Sunday, December 30, 2007


I have spent most of the morning cleaning the trailer, because our great friends, Renee and Drew, are coming to visit us! They are driving down from Wimberley to spend the day with us, and Tony and I can’t wait to see them!

Now, that our trailer is as clean as it can be, and looks like we don’t live here, I wanted to tell you about what else happened out here a week ago, Sunday.

Fly Friedman, one of the first dogs that we ever rescued, nine years ago, who Kinky adopted six years ago, when we moved over here, had had a stroke, earlier in the week, and was now on her death bed. Sunday morning, Kinky called me to ask me to come over to check on Fly.

I drove over to the Lodge, Kinky greeted me at the gate, and we walked around the Lodge where Fly was. When I saw her glazed eyes—I knew she was knocking on death’s door. After telling Kinky that the time was near, we discussed what we should do. It was decided that Kinky and Goat, would take her to Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic in Kerrville.

I grabbed Fly’s quilt from her bed, and laid her on it. Jamal and Kinky then carried her to Kinky’s car and placed her gently, in the backseat. Then Goat and Kinky drove away. I went back to the rescue ranch to find Tony and John.

When I found them, I told them what was going on, and then asked them to please help me dig a grave for Fly. Tony and John grabbed the shovels, and we took off for Kinky’s. The only help I provided was to show Tony and John where Kinky wanted Fly to be buried. John and Tony grabbed their shovels and went to work—digging the grave.

When the grave was dug, the three of us came back over to the rescue ranch. When I walked inside the trailer, Kinky was leaving a message on the answering machine. I quickly picked up the phone!

“Kinky, I’m here!”

“Fly has died,” Kinky said, with sadness in his voice.

“Oh, okay,” I said.

“We had just passed Upper Turtle Creek Road, and Fly barked. Goat told me to pull off the side of the road, so he could get into the backseat with her. Goat put Fly’s head on his lap, and then said an Indian prayer for her. She died instantly. We went ahead and drove to Hoegemeyers and both vets pronounced her dead. We are on our way back now. Would you ask John and Tony if they can help me dig her grave?”

“Tony and John have already dug her grave, and John just left to go home.”

“I would really like a copy of that picture you took of Fly, a few years back. I’ll call you when we get back to the ranch.”

I found the picture of Fly, printed it out and then framed it for Kinky. Then Tony and I found a few things that we wanted to be buried with Fly, including one of my old, white Kinky for Gov caps. Then Kinky called, and asked us to come over. They were back.

Tony and I drove over to the Lodge in Kermit. Everyone was at the graveside waiting for us. I handed Kinky the picture, and showed him what Tony and I had brought to have buried with Fly. Then I teared up, and went inside the Lodge, for a minute.

When I came outside, Stuart was barking at Gooie and Kinky was trying to keep them away from each other. In one fell swoop, I bent down and grabbed Stuart. Their wannabee battle was put on hold.

Kinky and Tony wrapped up Fly inside Fly’s quilt, and then they carefully lowered her into the grave. Kinky then said some kind words about Miss Fly Friedman, and Marcie and I teared up.

After we had all said our goodbyes to Fly, Kinky pushed dirt into her grave with his hands, as Tony shoveled in more dirt. I was sad, and tried to fight back the tears, until I heard a loud deep voice, from the other side of the grave—making weird wailing, chanting sounds!

It was horrible—it was Goat. Fly’s death must have pushed him over the edge. He was doing some kind of Indian chant (even though he isn’t really a Native American, but tells everyone that he is). “Hey, ya, who, ya, he, he, wah...” etc. To me, it was like a scene from a bad 50’s Western, where the fake Indian actors, are dancing wildly around a campfire—doing a Hollywood version of a war dance! “Yo, he, ha, ha, oh, bo, heya...”

I couldn’t help but laugh, again— silently though. I looked over at Marcie, her brow was wrinkled and she was trying not to laugh by biting her lower lip. That made me laugh more, but I hid my silent laughter behind Stuart’s red hair. Then Kinky accidentally, let out one huge laugh, as his hands continued to add dirt on to Fly’s grave. “Heka, mooka, he ya, hey, sha na na na...”

“Kiss that boy goodbye!” I whispered. I was silently laughing so hard—Stuart was shaking in my arms. Then I did exactly what I should not have done—I looked over at Tony, still shoveling dirt, and I lost it! He had this serious expression on his face and when he glanced up at me—he shot me a wink, and shook his head! As Goat continued, “be, he, do be heya...”

Finally, when all of the dirt was back on Fly’s grave—the funeral was over, and so was Goat—thank goodness. Marcie went back inside the Lodge, followed by Goat. Kinky thanked Tony for helping, and then went inside the Lodge, to his office, where he hung Fly’s picture on the wall, near his desk.

Tony grabbed the shovels, and we boarded Kermit, to go home. When we were out of earshot, I laughed, and said, “That was the weirdest funeral that I have ever been to. Poor Fly. Goat’s about as much of a Native American as you are, Tony. I was waiting for Fly to roll over in her grave.”

Tony laughed. “Didn’t I tell you that I’m an American Indian, too—like Goat? Tee a tay, tee oh toe, tee i ticky tie, tee oh toe,...”

I laughed all of the way home as Tony chanted on. I will never forget that funeral! Rest in peace Fly Friedman. I love you, and you were a great dog. I’m glad I knew you.

Renee and Drew arrived around noon today, and as always, we had the best time! We laughed until it hurt, discussed politics, gardening, books, future plans, etc. while my iPod serenaded us in the background, with my favorite music. Unfortunately, they had to leave around 3:00, and Tony and I already miss them, and can’t wait to see them, again!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Stuart Little Has Been Adopted!

Great news! Thursday morning we received a call from a couple living in Marble Falls—they wanted to adopt Stuart—thanks to Cindy Ruffino! Cindy, thank you so much for your help! Your friends came to Hoegemeyers Animal Clinic this morning, and adopted him!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Dinner For Our Dogs!

Merry Christmas, Everyone! This morning when John arrived at 9:30—we went to work in the kitchen—preparing our dogs Christmas Dinner! We used 22 pounds of ground turkey, 26 pounds of mixed vegetables (corn, lima beans, green beans, carrots and peas), 1/2 gallon of olive oil, 6 dozen eggs, 2 pounds of cheddar cheese, 6 large sacks of cornbread stuffing, and 1 quart of minced garlic!

Halfway into our cooking project, Kinky showed up! We discussed the ranch, as he played armchair chef, while drinking coffee, and puffing away on his cigar. When Tony and John were nearly done preparing our dog’s holiday dinner, Kinky took off to get his sister, Marcie, and told us that he would be right back, and for us to go ahead and start without him. So, we did.

The buckets were so heavy—John found my pink bucket, and only filled it halfway full, so I could carry it. Then we made a game plan on who was going to feed which dogs. After it was decided, we took off in different directions to feed the dogs their home cooked dinner.

