day and saw him trotting along a major street. He was not easy to catch but he finally got in the car. Home we went.

Joe protected the house and our family. He was very loyal.

There was a fire. The other half of our duplex was empty. Some neighborhood boys set it on fire. They set two more fires at the same time each about half a mile away.

I was at a friend's house. My children called and I went that way immediately.

They were in the house when it began to burn. The front door was hot so they went to the back door to get out.

There was a lot of noise. Apparently Joe was frightened so he ran for safety. That was upstairs in my son's room.

The kids were outside when they realized that Joe was not with them. My oldest son felt that he could safely go back in to get the dog. He also knew that the younger children would follow him. He decided not to go in.

A day after the fire was out the two older boys and their father went to see what could be salvaged. Nothing much.

They found Joe. A board had fallen and hit him on the head. He probably died instantly. They buried him properly.

Joe had a good life for a little while.

Friday, February 22, 2019


Yes. We had a dog named Shaggy.

My second son came home from school coaxing this big old shaggy unkempt dog to follow him. The dog was dirty and its long hair was all matted together. It was a mess.

He informed me that the dog "followed him home" and could he keep it.

It was obvious that it had no owner. I did not want the dog but I finally gave in and told my son he could keep the dog... outside.

We had a doghouse. I told my son to put straw in it for the dog to make a bed. He made sure the dog was fed and watered. He named it Shaggy.

Shaggy looked much better cleaned up. We realized Shaggy was a female and soon to have puppies.

Of course she was eventually allowed in the house. You know how that goes.

One day while the children were in school Shaggy began having her puppies. The first one died almost immediately. She had 7 more.

The children were all excited when they came home and found out she was in the midst of giving birth. They looked at the new puppies with stars in their eyes. I had to remind them that we could not have all those dogs. They would have new homes as soon as they were old enough.

I have to begrudgingly admit that it was fun watching the puppies frolicking as they grew. They were not pretty pups and I worried we would not find homes for them. As a matter of fact there was one that looked like a cartoon character who boomed out a loud Va-Voom to crumble mountains and other obstacles. Naturally the puppy's name was Va-Voom.

One day right before a Cub Scout meeting Va-Voom escaped and ran into the street. My children witnessed him getting hit by a huge truck. They retrieved the little body. I told them we would have a funeral after the Cub Scout meeting.

The kids were too upset so I canceled Cub Scouts and sent the other boys home. We had a nice little funeral for Va-Voom. It is a good way for children to say goodbye to a pet.

Shaggy was not a natural mother. Once her puppies were weaned she had nothing to do with them.

Eventually we found homes for all the puppies.

Shaggy hung around for a while. Then one day she wandered off and we never saw her again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


When I wrote about Sheba I said we told my son he could keep one of her puppies. He chose a little male with Doberman markings with red where the tan should be. He looked like a miniature Doberman.

My son named him Attila. His full name was Attila Thor Doberhound.

Attila grew up with the kids. He thought he was one of them. He knew he was different somehow but he was one of them nonetheless.

If the children were watching Saturday morning cartoons Attila was right there with them. He sat on the edge of the couch with his front legs standing on the floor.

One of his favorite games was hide-and-seek. If he was "it" he would wait for them to hide and then go find them. If one of the children was "it" he would go hide until he was found.

Attila was fast like his father. And he could climb. More than once we found him walking along the top of the fence that enclosed our back yard.

He drove the dog catcher crazy. One day I heard a commotion outside. Attila had managed to get out of the back yard and was on the front sidewalk. The dog catcher tried to catch him but Attila was too fast. The dog catcher grabbed a round net that they use to throw on top of the dog if it runs away. The dog catcher was throwing the net but Attila was too smart for that. He ran along the fence. When the net was thrown it landed against the fence at an angle and the dog just kept on going. The chase was concluded when I opened the door to the house and Attila rushed inside.

We were moving so my brother-in-law agreed to let Attila stay with him for a couple of days. Attila got out and disappeared. It was a week or so before we found him.

Someone had hung him by his hind legs from a tree using wire to hang him. His back legs were severely damaged. The vet said it would probably be best to put him to sleep. My second son told him no and that he would take care of him.

