Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Medina Bulldog!

This morning, after Kinky did his interview with Imus, Kinky called and invited Tony and me over for a cup of kona. We had a fun visit, and then Kinky challenged Tony to shoot pool. “I’m on a roll,” Kinky said, I’ve won the last two tournaments—of two out of three games. I’ve out shot Will and Goat. The Hummingbird Man is now ready to take on The Medina Bulldog!”

Fifteen minutes later, The Hummingbird Man—0 and The Medina Bulldog—2! That put a smile on both of our faces!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Carl's Poem For Blue

This evening, after bloggling—I checked my e-mail. Our great friend, Carl Naylor, who does our auctions at our Bonefits, and is the best auctioneer in Texas—wrote a poem about Blue, and I want to share it with everyone. It’s beautiful. Thank you Carl. We loved it.
I just now read about Blue's passing. Tell Tony that my thoughts are with you and him at this terribly sad time. I know that you gave an old friend many wonderful years of happiness, and I am sure he would want you to think only of the good times. Loyal friends are just that way. I enjoyed your poem and I am not much of a writer, but here's my attempt at poetry.

As the Moon rises and the Sun sets
All days come to an end.
Birds roost, owls awake, coyotes prowl
This happens time and time again.

Some days are cold, hard and unforgiving
And some are just plain tough.
and, As we travel the winding road of life
We find it smooth and yet terribly rough.

The smooth part makes us awake and happy
Ready for mountains to climb
When its rough and we're tired and cold
One wants to whimper, cry and whine.

As the sun rises and the moon fades,
another day begins anew.
Thank God for good food, a warm bed
And a trusted friend like Blue.

Please tell Tony that Blue was a very lucky dog.
Your Friend, Carl

Imus In The Morning!

This morning I went over to have coffee with Kinky, and to discuss some rescue ranch business. We had our business meeting in his kitchen and when it was over—we went outside to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard for a visit.

Near the end of our visit, Kinky told me that he was going to be on Imus at 7:30 tomorrow morning. I think he told me that, so I wouldn’t call him during his telephone interview, like I did the last time. But, he did ask me to please give him a wake up call around 6:30 tomorrow morning. Then Kinky told me a funny story about last night, that made me laugh out loud!

He told me that last night he couldn’t sleep, so he stayed up until two-thirty, and finally decided to go to bed and try to sleep. When he crawled into his bed, the covers were all twisted up—thanks to Gooie—who tries to bury his chewgars and toys under the sheets and blankets.

When Kinky put his head down on the pillow, something alive started moving rapidly near his face! Kinky told me that it nearly scared him to death, because he was sure that it was a snake! So, he jumped out of his bed as fast as he could. He then flipped on the lights, so he could get his shotgun, but fortunately, there was no need for one—thank goodness!

“Kinky,” I said. “What in the world was it? A squirrel, a opossum?”

“No Nance,” Kinky said. “It was Brownie, or should I say it was actually Brownie’s tail. He was tangled up between the sheets, and when I layed down, he started wagging his tail real fast. So, thanks to Mr. B., I didn’t fall to sleep until after four thirty, and I am dragging this morning.”

P.S. Tony and I want to thank everyone for their kind words about Blue’s passing. It meant a lot to us.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Today has not been a great day. This morning, our veterinarian called to tell me, that Blue was dying from kidney failure, and he had very little time left. He recommended euthanasia.

Tony and I rescued Blue back in 1998, when his owner had called Kinky, to tell him that we needed to rescue his dog, because he was fixin’ to shoot him, because the man was scared Blue might get run over! Total nonsense.

Tony and I drove over to Kinky’s, from Utopia, and picked up Blue in our old pickup. Blue was so happy, sitting between us as we drove home, and that was when I decided to tell Tony that I wanted Blue to be my dog, because I had always wanted a Blue Heeler. And, Tony had no problem with that, but Blue did.

Within three days, Blue had nothing to do with me at all—he was Tony’s dog! From then on every morning, Tony and Blue went to town together to drink coffee with the old timers. They were partners.