I first fed Ruth Buzzi & Chuck, Maggie & Opie, Wolf & Cookie, Clifford Antone & Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm, and the two newly dumped dogs—that I haven’t named yet. Then I took off to feed Richard Pryor and Grandma.

Pryor, couldn’t wait for me to shovel two hearty scoops into his feed dish and began chowing down his dinner immediately. Grandma was sleeping, so I called her name and she didn’t respond. She is at least 14 years old, so I raised my voice and called her name, again. Still no response. I walked up to her and realized she had died!

I was sick. Before leaving the pen, I said a few prayers for Grandma, and I told her that she had been a great dog, and then I left the pen. Once outside the pen, I hollered, “Tony! John! Tony! John!”

“What?” Tony hollered, from a pen far away.

“Grandma’s dead!”

I was so sad. I then continued to feed, Mo Bandy & Mandy, Bridgett Bardot & Blackie, Pretty Mama, Jack Kennedy & Betty White, and in the last pen I fed—Dear Abby, Bocepheus and Bunny.

I heard the sound of Kermit, and then saw John and Tony pulling up to Pryor’s and Grandma’s pen, so I went over to talk to them about Grandma.

“I just hate that Grandma died,” I said to Tony and John. “Poor thing.”

The guys started laughing. “Grandma’s not dead,” Tony said.

“What?” I asked. “She was dead a minute ago. She wasn’t breathing!”

“Nance,” John said. “Lately, she has been hard to wake up, and I have to rub her back a few times before she will wake up. The first time she did this—I thought she was dead, too.”

I looked over at Grandma, who was standing up on all fours—eating as fast as she could swallow. I was so relieved and glad that she hadn’t died. “This makes my day. I was feeling so bad about her dying, and us having to have a funeral today.”

“When I heard you holler, ‘Grandma’s dead,” John said. “I was feeling sorry that Grandma’s last meal had been plain old dog food—instead of today’s holiday dinner. I was thinking, ‘if she had just held on one more day, her last meal would have been this.”

After, the three of us had finished feeding the rest of the dogs, Tony and John started cleaning the pens, and I went back to the trailer to wash pans—and start cooking our Christmas dinner.

Thirty minutes later, Kinky showed up at the trailer with Marcie. “Did we miss it?” He asked.

“I’m afraid so,” I said. “Y’all want some coffee?”

Kinky and his sister stayed, and drank coffee for about twenty minutes, and then they went back over to the Lodge.

At 12:30, John, Tony and I sat down and ate a pretty good Christmas dinner, but before we started to eat, I said, “Y’all, I want to say a little prayer, before we start.”

The guys solemnly set their forks down. And then I said, “God, thank you for not taking Grandma, today. Amen.”

After finishing our almost delicious meal, we visited for awhile and then John went home. Later in the afternoon, Kinky called to talk to me about Stuart. He was concerned about Stuart’s safety over at the Lodge, because of Mr. Magoo. I told him that I would take a few pictures of him, and post them on this blog tonight, hoping that someone out there, would want to adopt him or know of someone who was wanting an older Pomeranian. So, earlier this evening I went over to the Lodge and snapped a few pictures of the little guy with Kinky.

Stuart is a great little dog, middle aged, and needing someone to share his life with. If you can help him— please give me a call.

Please note: I will be out of pocket tomorrow, because later in the morning, John and I have to drive up to Junction to rescue two dogs, because their owner passed away. So if you can help with Stuart—please leave a message and I will call you back later in the day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

When It Rains—It Pours!

Well, you sure can tell that it is full moon time, once again. Yesterday, started out just fine, but late in the afternoon—things went south, after Ben went north, to go see his parents, Rob and Karen, in Mason.

All was well, when Ben showed up with presents for all of us! We exchanged gifts with him, visited, and then the three of us went over to visit with Kinky, and to meet Stuart.

A few days ago, Kinky had helped a friend, rescue an adorable little Pomeranian named Stuart Little. Stuart is about ten years old, and he only weights about five pounds. The little dog is adorable! Kinky’s friend had given Stuart a ‘Lions cut’ because he had been full of mattes and burrs when rescued. Kinky told us that everyone loved the little fella—but Gooie. It seems that Mr. Magoo is jealous of Stuart, and Stuart is jealous of Gooie. So most of the time while we were over at Kinky’s Lodge, we spent keeping Mr. Magoo and Stuart apart. Tony and I stayed over at the Lodge for about an hour, and then we came home, so Kinky and Ben could visit.

When we got home there was a message on the machine. “Hello, I have found a dog with one of your dog tags on his collar. Here’s the number. Please call me when you get this message.”

I looked up the dog tag I.D. number—it was Maxwell Smart! I immediately phoned the woman back to tell her who the dog owner was—but I was too late. When I called and told the woman who I was, she told me that her next door neighbor, Evelyn, had just left with Maxwell Smart and that all was fine. I thanked her for rescuing Maxwell and then we hung up.

Five minutes later, the phone rang and it was Evelyn. “Nancy, Maxwell Smart escaped from the backyard,again. I just picked him up from my neighbor’s house and he is doing just fine, but, I am afraid that I am not going to be able to keep him any longer. It is too risky. I don’t have a car, so could you come and get him?”

“Yes, Evelyn, we can come and get him in the morning, if that will be okay,” I said. “I will try to get a hold of John to ask him if he can pick Maxwell up—before coming to work.”

Evelyn gave me directions to her house, and I told her that I would get back to her as soon as I had heard from John. When the call ended, I went to my laptop, and sent off an e-mail to John, asking him if he could pick up Maxwell Smart in the morning before coming to work.

John shot me back an e, thirty minutes later, telling me that he would be glad to pick up Maxwell for us. I then called Evelyn back to tell her that John would be there between 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning. “What time should I get up?” Evelyn asked. “I don’t usually get up that early.”

“I guess, 8:00?” I said. I didn't know.

“Could you ask John to come at 9:00 instead?"

"Yes, ma’am, I can try. You see, John doesn’t have a telephone, and we communicate by e-mail.”

Hoping John hadn’t gone out for the evening, I e’d him, again—asking if 9:00 would work? John e-mailed right back, telling me that 9:00 would be fine.

I phoned Evelyn, again. “Hi, Evelyn,” I said. “John says he will be there at nine. Okay?”

“Okay,” Evelyn said. “Please tell him to be sure to honk the horn, because I don’t won’t to be standing outside waiting for him.”

“Can’t John just come up, and ring your doorbell?”

“No,” Evelyn answered. “All of the gates are locked, and he will not be able to get into my yard.”

“Evelyn, I think John has gone out for the evening by now, but I will send him an e to please honk the horn. I am going to give him your e-mail address, so you might want to check your e-mail—several times tonight, to make sure he got my message.”