Several times a day the dog needed to have his wounds cleaned. Then medicine and bandages were applied. It took a long time because there was practically no skin left on the backs of his legs. Finally Attila was healed. The vet was surprised that the dog was like he was before and not all crippled.

We had Attila for a few years more. One day he disappeared. We never saw him again.

Friday, February 15, 2019


My husband brought a dog home. Does that sound like a re-run? It is a different dog. Not Redneck.

My husband was working. He and the man working with him heard something in the street. When they went to look they saw a dog who had obviously been hit by a car.

They went to comfort the dog who was injured and scared. It would not let them get close. It growled and snapped and tried to bite. My husband got an old blanket out of his car and threw it over the dog so he could pick it up.

He took the dog to the vet. X-rays showed that her (yes it was a she) leg was broken in three places. Her hip on that side was shattered and looked like a jigsaw puzzle.

The vet set her leg and put a cast on it. There was nothing he could do for her hip. He told my husband to keep her as still as possible for the time it would take for her to heal. So he brought her home.

 The vet also noticed that she had numbers tattooed in her mouth. He would check to see if he could find her owner. He never did.

Of course my kids were happy to have her. She was not as happy to have them. They named her Sheba.

Sheba was a Doberman Pinscher. A very pretty dog.

My oldest son was especially thrilled to have her. He wanted to make her his dog.

For the first couple of days Sheba slept a lot. As she began to feel better she began to move around a bit. She got pretty good at maneuvering with the cast on her leg.

She still was not overly fond of the children except for my oldest son. She also liked my husband. She was not fond of me but she stayed out of my way.

One day we decided to go to the store. Sheba had come into heat. Redneck was a randy little male so we had to find a way to separate them for a couple of hours.

We locked Redneck on the back porch. Sheba had the house because she was still healing.
They were successfully separated so there would be no danger of puppies.

 When we returned home and opened the door running to greet us with big smiles ( I swear they were smiling) were both Redneck and Sheba. How did they unlock that door and open it? I have no idea.

Even though we were worried about Sheba carrying and delivering her puppies with her injuries she seemed to be just fine. In the allotted time she had 5 or 6 cute little babies.

Some looked like Redneck. Some looked like Sheba except where a Doberman is tan they were a pretty reddish color.

After Sheba had her puppies she became even more emotional than she was before. She only wanted my husband and older son near the pups. She did not even want the other three of my children to sit on their father's lap.

She would growl to show her displeasure. I told my husband I would not have a dog that was a danger to my children.

After the puppies were beginning to wean Sheba was even worse. Then came the day she snapped at my daughter as she was climbing onto her father's lap. I gave the order that Sheba needed to go.

My son was unhappy. I told him he could keep a male puppy.

My husband found a new home for Sheba and the rest of her puppies.

Sheba was a beautiful dog. She was simply too temperamental for a household full of children. She was quite happy in her new home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


My children were still fairly small when it happened. I think the oldest was in 2nd grade.

My husband brought home a dog. It was a little red hound.

Its name was Redneck.

Redneck was on the small side of a medium sized dog. His coat was reddish and the hair was sort of long.

The kids immediately loved him. And he loved them.

He liked to play with the kids and slept in their room. Running was his favorite thing to do. He was very fast.

The one thing we had a problem with was him chasing cars. It was not until I saw him chasing a motorcycle that I realized he was not trying to catch it or bite the rider. Redneck was racing the motorcycle.

He always stayed on the sidewalk, not in the street. When he got to a fence a couple of houses away he would just stop. The race was over.

Redneck did not just bark. He would start out barking but it turned into baying every time. He sounded like a coon dog that had its prey cornered.

Redneck would disappear occasionally.  There was a junkyard close by and there would be a new litter of little red puppies.

Then one day he disappeared and did not come home. We heard a rumor that the owner of the junkyard had shot and killed Redneck. We have no proof that is true. But Redneck is gone.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Under The Hat

My great-grandpa was bald. He had a ring of hair around the edges that you often see. He was so cute.