Blue and Tony were the best of friends, and I used to joke about having to ask Tony to make Blue get out of my chair, etc., because Blue had selective hearing, and anything that I had to say—just didn’t count. I mean, he wouldn’t come to me, go outside for me—nothing—Tony was his boss!

One time in Utopia, Tony phoned me around seven o’clock in the morning. “Nance,” Tony said, with people in the background laughing. “Could you come up here and unlock the truck for me? Blue has locked me out of the truck.”

I drove to town, and handed Tony the other set of keys for the truck, and then Tony told me the rest of the story. A pickup had pulled up to the store carrying about five large dogs in the back of the truck. The dogs spotted Blue sitting inside our truck, and began barking at him. So Blue, trying to act tough began barking back and he accidentally pushed the locks down. And, Tony never lived that one down in Utopia.

There is also a story about Blue in my book, too. He’s the one who jumped up on Jo West’s brand new Lincoln, and slid across the hood—hitting the windshield—just to welcome her to the rescue ranch! Blue was also in a Kinky for gov commercial, when the camera crew came inside the trailer and shot Kinky playing with our dogs and then fades out on Blue. You can watch that commercial on youtube.goodshepherd. There are many more stories about old Blue’s escapades, that I could write a book about him.

Three weeks ago, Blue’s health started going downhill. He was nearly blind, and we were treating him for liver and kidney failure. Back then, our veterinarian told us that he would try to buy a little more time for Blue, but the end would be near. Blue recovered for a few weeks, and then his health started declining, again. So last Thursday, Tony took Blue in to see if there was anything else to do for his old friend.

Today, when Tony came inside, after doing his chores with John, I told Tony the sad news. Tony called our veterinarian back to discuss Blue’s condition. Tony cried after the phone call.

At 1:15, after saying goodbye to Blue, and telling him what a great dog he had been, and while Tony petted Blue, the vet injected the lethal dosage and Blue was gone.

In honor of Tony and Blue I have written this poem for them. And,these are two of my favorite pictures, that I took of Blue a few years back.

The Best Friend Tony Ever Had

Tony had a dog and his name was Blue,
Tony rescued Blue, and they were good buddies, too.
Blue always came a runnin’ when Tony called his name,
And, Blue never came a runnin’ when I called his name.

Today, Tony cried, ‘Here Blue! Oh, where are you?’
He cried, ‘Goodbye Blue! You know I’ll miss you, too.’
And Tony cried, ‘You were the best dog that I’ve ever had,
I loved you, Blue.’

R.I. P.
Goodbye Blue.
He loved you, and so did I.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Little Piece of History!

Since, finding that picture of 'Men In Trees', and after receiving updates from Paula, about her and her dad trying to solve the mystery of it—I want to share a story with you about WWII.

On May 2, 2007, Kinky called to invite Tony and me over, so that we could meet his long time friend—Will Hoover. It was around nine o’clock in the morning, Tony was working, so I drove over to the Lodge to meet Hoover.

For years, I have heard many stories about Hoover, and I was anxious to finally get to meet him. I already knew that Hoover was an extremely talented song writer, singer, writer, musician and he writes regularly, for a popular newspaper in Hawaii—where he lives. And, Hoover was one of the main characters in Kinky’s book, “Steppin’ On A Rainbow.” In other words, Hoover is really famous!

After driving over to Kinky’s, I met Hoover, when I first walked inside the door—sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee, while Kinky was in his office, talking on the phone. I poured myself some Kona coffee, sat down at the table, and we started talking. By the time Kinky had gotten off the phone—Hoover and I were already good friends.

Kinky, Hoover and I had a great visit, and it was a lot of fun, because Hoover kept making us laugh! When it was time for me to get back over to the rescue ranch, Hoover walked me to Trigger, and then he asked me to please wait a minute, because he wanted to give me a copy of his CD, “Hoover—The Lost Outlaw Album!”

When he returned from the cabin, he gave me the CD, and then he asked me if I liked history. I told him yes, and then he opened up the trunk of his rental car, and reached inside a bag. And then—he handed me a tiny stick from a pouch, and he seemed real proud about giving it to me!

“Well, thank you, Hoover,” I said, wondering if I should pick up a stick from the ground, and give it to him. I was thinking this must be some kind of Hawaiian tradition. Then he told me the fascinating story about my little stick.