“I keep my computer turned off, and I only check my e-mail in the mornings. I can’t do that. Please tell him to call me.”

“He can’t call,” I said. “John doesn’t have a phone.”

“Well, then call me,” she said, “when you hear from John, to let me know. I stay up til one or two o’clock every night.”

“We go to bed at nine. Hopefully, John will get the message, and I will call you as long as it is before nine o’clock.”

Fortunately, John sent me an e, confirming that he would be sure to honk, and I called Evelyn before nine o’clock. At nine o’clock, Tony went to bed, but I decided to drink a glass of wine and watch TV for awhile—and thank goodness I did!

At 9:55 our phone rang. I decided to let the machine take the call. “Hello, I am sorry about doing this to y’all, but I am real sick, and can not take care of my dogs anymore,” a older man’s voice said. “I left them in two crates at the Echo Hill cattle guard. Tell Kinky I love him.”

I rushed to the telephone. “Hello? Hello?” I said, but the man had already hung up.

Then the phone rang again, but I didn’t hear it because I was in the bedroom—trying to wake up Tony. “Hello, Nancy? This is Liz. A man just called here and woke me up. He said something like he had just dropped off two dogs to us at the Echo Hill cattle guard? He didn’t make a lot of sense, something about being sick and being sorry, and when I asked him who he was—he hung up. Call me in the morning. Bye.”

Tony quickly dressed and then he and I went to the truck and jumped in! Two minutes later, we were at the cattle guard staring at two large dog crates. One of the crates was empty—the other crate was heavy. Together, we lifted the crate into the back of the pickup and returned to the rescue ranch. We carried the crate to a small pen and set it down carefully. Tony made me leave the pen, and then he opened the door to the crate.

Out ran two terribly scared, medium sized dogs! Tony gave them some water and food, and then we came back to the trailer to go to bed.

This morning, John arrived with Maxwell Smart! He told me that Maxwell seemed fine and could not wait to get out of there. “He pulled me to the van! I think he is happy to be back home.”

We told John about the two dogs being dumped here, last night, and then we went outside to check on them. The two dogs were skinny, definitely had mange and scared of us. While the guys began feeding the dogs, I went inside their pen to try to give them treats, and to try to settle them down. They ate a couple of dog treats, but wanted nothing to do with me, so I gave up and went back to the trailer.

I called Liz. She and I discussed the dogs, but we could not figure out, why the man had called her, and how he had gotten her phone number—she lives thirty miles away. We visited for a little while longer, and then we hung up.

As I hung up the phone, the Caller I. D. was flashing! Then it hit me—maybe it will have the man’s phone number! And, sure enough—it did! I phoned several times, but only got a busy signal. The last time I tried, it rang and rang and rang, but no one answered.

Just before noon today, Hoegemeyer’s Animal Clinic was closing early for the holiday, Hank, one of Tony’s and my older dogs, got into a fight with two of our younger dogs—over a toy! Tony called Hoegemeyers to find out when they were closing and Susan told him right now. But when Tony told her about Hank needing to see a doctor, Dr. Rydberg said he would wait at the clinic for Hank. So Tony and Hank took off for Kerrville!

While Tony was gone, Carol came out to walk dogs, and before leaving I suggested that we drive over to Kinky’s for a short visit. When we arrived, Kinky, Marcie, Jamal and Goat were outside playing ball with The Friedmans. I introduced Carol to Marcie, Jamal and Goat, and then Copper drove up in her shiny red, little Miata—Ruby Tuesday! After introductions, she gave Marcie and Kinky a little dog bed for Stuart. Then another car pulled up with two men inside, wanting Kinky to sign their guitars!

With all of the people there, Kinky brought Stuart outside to meet everyone. Everyone thought the little dog was adorable, but no one wanted to adopt him, so Kinky put him back inside the annex, so he and Mr. Magoo wouldn’t get into a fight. “Stuart loves his new bed, Copper!” Kinky said, when he returned.

We visited for a few more minutes, and then Carol and I said our final good byes to everyone or so I had thought. Carol and I climbed into the Explorer, waving goodbye, as I slowly backed out of the filled parking lot. Suddenly, our SUV stopped moving! I had backed into Ruby Tuesday’s face!

Everyone was staring at us! I put ‘Buttermilk’ into drive, and we slowly moved forward a few feet. Then Carol and I jumped out of the car to see the damages. It didn’t take a rocket scientist, to know that Ruby Tuesday—needed to make an appointment for a facelift, and her left cheekbone definitely needed Botox.

Copper was so great about it all! She didn’t even let me feel terrible. After I apologized to her, Carol and I drove back over to the rescue ranch, so I could call our insurance agent. I made the call, and hopefully, everything will be just fine in a couple of days. Sorry about that, Copper and thank you for being so sweet.

And lastly—Hank is fine, and he will be coming home on Wednesday! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Battle of the Sticks!

Thursday morning, when I did the ‘Harley Show’ on The Rose, we had a lot of fun. Foxy Lady was Harley’s Pet of the Week! After discussing what a great dog Foxy was, I told Harley about Kinky nominating me for the Dallas Morning News: Texan of the Year 2007! Harley thought that was great news!

“Cousin Nancy,” Harley said over the airways. “Congratulations on the nomination. I am really happy for you. I wish I was nominated for something. I’ve never been nominated for anything.”

As soon as Harley spoke those words, I said, “Hey Harley, I’m fixin’ to make that happen! Guess what? You and Randy and Lisa at The Save Inn Restaurant, as of right now—are our 2007 Texans for the Year! Congratulations!”

“You’re kidding me, Cousin Nancy? Really?” Harley said. “Randy, Lisa and me are this years winners?”

“I’m as serious as a hair stuck on a biscuit,” I said, using a quote—I stole from my good friend, Pete Hartje. "Check out tomorrow morning and there will be a running banner announcing it to the world."

Harley laughed. “Thanks Cousin Nancy—I’m honored. Is the trophy going to be a pile of dog poop—plated in gold?”

“No, Harley,” I said. “Unfortunately, we can’t afford to do that, but you are welcome to come out this morning, after the show, to help John and Tony clean pens. I’m sure they would let you take home as many trophies as you want.”

FYI: This morning at 11:23, John aka The Louisiana Wood Pecker, defeated the Hummingbird Man—3 to 0! The Medina Bulldog is quite anxious, and he has now challenged ‘TLWP’ and ‘THM’ to a tournament tomorrow afternoon! And, Ben, aka ‘The Mountain Man,’ is going to show up, and surprise them! I promise to keep y’all posted on ‘The Battle of the Sticks!’ May TBMW!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thank You, Rodger Jones, of the Dallas Morning News!

