Published in the Rains County Leader on July 18, 2017:
After reading last week’s column about our exciting first day of dog sitting with Spike, one of my readers commented that she couldn’t wait to read the next chapter. There’s good news and bad news about that. The good news is that Spike and David both behaved themselves while I was away on a weekend retreat. The bad news is that good behavior doesn’t usually make very interesting reading.
Not that he was a complete angel. David didn’t mention any nighttime barking while I was gone, but he has a tendency to sleep more soundly than I do. Spike continued to wake me every night around 3:00 or 3:30 am for no apparent reason other than that he was awake and thought everyone else should be, too. Thankfully, he quieted down pretty quickly. One morning when he waited until 5:00 to make his voice heard, I lay down on the couch – more because I was too tired to walk back to the bedroom than out of compassion for the noisy dog – but most nights I scolded him into silence and went back to bed. (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 December 20, 2016:
The Rains County Leader always closes for the last week of the year, so this will be the last issue of the paper until 2017. Following the example of many of news programs and talk shows, I did a quick review of my columns from the last year. Here is a brief overview of what I shared with your during 2016. (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…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 23, 2016:
I have a confession to make. Last week I wrote about Spike, the reigning canine of the ranch where we’re house sitting for three weeks. He had been leaving me “gifts” on the floor of the barn where he spends the night, and I was not happy. Then, I discovered it was my fault. (more…)