Grandpa had a beautiful full head of hair. Grandpa was the son-in-law. Grandma was Great-grandpa's daughter. She also had beautiful long dark hair.

All of my uncles on that side of the family were bald.

I read that certain kinds of baldness run in families with the gene being passed down by the mother.

My mother had beautiful dark hair. Daddy also had a full head of hair even though he wore it in a flattop most of his life.

My older two brothers both had lots of hair. The younger two are both bald. The oldest of the two seems proud of his baldness although that could be a defense mechanism. My youngest brother is not fond of being bald but he accepts it.

My youngest brother is only 5 years older than my oldest son. They have been very close all of their lives. At one time they even worked together.

One day at work they were teasing each other the way good friends do. My brother said something and my son shot back that at least he wasn't bald.

When my son saw the look on his uncle's face my son realized for the first time that being bald bothered his uncle. He knew he had hurt his feelings.

My son still feels bad that he did not know how much it bothered my brother to be bald.

I guess I should mention that I have three sons. All have all their hair although one of them has thinner hair than the others. At his age I do not think he will be bald and his hair could be thinner
because of the color .

At any rate my son learned to pay attention to what he is about to say and consider how it might affect someone else. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


I am a long-time practical joker. I do not intentionally play mean jokes on anyone or anything that will cause any kind of pain. All are done in the spirit of fun and to make everyone laugh.

When I was in high school my sister and I were wandering around downtown one Saturday afternoon we came upon a novelty store. Of course we went right in.

Whoopie cushions, stink bombs, cigarette loads, and fake vomit seemed to be the most popular. We browsed around not intending to spend any of our hard earned money on silly stuff.

Unfortunately I could not resist. The cigarette loads were so inexpensive... a little bit of nothing in fact.

Both our parents smoked. We would never have considered putting a load in Mom's cigarette. There are advantages to being Mom. We decided we would try to 'get' Daddy.

Again unfortunately they were out of cigarette loads. They did have cigar loads however. We bought a small package of cigar loads.

The loads look like little bits of broom straws. They are quite small. I still do not understand how they make the small explosions they are meant to make.

We managed to sneak Daddy's cigarettes away from him. He smoked non-filtered cigarettes so we decided the load would have to be placed in the center so it would not explode at his lips.

As we put the load in and pushed it to the middle with a toothpick we again remarked about how small they were. Maybe a couple more loads were needed. So we put two more in.

We snuck the cigarettes back and Daddy did not realize they had been gone.

My sister and I sat on the floor playing a game while waiting for him to light the cigarette. Soon he pulled it out of the package. He put it to his mouth and lit it. 

We tried to surreptitiously watch so we would not miss the little crackle like the ones we had seen on television. Then we could all have a good laugh and Daddy would think we were so clever.

Suddenly his cigarette exploded like a small firecracker.  Bits of tobacco and cigarette paper flew everywhere. My eyes must have been huge from shock and then fear. I know my sister's were because I could see them.

Daddy was furious. He was demanding to know who did this. My sister and I just sat there like a couple of statues.

We never admitted to trying to blow the nose off the front of his face. After all those years had passed I did not want him to know it was me.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Weather Notes

All we have been hearing for the last few days is how cold it has been. And it has been cold.

I live in Iowa but I am as far west in Iowa as you can go. It has been cold. I stayed inside.

I grew up hearing about the terrible storms here on the plains. Sometimes whole groups of people succumbed to the weather.

There is the story of the teachers who tied themselves to their students so they would not be separated by wind and snow. Farmers would run guide ropes between the house and the barn so they could tend to the animals without being lost.

Houses would be buried completely by snow. Sometimes tunnels would be dug to outbuildings.

And the cold. I remember cold days and walking to school. Nothing this extreme of course but to a small child it felt that way after a mile or so.

Thankfully schools were closed all over the place. It was too cold for children and animals to be out. It has been days since I have seen an animal or a bird out the window.

So today was a bit warmer amd the weekend is supposed to be comfortable. Before the temperatures drop slightly again.

I am glad. I need a few groceries. Besides I am feeling a little cabin fever. A drive into town will be just the thing.

I hope all of you are safe and warm too.