Today, I received an e-mail from Rodger Jones, who wrote the article about Kinky nominating Lance Armstrong and me, for the Dallas Morning News—Texan of the Year! Rodger told me that there had been an oversight, and the story had not been posted. He told me that as soon as it was up, he would send me the url—and he did! Please check it out:

This is so exciting for me! I'm going over to Kinky's right now to show it to him! And, once again, I want to thank Rodger Jones for his patience and help!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We Sorta Found It!

It has a been a beautiful day, today, and I have been so busy. I will write more tomorrow. Please note: The Medina Bulldog is now the official pool champion for December 18th—he’s on a roll!

My Dallas Morning News—Texan of the Year Update:
No one has been able to read the Dallas Morning News story by Rodger Jones, on the internet, yet. But, my friend Mary S., John’s mom, and I finally located the list of nominees for the Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year 2007!

Please cut and paste the url below to your browser, and yes, I really am on their list and I still can’t believe it! And, Rodger Jones, who wrote the article about Kinky nominating Lance Armstrong and me, is mailing us some newspapers—so we can read all about it! We can’t wait!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Gambler!

Yesterday, Kinky had asked Tony and me to please give him a wake-up call at 5:30 in the morning, because he was doing an early radio show with Bob Cole, at KVET 98.1, in Austin. At 5:30 this morning, while I was feeding our dogs, Tony called the Kinkster. “Kinky, this is Tony. If you don’t get out of bed, and pick up the phone—I’m going to come over there and kick...”

“I’m up! I’m up!” Kinky said. “Thanks, for the wake up call. Tell Nancy to come over and drink some coffee with me, when she can.”

At 6:00, Tony took off for Medina—to drink coffee with his friends, at the Old Timer. At 7:00, I booted up my laptop to listen to Bob’s show starring Kinky. The two of them are great friends, and they had me laughing throughout the entire show. When the show ended—I drove over to Kinky’s for a quick cup of coffee and a short visit.

After pouring myself a cup of coffee, I said, “Do you know that Dan Fogelberg died today? He was fifty-six—the same age as me.”

“Yes,” Kinky answered.

“I’m really sad about it. I really loved his music,” I said. “Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of my favorite bands.”

“Nance,” Kinky said. “Dan Fogelberg was great, but he wasn’t in Creedence...”

“Oh, yes he was!” I stated. “I just saw a show about Fogelberg, on how he really got cheated by his record company. It was on 60 Minutes, or one of those shows—a while back.”

“You’re crazy, Nance,” Kinky said. “I’ll bet you one hundred dollars, right now, that you are wrong.”

“Fine,” I said. “I’ll bet you one dollar that I’m not! So, if you win—I’ll pay you a dollar, and if I win—you’ll pay me one hundred dollars. Deal?”

“Deal,” Kinky said. Then we shook hands on it.

“I’m going home to prove I’m right,” I said.

“Okay, that’s fine, but first, play me one game of pool.”

Our game took less than three minutes—The Hummingbird Man won, and I went home to win our bet.

As soon, as I walked into the trailer, I googled Dan Fogelberg. Then the phone rang.

“Nance, it’s Kinky, pick up the phone! John Fogerty was in Creedence—not Fogelberg. Call me.”

As soon as I heard Kinky’s words—I googled John Fogerty, to discover that I now owed Kinky another dollar! I then phoned Kinky, and asked him to add a dollar, to my long running tab with him—which is now up to eight dollars. When it gets to ten dollars—that’s when I pay up.

After that phone call, I googled the Dallas Morning News, to see if I could find Rodger Jones’ article, about Kinky nominating Lance Armstrong and me, for this years, ‘Dallas Morning News—Texan of the Year’ award, but I couldn’t find it. So, I then started calling every place that I could think of, in Kerrville—who might carry the Dallas Morning News paper. The last place I called was Albertsons.

“Hello, Albertsons, how may I help you?” she asked.

“Do y’all carry the Dallas Morning News?”

“Yes, we do. Please hold.”

“Hello, Albertsons, how may I help you?” another woman asked.

“”I was just put on hold and wanting to know if y’all carry the Dallas Morning News?”

“Yes, we do. Please hold a minute.”

The third woman said the exact same thing to me, and also put me on hold. So, feeling reassured that I could buy a few copies of the paper—I hung up the phone. I couldn’t wait to read the article! And, then I became worried that the newspapers might sell out before I could get there!

So, around noon, I phoned Wolfmuellers. Mary Jo answered the phone, and then put Jon on the line. I told Jon about Albertsons carrying the Dallas Morning News, and he offered to run over there to buy a few copies for me—before they were sold out!

Ten minutes later, Jon phoned, to tell me to take our time getting to Kerrville, because the Albertsons, in Kerrville, doesn’t carry, or have the Dallas Morning News—I was disappointed.

An hour later, Tony and I showed up at Wolfmuellers Books. Mary Jo was holding down the fort, because Sandy had gone shopping, and Jon had gone to the post office. Tony and I visited with Mary Jo, for about as long as it took, for Aaron Neville to sing two, beautiful songs, playing softly, throughout the store’s elaborate stereo system. “Mary Jo,” I said, after the second song had ended, and Aaron was beginning his third song, “when this song ends—we’re outta here.”

Like magic, Jon opened the backdoor and walked in! “Hi, Tony and Cousin Nancy!” Jon hollered, from the back of the store. “I’ll be right up there.”

“Jon, thank you for driving all the way over to Albertsons for me. I’m sorry, you made the trip for nothing.”

“It’s really no big deal,” Jon said. “Actually, Sandy was over at Albertsons shopping, and all I did was call her on the cell phone, to ask her to buy you some copies. Then five minutes later, Sandy calls me back, because she couldn’t find any papers, and she wanted to know if you had told me HEB—instead of Albertsons. I told her that you had said Albertsons.”

We visited for about five minutes, and then Tony and I headed back to the ranch.

Thirty minutes later, I was home— checking the answering machine. “Nance, it’s Kinky. Call me, please.”

I called Kinky. He wanted Tony and me to come over to shoot a couple of games of pool with him. I declined his invitation, because I always lose, but Tony told him we would be right over there—and we were.

The Hummingbird Man won the first game against The Medina Bulldog. The Medina Bulldog won the second game against The Hummingbird Man. And, the last game was a really close match, until The Medina Bulldog Won! The Medina Bulldog is now the reigning champ, for all of what’s left of December 17th! And,tomorrow will be a brand new day, and who knows who will become the reigning champion for December 18th. I’m betting on the Bulldog, but not putting any money on it. I’m not a gambler.

Lastly, I loved Dan Fogelberg's soft rock music, and I send my sympathies and prayers to his family.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Renée W.!

Today is Renée’s birthday! She is one of Tony’s and my favorite people! Last year, Renée and her husband, Drew, lived in Kerrville, but this past summer they moved to Wimberley. So, today, on Renée’s birthday, it is impossible for us to take off and drive up to Wimberley to see her. Last year’s birthday was a lot of fun and I want to share this story. And, I just want to say, “Happy Birthday, Renée—Tony and I love you! (I promise to mail your birthday present (bird feeder) this week!