Years ago, after our government had finally decided where to retire the U.S.S. Missouri—they chose Hawaii, because that is where the peace treaty to end World War II was signed. A couple of weeks before the U.S.S. Missouri was to be opened up to the public, Hoover had been assigned to write a story about the history of this famous ship. Hoover told me that when he went aboard the ship, there were workers everywhere, repairing and painting it, so it would be ready for the public. He was given a grand tour, and granted full access to anywhere on the ship!

He made several visits to the U.S.S. Missouri, and on one trip, he noticed men ripping up the original teak deck, because it was damaged and needed to be replaced. “Cousin Nancy,” Hoover said. “There were boards and planks of the deck scattered all over the place. I thought, this is history and I want a piece of it! So I asked if it would be okay for me to take a few of the deck planks home, and they said fine. They didn’t care. So, I grabbed several pieces of the old teak deck. And, you are holding a piece of history in your hand. That deck that I took home, was the deck where the peace treaty was signed!”

I got goosebumps after hearing Hoover’s story, and I was absolutely thrilled to have that little piece of teak wood! Wow!

Later, that morning, I went back over to the Lodge to give Hoover, a copy of my book, and to tell him that I loved his CD, and that my favorite song on it was, “Jesus Don’t Drive No Fastback Ford.”

The following morning, I went back over to the Lodge to talk some business with Kinky, and to ask Hoover to sign his CD that he had given to me. Before I reached the gate, Hoover caught up with me, and told me that he started reading my book and he was really enjoying it, and then he told me that he was also a Libra and we talked about that for a while. Then I asked him to please sign my CD.

Today, when Tony and I met some friends at La Fours Restaurant, for lunch I remembered to take my camera with me, because near the front door of the restaurant, hangs a large framed photo of the signing of the peace treaty on the U.S.S. Missouri—with Truman’s signature at the bottom of the old picture!

P.S. Hoover, thank you for the stories, the laughs, that great CD, and that little piece of big history. Thank you! Come see us!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bad News—Good News!

Sally, the Border Collie pup, that was just adopted out last Saturday—came back to us, because the couples' landlord, told them they could not keep her, because she was too big! Good grief! Sally weighs no more than twenty five pounds! The couple was sick about not getting to keep her, and they cried when they returned Sally to us on Tuesday. They told Tony that they had fallen in love with Sally—and they were heart broken. The good news is—Orion, the little pup, that had been her roommate—is now happy, to have her back as his roommate!

MIT—Latest Update!

The following day, Paula sent me her latest report on the Men In Trees picture! I think, she should have been a private investigator —along with her dad, because they are really following up on that mystery picture! In this latest letter, Paula also included a picture of Marty Robbins, and the resemblance was remarkable, to say the least! I think that would be too cool, if Marty Robbins was in the Men In Trees picture! Gosh, it sure feels good, to be blogging, again! Here is Paula's latest update:

Dear Nancy,

My dad and I went by the shop to see Dale just as he was closing up yesterday, and we showed him the picture of the Men in Trees. He loved it and the mystery. He sure sees the resemblance and is going to ask his sisters what they might know. But even though his dad was in WWII in the Pacific, he doesn't really think it's his dad. But he does think it's... Marty Robbins! I found this old photo of Marty—what do you think???

At the other end of the mystery—my dad is on the case. He's found that the Garrett name from inside the Kipling book goes back to the 1850's here in Kaufman, and there are still some down the road (10 miles away) in the small community of Scurry (don't you love that name? And, if someone from Kaufman is calling it small, you know it's tiny.) Anyway, my dad is going to ask around at the Senior Citizens' about Virginia Lou. And we'll go from there, probably to Scurry.

I hope things are going well with you guys. Tell the pups I love them. xoPaula

Men In Trees Report!

