Published in the Rains County Leader on September 7, 2021:
The last thing Kent told Spike before he and Stella left on their trip was to stay out of the newspaper – but I can’t help myself. Their antics are just too easy to write about.
Last week I introduced Dobby, the Lab/Great Pyrenees orphan who is living at the ranch until a permanent home can be found. He’s young and energetic and reminds me of Spike when we first became his live-in companions when he’s left home alone. I didn’t realize how domesticated and easy-going Spike has become until I met Dobby.
Walking outside when Dobby is anywhere around is an adventure in grace and agility, neither of which I possess. Like many pets, Dobby likes to walk in front of the person with him. But he takes it to an entire new level by turning at a 45 degree angle and leaning against your legs. He further complicates the process by putting his foot on top of yours at every step. At this writing, David and I have managed to stay upright, but we have twenty-four hours to go.
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 25, 2018:
Besides sharing a booth with Tennille Case, another fun part of the Fair was visiting with those of you who stopped to tell me how much you enjoy reading my column each week. One gentleman specifically mentioned my Spike stories, so I thought it was time for an update. Conveniently, we’re staying with him this week, so I have news to share. Spike hasn’t been well the last several weeks, but he’s improving. In fact, he was feeling well enough to give me a hard time the first night we were here. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 11, 2017:
David and I are Spike-sitting again. For those readers who have not been introduced to Spike, he’s a Great Pyrenees mix who likes for us to come over and play when he’s home alone. His people went in different directions this time. She’s on a travel-business river cruise in Europe, and he headed north on road trip, so we’ll be with our furry friend for ten days.
There have been some major changes since our last visit. Kent called on Thursday on his way out of town to let me know that Spike has become a house dog. Although he loves to run around in the woods and the hay fields, he doesn’t tolerate the heat well, so when the triple digit temperatures arrived, he was allowed to come inside during the heat of the day. He behaved so nicely that he has now been invited to spend most of his days – and nights – inside. Not only that, but he has also begun to walk on a leash. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on April 4, 2017:
David and I spent last week with our canine friend who lives in Alba while his humans were on a cruise. He would have preferred a pair who would have stayed on the patio in case he was hungry or wanted to be petted and otherwise allowed him to run free. Unfortunately, he got us instead, so he had to resort to trickery. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 23, 2016:
This has been an interesting week – not because of any one thing, but because of several small events. I decided to make this a potpourri column – a mixture of all these different things.
In my column two weeks ago, I wrote about what I’ve learned through the experience of writing fiction. One of the first interesting things this week was that I completed the first draft of my first novel. It was thrilling for a few minutes, at least until the reality of endless editing struck, and until I remembered that no one but me may think it’s worth the year I’ve spent on it. Still, if I’ve learned anything about this pursuit, it’s that a writer continues to put words on a page even if no one ever reads them. (more…)
Our three week stint of house and pet sitting has come to an end. Spike’s people are back on this side of the equator, and David, Kitty, and I are back home. Our final week was mostly calm, but there was just enough drama to provide material for another column.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the difficulty we had in tethering Spike one afternoon because a huge truck was spreading “natural fertilizer” on a hay field near the house. Because of Spike’s interest in rolling and nibbling, he wouldn’t come, even when tempted with a slice of bologna and a doggy treat. Only after running after the car for a mile down the road and back was he compliant enough to allow me to hook him up to his daytime spot by the covered patio. (more…)
Last Wednesday was National Dog Day. David and I spent the last two weeks house and pet sitting with Spike, a Great Pyrenees mix who weighs in at close to a hundred pounds. He’s a sweet dog and fairly obedient when he wants to be, and I should have done something in honor of his special day. I didn’t, though, and maybe that’s why he gave me such a hard time Thursday morning. (more…)
Earlier this summer, I wrote about our adventures while house sitting for the Larsons. They have a beautiful home, a few cows, and a Great Pyrenees fur baby named Spike who doesn’t like to be left home alone. When the Larsons recently hit the road, we took up temporary residence again. As any parent knows, children are on their best behavior the first time they meet new people, but once they are comfortable, they tend to show off a bit. Dogs are apparently no exception, and Spike provided lots of writing material this time.
He was really easy to care for. He has a 65-acre yard, so there was no walking involved, and as long as there was a bowl of food and a bucket of fresh water on the patio, he was a happy dog. There were a few restrictions, though. When we left, we tethered him on a twenty-foot lead that allowed him access to both the covered patio and plenty of grass in case of potty emergencies. This arrangement also ensured that he wouldn’t follow us down the driveway and out the gate. The problem came when he didn’t want to be tethered. (more…)