Renée’s 2006 Birthday!

Saturday, December 16, 2006, looked like it was going to be a dreary day—misty and gray, but Tony and I weren’t going to let the weather get us down because it was Renée's Birthday!

Renée is special to Tony and me, and we feel blessed to have her as a dear friend even though she is a Jackson. Her husband, Drew, is also special to us, and we love spending time with them, because they make us laugh.

Last Sunday, Tony and I joined Renée and Drew at a dog agility trial. During the event we got rid of Renée by sending her off to get Tony a coke, so we could scheme about her upcoming birthday.

During the week, Drew often secretly touched base with us concerning surprising Renée on Saturday. Tony and I shopped for sweatshirts that I would design and we had a blast finding cards for her. We also got a cake mix, candles and a bag to put our gifts in. Then on Thursday, I decided to design some postcards, too.

So, Saturday after a hectic morning I baked a carrot cake for Renée only to discover that I could not get it out of the large casserole dish! I then cut the cake in half and scooped out one half of it onto Renée’s and my cake plate that we share after she had bought it.

Now, for the icing on the cake, I had a hard time trying to keep the cake parts from sticking to my knife. When Tony walked into the kitchen he laughed as he watched me trying to fix the broken cake.

I had decided to go the cheaper route and bought a tube of green icing that I would use to write Happy Birthday Renée! Well, when I read the tube instructions it told me to use one of their nozzles to decorate with. I didn’t own any nozzles.

Plan B! As Tony and I laughed at my dilemma, a light bulb moment came to me. I grabbed the Scotch tape dispenser and taped off half of the half inch hole on the tube. When I squeezed the tube a huge blob of green icing fell on the cake! Knowing that it would be impossible to write Happy Birthday Renée— I squeezed out HBR. Then I stuck thirty candles into the green goo!

Yes, I had created one of the ugliest cakes of all times and as Tony laughed he said, “Nance, you’re getting better at cake decorating! This one almost looks like a cake. Maybe you should sign up for a cake decorating course? I’ll pay for it.”

I laughed at my disastrous cake, and then took pictures of it.

We are leaving for the party in fifteen minutes as I write this story so I must wind it up.

As it is often said, “It’s the thought that counts when baking cakes for the ones you love,” and I know Renée will love my cake no matter how ugly it is because she is one very special lady! Tony and I love her! HBR!

P.S. Next year’s cake will read HEB—$12.50!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy 60th Birthday—Copper Love!

Late this afternoon, Tony and I went to Kerrville to run a few errands. When we returned to the rescue ranch, I called Kinky to let him know that we were back.

“Kerrville is more socked in with fog, than we are,” I said. “What’s going on?”

“Bob K. is over here, and Copper is about to leave,” Kinky said. “Why don’t you and Tony come over and shoot a game of pool with us? Just a minute, Nance—Copper wants to talk to you.”

“Hello Cousin Nancy,” Copper said. “I’ve got a problem and I need your and Tony’s help!”

“Sure, what do you need?” I asked.

“The other day, I rescued a dove with a broken wing,” Copper said. “I’m looking for a large wire cage that I can put branches, etc. into it, so it can exercise. All I have is a parakeet cage, which is too small.”

“Copper, let me talk to Tony, and I’ll get back to you,” I said. “Are you fixin’ to leave?”

“Yes. Why?”

“Because, Tony and I are fixin’ to go over to the Lodge—give us just a minute and we will be over there.”

“Okay, I’ll wait for you at the gate,” Copper said.

Tony needed to go check on the dogs, so I went over to the Lodge by myself. I met up with Copper at the gate. She was sitting inside ‘Ruby Tuesday,’ her Red Miata—with the top down! As always, Copper was wearing her cap, and trademark smile. “Hi Copper!” I said.

“Hi Cousin Nancy,” Copper said. “Are you going to drive back to Kerrville with the top down? It’s foggier in Kerrville, than it is out here.”

“Yes, I am,” Copper stated. “I love this kind of weather.”

We talked for a few minutes more, and before leaving, Copper said. “Today’s my 60th Birthday! I just had to tell someone.”

“Wow Copper, I didn’t know—Happy 60th Birthday!”

“Thank you,” she said, “I have got to get on the road before it gets dark. Talk to you soon, bye.”

Copper drove off, and I drove up to the Lodge and went inside.

Our friend, Bob K. and Kinky were having a discussion, so I went outside to visit with Kinky’s slightly overweight dogs. Not that I have any room to talk about being overweight, but they are truly starting to look like barrels with toothpicks for legs. I just look like Frosty the Snowman.

When I came back inside, so did The Friedmans. Kinky gave them some treats and then he suggested that Bob K. and I shoot a friendly game of pool. Bob K. suggested that we put some money on the game and I said, “I only play for pennies, and a nickel is my limit.” The bets were off—Bob K. had no pennies—just bills.

Bob K. racked up the balls, and the fun began. I shot like I usually do—poorly. In no time at all, Bob K. cleared the table, and won the game! Then Kinky challenged him to a game of pool.

Bob K. racked up the balls, and took the first shot. The game between The Hummingbird Man and Bob K. didn’t last long at all. It was like Kinky would sink two balls and then Bob K. would sink two balls, etc. Bob K. nearly had the game won, when he hit the eight ball, and it fell short of going into the pocket by about an eighth of an inch. The Hummingbird Man then walked up, called the pocket, took his stance, and then sunk the black ball with ease!

Bob K. one—The Hummingbird Man one—Cousin Nancy zero.

Knowing that I had interrupted their meeting, I said my goodbyes, and then drove Trigger, over the river and through the woods—to the trailer.

Happy 60th Birthday Copper Love! The next time that you are with Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones—please tell them Cousin Nancy is one of their oldest living fans, and would love to meet them. And, Copper if that is not possible, could you please just get them to sign something for me? I'd do it for you!

Expresso 101!

Kinky called this morning at 9:00. “Morning, Nance. Have you heard anything about Bear?”

“No not yet,” I answered. “I’ve got my fingers crossed that his adoption will stick. I blogged about him getting adopted.”

Kinky laughed.

“Have you tried making anymore expresso?” I asked.

“No,” Kinky said. “I can’t figure it out. I think I need another lesson from Tony. It’s really complicated.”

I laughed. “I know. I couldn’t figure it out either. Do you want me, to ask Tony Express-o, to come over and make you some?”

“Tony Express-o?”

“I blogged last night, about yesterday’s expresso experience, and titled it Tony Express-o. It’s pretty funny, too.”

Kinky laughed. “Yeah, that was pretty funny, Nance,” Kinky said. “I have to leave for Kerrville in a few minutes, but do ask Tony Express-o to please come over to the Lodge, sometime this afternoon, to walk me through the procedure—one more time. I’ll talk to you later.”

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tony Express-o!

This morning when I came inside the trailer, there was a new message on the answering machine. “Good morning, Nance, It’s 8:52. I’m back at the ranch. Call me,” Kinky said.

I called Kinky back, and then Tony and I went over to the Lodge to deliver his accumulated mail. While in the kitchen, Kinky asked Tony if he could help him with his new expresso machine, that had been given to him by a friend. Tony told him that he would try. Then Kinky’s phone rang, and Kink went to his office, to take the call.

Tony put the large unopened box on the kitchen table, and then opened it up. Then he pulled out the fancy-looking, expresso machine—placing it carefully on the kitchen counter. After unwrapping the shiny machine, he found the instuctuons on how to operate it. “Good grief, Nance,” Tony said. “It’s going to take twenty-three steps to produce a quarter of a cup of coffee!”

“You’ve got to be kidding me?” I said, hearing the sound of Kinky’s laughter in the background—coming from his office.

“Who’s he talking too?” Tony asked.

“Who knows,” I answered. “Have you figured out the directions, yet?”

“This is the dumbest coffee machine I have ever seen, and it probably is real expensive, too,” Tony remarked. “Look at this little measuring spoon. The directions said to take one spoon of coffee, place it in this thing, and then use the other end of the spoon to press down the coffee.”

“Have you got it working, yet?” Kinky asked, as he entered the kitchen—lighting his cigar.

“Nope,” Tony answered. “It takes twenty-three steps to produce one little expresso, and I am only on step nine.”

“I could probably drive to Starbucks in Kerrville, and get back here with expresso, before that machine produces its first expresso.” I said.

“Here, Tony,” Kinky said. “Let me see if I can help.” Kinky then starts reading steps ten through twenty-three, as Tony carefully followed his instructions to a ‘T.’ “Okay, it says were done. Turn it on, Tony!”

Tony flipped the switch, and a pretty little blue light lit up, and then nothing else happened. “Tony," Kinky said. "Did you add water?”

“Yes, Kinky,” Tony answered. “That was step six.”

It was now ten o’clock, as the three of us stared, for several minutes, in silence, at the coffee making contraption—in hopes that it would perform its one and only task—make expresso—pronto!

“I think it’s broken,” Tony commented. The expensive device must have heard him, because it started making all kinds of different, weird sounds—spewing, spitting, grinding, simmering etc.!

“Turn it off, Tony,” Kinky ordered.

Tony turned it off, and then switched it back on again. “The directions said that it will be ready when the orange light comes on.” And, as soon as Tony had spoken those words—the orange light lit up!

“Great Tony,” Kinky said. “You did it!” He then grabbed a coffee cup, from his ongoing collection of mugs, in the cabinet— placing it carefully under the little spout.

“Here it comes,” Tony said, with pride, as he watched coffee streaming from the spout for about thirty seconds. “That’s it? You’ve got to be kidding me? All of that work, Kinky, for just a quarter of a cup of coffee? You couldn’t pay me to have a machine like this.”

Kinky laughed. “It tastes great! Here Tony—try a little.”

Tony took a sip, and then made a face—the opposite of a happy face. “That’s way too strong for me. You drink it.”

Tony then showed Kinky the twenty-three steps, making Kinky feel confident about producing future expressos.

We visited for a few more minutes in the kitchen. Before leaving, we discussed what time we would be going to Bandera, to show, and to give our support for CCPAL—Cowboy Capitol Pet Alliance League!

We decided to meet around 1:30, Kinky was on time, and we were fifteen minutes late, because Tony and I had to stop in Medina, at the storage units, to fill up the back of the truck—with boxes of dog treats!

When we arrived at the benefit, we found Marlene Heavner, the director of CCPAL, and told her that we had a truck full of dog treats that we wanted to give to them. She was delighted! Then she and Tony went off to the parking lot, so he could transfer the boxes into the back of her truck.

Kinky was busy signing autographs and meeting people, so I took off for the parking lot, to help Tony unload the many, heavy boxes. But I was too late—he already had helpers! When I reached the trucks, I looked up, and saw our good friends, Grace and Richard Atwood, helping Tony!

After the transfer of treats was accomplished, we thanked Grace and Richard, and then the four of us, went back to the benefit. Marlene saw me and waved me over, to tell me that she had a gift for us, too, and then she left! When she reappeared, she was carrying a huge bundle of dog leashes, which we are always in need of! “Enjoy,” Marlene said, wearing a big smile, as she handed me about forty leashes! After thanking each other, we visited for several minutes and then took off to find Kinky for a photo opt. We found him talking politics with his friend, and ours, too—Frances Kaiser, she was the former Sheriff of Kerr County, now running to be Sheriff in Bandera County! Bobby Harris, of Precinct 2, in Bandera, was in on the discussion, too.

I asked them if they would pose for my blog about CCPAL—and they happily agreed to do it! I asked Marlene to join them, then handed them bags of treats—and Tony shot them in broad daylight!

There were more people at the benefit, than the population of Bandera! The event had been a huge success for CCPAL, and we were so happy for them, because they do good work!

Before Kinky was about to leave, I saw a camel in the parking lot, and asked him to please let me get a picture of him with the camel. Kinky agreed to do it—and then Tony shot him and the camel! Then we came home, just in time, for the norther to arrive!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

James M. Barrie was adopted this evening at 5:12!

I Didn't Know That!

I just found out today, that Carol, our good friend and valuable, volunteer dog walker—has been keeping a big secret from us—until now! My reliable source, (John kemmerly) reported back to me today—that Carol’s godfather was the one and only, world famous, baseball player—Mickey Mantle! She told our source that Mickey and her father were best friends! That is way too cool!
We have a celebrity dog walker!

Friday, December 7, 2007

You Have Three New Messages!

I have good news and bad news to report. The bad news is: John’s new homemade glasses—fell apart. So John is without glasses. The good news is: Carol came out, and walked several dogs with John, this morning. And, the best news I have is—our holiday cards have all been mailed out! We’re talkin’ Happy Holidays!

Around 12:30, this afternoon, Tony and I took off for Kerrville, to run some errands. When we returned home, I had three urgent messages on the answering machine—that needed my immediate attention!

The first message that I received was from a woman who desperately needed our help! Penny had called the ranch, and left a message about two, beautiful, three year old, black Labs needing a home by the end of today, because their owner had died suddenly from a heart attack! She said that the two dogs were great dogs, and had lived with this man on his houseboat, and everyone at the marina knew and loved his dogs. So, when the man passed away, the owner of the marina where the dogs had lived, gave an ultimatum stating that if the dogs were not gone by today—he would take them to the pound in Austin!

The next message I received was from Janet, a woman in Austin, who said there were two, two year old, black Labs at a marina—that needed our help, and to please call her as soon as possible. It was an emergency!

The last message I received was from Michael, a man, who lived out at Lake Travis, wanting to know if he could bring us two, well behaved, black Labs, today, and to please call him back!

First, I called Penny. After hearing the sad story about the two black Labs, she begged me to take the two dogs. I told her I would call her back in ten minutes, after talking to Tony, because we were at capacity.

I went outside, found Tony, and told him about the dogs. Tony thought for a moment, and then said, “Yes, we can take them, but we are going to have to put them in your cabin’s fenced yard.”

I returned to the trailer, and decided to call Janet and Michael first, before calling Penny back. I phoned Janet. She told me that she keeps her boat at a marina in Austin, and basically it was the same as Penny’s story. I asked her if she knew Penny, but she didn’t, but she told me that Michael was her son-in-law, and he had just gotten the dogs their shots, and had bathed them at his home. I asked Janet to please call Penny, to see if they were talking about the same two dogs. And, if they were, to please let her know—that we would be able to take them. She told me she would.

I then phoned Michael. When he started to tell me about the two black Labs, I stopped him and told him that I had just gotten off of the phone with his mother-in-law, Janet, and yes we would take them. He was so happy. Michael then told me that he would deliver the dogs to our rescue ranch tomorrow, and would be bringing all of the dog’s paperwork.

As soon as I had hung up the phone—it rang again—it was Janet. She told me that she had called Penny, and confirmed that they were talking about the same two dogs, and then she thanked me and the rescue ranch, over and over again, for saving the dogs. Before hanging up, I told her that I had just talked to Michael, and that he would be bringing them in tomorrow and to please print out the directions to the rescue ranch, from our web site.

So, now we have two, fabulous black Labs, coming to the rescue ranch tomorrow, or so I thought. Five minutes ago, Michael called, and left this message on the machine, while I was writing this blog. “Hello, this is Michael, again. Janet just called to tell me, that when she called the owner of the marina—the owner told her, that the dogs were already gone. He told her that he had found a home for them, on a friend’s ranch. So, I won’t be coming tomorrow. Thank you for offering to help us.”

I am now going to call Janet, to suggest that she call the pound immediately, about the dogs!

I just got off of the phone with Janet, and she told me she was going to follow up, and call the pound, but she did tell me that she knew that there was a young couple, who had just bought a small mini-ranch, and they had inquired about the two Labs, and were thinking about adopting them. Janet told me she would get back to me.

P.S. Carol, I found your address in the phone book, and tomorrow I will mail you out the last holiday card—coming out of this trailer—this year! And, thank you for walking our dogs today!
Tis the season to be jolly...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Got Glasses?

This morning I overslept! I jumped—I mean, I rolled out of bed at 7:15, to let all of the dogs go outside. After that, I fed all ten of our dogs, made some coffee, and then sat down at the kitchen table, which was still covered up with envelopes and cards, and I checked my e-mails.

My good friend, the city slicker, from up north, who is coming down in January, with his wife, to visit us wrote this note:

Hi Nancy--- I don't know how much we would be imposing by staying at the Ranch, so for this first visit I made reservations in Kerrville. We picked the hotel that seemed to be the most highly recommended by the Mobil Guide, so I made reservations there for (Sat-Mon). If Kinky gets called away at the last minute, all we need is 24 hours notice and I can cancel without penalty.

I was going to e-mail you right away, but I thought I would check your blog first. Wouldn't you know it---you've shattered my equanimity again! I was just getting comfortable that at least there would be no more surprises when I found my eyebrows rising half way up my forehead.... The MOUNTAIN LIONS are bad enough, but this city boy never even heard of "STICKERS"! Extra thick soles on those thigh-high boots, please. ---your yankee friend

After reading his e, I was laughing out loud as I wrote this:

Hi dear friend, from up above, I am still laughing at your e-mail! I think it is great that y'all are coming down next month, and y’all definitely picked the best place to camp out at. They even provide sheets if you request it! Trust me, it's worth the money, or if you want to save a little, I can loan you a sheet if the Cardinal is gone by then. I will also keep my fingers crossed about Kinky being around when y’all visit. He really does want to be here to see y'all, and I'll keep an eye on his schedule, too. By the way, would you like for me to snail mail you a few stickers? They make good thumb tacks! Have a great Thursday, Nancy

After sending that e, I went to our site:, to check it out. The site looked great, thanks to our extremely talented web master, Pat Symchych, but when I scrolled down the page a little bit more, I saw that Harley’s Pet of the Week was Martha Stewart, and that’s when it hit me! I had forgotten to call Harley! At breakneck speed, I turned to look at the clock on the kitchen wall! It was 7:43! I had two minutes before needing to call Harley to talk about the Pet Of the Week!

“Good morning, Cousin Nancy,” Harley broadcasted over the airways at 7:45. “How are you today?”

“Morning Harley,” I said. “I’m fine, but it is still early...”

We chatted about the rescue ranch, for about five minutes—the show, fortunately went well. And I was so happy, that I hadn’t missed calling in.

After breakfast, Maribeth showed up, and then John. Tony went outside to help John feed the dogs, and to clean their pens—leaving Maribeth and me to stuff envelopes.

A couple of hours later, Tony came inside. “Nancy, where’s that little file of mine? John needs it for his glasses.”

“Above the sink,” I answered.

“Why does he need a file?” Maribeth asked.

“Two days ago,” Tony said. “John lost his eyeglasses while out walking the dogs.”

“We looked all over the ranch for them, and we couldn’t find them anywhere,” I chimed in. “He thinks he lost them when it had warmed up, and he took his sweatshirt off.”

“Tell him to go to the Dollar Store, and buy a pair. They’re just as good.” Maribeth stated. ‘That’s where I get my glasses.”

“Me, too,” I said, “but John can’t, because he doesn’t need magnifiers—his problem is he can’t see things far away. In fact, yesterday he told me, that when he started to leave the ranch, the other day, after losing his glasses, he looked out the windshield, and could barely see anything. In fact, he thought he was going to have to ask us to drive him home. But fortunately, when he turned on the windshield wipers to clean the van’s windshield —he could see good enough. The windshield was just dirty.”

“So why does John need a file?” Maribeth asked. “Did he find his glasses?”

“He found them yesterday,” Tony said.

“Kermit must have run over them, and crushed the frames.” I added. “Tony said the lenses were all scratched up, too.”

“So, why does he need a file?” Maribeth, asked again.

“Yesterday,” Tony said. “I suggested to John that he go to the Dollar Store to try to find some frames that might fit his lenses, and he took my advice. He found a pair for five dollars. And, he thinks he can fit his old lenses into them. Where’s the Super Glue?”

“Under the sink,” I answered.

Tony grabbed the file and glue, and then left us to continue stuffing envelopes.

An hour later, Maribeth and I decided to take a break. While she drank coffee inside, I went outside to see if John had had any luck with his lenses.

When I walked up to the barn, I found John in the back—busily filing away. “Hi, John,” I said. “Having any luck?”

John looked up. “Yes, Nancy,” he said, “I think I’m just about there. We’ll know in just a minute.”

A few minutes passed, and then John put on his glasses, turned around, and said, “What do you think?”

I walked up to John, and stared deeply into his eyes. “They look great to me.”

“I can see a lot better, than I did before,” John stated. “Do the glasses look stupid with all of the scratches?”

“No, they look just fine, John,” I said. “I don’t think anyone will notice , but if anyone happens to ask you why they are all scratched up, just tell them, that your glasses are prescription glasses with designer frames.”

“I will. And, I really did design them!” John said. “At least, I can see clearly now. Thanks Nancy.”

I returned to the trailer. “Well, John’s got glasses, again,” I announced to Maribeth. “And he can see again—thank goodness.”

“How do they look,” Maribeth asked.

“Fine, I guess,” I said, as I cleaned my eyeglasses. “I really couldn't tell—I’m blind as a bat.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

Today, began with me giving Kinky a wake up call, so he could do an early interview. I woke him up, as I always do, by calling his dogs, aka The Friedmans, names, one by one, which causes them to jump off of his bed—barking nonstop! Before calling the last name, Kinky answered the phone. “Okay, I’m up, Nance—thanks,” Kinky said. “Give me a few minutes, and then come on over and drink some coffee with me.”

Fifteen minutes later, Kinky and I were drinking coffee, in the Lodge, and watching Imus on the television, until it was time for his interview.

I returned to the trailer, and cooked Tony and me breakfast. After our meal, Tony went outside to work, and after cleaning up the kitchen, I sat down, and started stuffing envelopes.

John arrived on time, as usual, but this morning he showed up with Martha Stewart! I knew Martha was coming in this morning, and I couldn’t wait to go meet her, but the phone was ringing off of the wall, so it took me a while to get outside!

When I finally made it outside, I knew I wasn’t going back inside for a while, because the day was so beautiful—sunshine, no clouds, and sixty-five degrees—my kind of weather! When I arrived at Martha’s pen, the little beagle was still eating breakfast, so I decided to take Mama, our sweet, three-legged, Pit Bull, for a walk.

When I walked into Mama’s pen—she knew what was fixin’ to happen, and she couldn’t wait for me to put a leash on her. As soon as she and I had become one, we took off for our walk. Once outside the rescue ranch, we took a right, and headed west, on the caliche road.

Mama walked beside me, as we slowly descended the steep hill, down to Wallace Creek. When we arrived at the creek, Mama chose not to go swimming, instead she opted to sit on the bank beside me—watching the minnows, for fifteen minutes or so. After she had lost interest with the tiny fish, we went back to the road and headed westward, again. We climbed up another steep dirt road, which led us to a huge pasture, full of trees and wildlife.

We started walking north into the tall grassy meadow, but after walking about a hundred feet, Mama stopped dead in her tracks, and refused to walk any further with me! I thought her behavior was weird, because she has never done that on our walks, in the past.

The hair went up on the back of my neck, but I wasn’t sure if it was from the wind, or because something was wrong. I didn’t know what to do! Mama was too heavy for me to carry, and I wouldn’t tie her to a tree to go get help. I begged Mama to please come with me, one more time, but she refused to budge. Then suddenly, the thought of a mountain lion popped into my head! Now, I was scared.

I petted Mama on her back, to reassure her, and then I asked her to please walk back to the rescue ranch with me. Her ears went flat, she tried to take a step, but then pulled her leg back. She couldn’t do it—she was in pain!

Since, I hadn’t heard the scream of a mountain lion, I studied the situation, and came to the conclusion that Mama was in pain—due to arthritis! I felt horrible. I wondered how Tony, John, Ben or I hadn’t noticed her arthritic condition before. Poor girl. I felt terrible.

After apologizing to Mama for walking her arthritic body on a walk-about on the ranch, I figured the only thing left for me to do was to holler for Tony to help us, but because I was so far away from the rescue ranch, and the wind was blowing, I wasn’t sure he would hear me.

“Tony!” I yelled. “Tony!”

I could hear a few of our rescued dogs bark back, but that was all. “Tony!” I hollered as loud as I could. Then I heard more of our dogs bark back. “Tony!” All of the dogs began barking back at me. Then I heard Kermit’s engine crank up!

John had heard me, and immediately jumped into Kermit, our four-wheeler, and drove over to where Tony was working. “Tony!” John said, with excitement in his voice. “Nancy’s in trouble! I just heard her scream—Tony!”

Tony jumped into Kermit, and the two of them left the rescue ranch in search of me! I heard Kermit nearing, and then it headed off in another direction. A few minutes later, I could hear Kermit coming in our direction—and then their was silence! Tony had cut the engine off.

“Tony!” I yelled, hoping to give him direction to where we were at. Fortunately, it worked, because I heard Kermit’s engine start up, and within a minute—Tony and John had found us! We were rescued!

When the guys drove up, I could tell from the expressions on their faces, that they were glad to find me and Mama, but questioning why I had hollered, because we didn’t seem hurt or in danger.
“Are you okay, Nance?” Tony asked.

“I am fine,” I answered. “I hollered because Mama has arthritis! And she refused to walk any further! She was walking just fine until we got off of the road. Please take her back to the ranch with y’all. I will walk back, I need the exercise.”

Tony picked Mama up, put her between him and John, and off the threesome went.

When I arrived back at the ranch, I was glad to see Mama back in her pen—happily chewing on one of her bones. Then I walked down to the barn and found Tony and John. “I just saw Mama,” I said, to them. “She seems to be fine now, but I think we should take her to the vet to be checked for arthritis. What do y’all think?”

John and Tony looked at each other, and then they started laughing! “What’s so funny?” I asked.

“Nance, Mama doesn’t have arthritis—her feet were full of stickers!” Tony said. “That field that you walked Mama into is full of stickers right now, because of the freeze we just had. When we got back here, John and I pulled out—over a dozen stickers from her three paws. She’s fine now, and no, she doesn’t need to go see a vet.”

“Thank goodness,” I said. “I can’t believe it was stickers? I really thought she had arthritis. I promise, the next time I take a dog walking...”

“John and I are going to make you take a walkie-talkie—with you,” Tony said.

“And, bread crumbs, too!” John said, with a laugh.

Up Coming Bonefit!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tis The Season To Be Stuffing!

Hello, everyone, I’m sorry for not blogging the last few days—I’ve been stuffing holiday cards for the rescue ranch! I’ve done nearly 1,500, but still have 2,000 to go! I will try to blog monday. Hands don't fail me now!