A couple of days ago, my friend Paula B. sent me another e-mail about the Men In Trees picture. I found it very interesting, but I was unable to post it because Tuesday, my great brother Ron, who I totally adore and love, and my sister, Cindy's son, Tom R., who is a fantastic young man, showed up down here and built Tony and I a beautiful 14' X14' screened in porch in 1.5 days and we love it and so does Kinky! So, at last, I am back to blogging, and here we go! This is the letter that Paula wrote to me earlier this week:

Dear Nancy,

I loved the Men in Trees blog! Even the photo of the book and picture was real arty.I really liked it. I'm doing a little sleuthing today on the Men. This may sound odd, a small town you can often tell what gene pool a person is from. I think I recognized a gene pool in the blonde man furthest to the left, looks like he could be Dale McCarty's kin. He does most of the vehicle inspections in town, a busy man, but he will love this!

I hope you and Tony are doing well. I think about you all the time! Yesterday I was 'bending nails' at the barn all day so maybe it won't blow away this spring. I finally started dipping the nails in corn oil I had out there to make them drive easier into the old lumber. I thought to myself that Tony would probably have done that.

Thank you for hugging my pups, loving them up. I am so glad they are at Utopia, and I miss them so much.

If you need something from up this way, holler. Or if I can help with something. I'm sure glad to know you and Tony.

All the best,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

California Votes!

Last Thursday, I received an e-mail from our friend, Kurt, out in California. He wrote to tell me that he and his family loved reading John’s book, ‘Velma the Vomiting Vulture!” And, Kurt went on to tell me that they had ordered Miles of Chocolate, that Ben and his partner, Miles, make, and he wrote that he and his family loved Miles of Chocolate, as much as they loved “Velma the Vomiting Vulture! Then he asked me to tell Kinky, hi.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Orion Needs A Home!

Today, Orion's roommate, Sally, was adopted and little Orion is not a happy camper. He is a precious little muttigree that was abandoned in an empty house. He is approximately 9 to 10 weeks old, and he will probably be a small to medium sized dog. He is precious and full of spunk! And, if that doesn't sell you—he melted Kinky's heart!

Men In Trees!

This past Tuesday, Paula B., from Kaufman, Texas, drove down to the rescue ranch, to deliver three dogs that she had rescued—Laz, L.G.., and Sparky! Paula was bringing the litter mates to us because she had rescued too many dogs, and she was overflowing.

When Paula arrived, Tony and I quickly greeted her with hugs, and then we took off to unload the new arrivals to their new pen. After meeting the dogs, and handing out some treats to them, we came back to the trailer for a short visit. Then Paula and I went over to Kinky’s Lodge. Tony stayed at the rescue ranch to wait for Paula’s friend, Julie, to arrive.

During our visit with Kinky, Paula gave Kinky a couple of books, and then she surprised me with the book, “Just So Stories” by Rudyard Kipling! I was delighted and could not wait to read it! Then Tony and Julie arrived.

Outside, next to the Friedman Family Bone Orchard, the five of us had a good visit. Followed by Kinky giving them a tour of his Lodge. Before leaving, Paula, Kinky and Julie agreed to meet up with Kinky, in Kerrville for a late lunch or an early dinner.

When we returned to the rescue ranch, Tony and I gave Julie and Paula a grand tour of the rescue ranch, which included the trailer and my writing cabin. We had much to talk about and discuss and when it was time for them to leave, I was sad, for two reasons. One, I didn’t want them to leave so soon, and secondly, because they were going to dine at that orange colored restaurant, which I dislike.

Later that evening, I picked up “Just So Stories” so I could look at the book. When I opened it, inscribed on the front page, in pencil, it read: “Virginia Lou Garrett from Uncle & Aunt Smity,” with the date—August 2, 1927!

I treasure old books, and this one was in fairly good condition. I then turned the pages to find that this book was printed in 1927! I then grabbed my magnifying glass, because I’m blind as a bat, to read the small print about the copyright. Then I checked out the table of contents to find there were twelve stories to read. Then I began turning the pages to check out the book.

And, that’s when I found an old photo, two inches by three inches, in faded black and white, of six men gathered around, what appears to be, a campfire! The picture had hooked me, and I could not quit staring at it, while trying to figure out who these men were, what year was it taken, where, etc. After studying the photo for nearly an hour, I believe it is of men, in the army, because it looks like they are wearing dog tags, and their pants all seem to be the same brand, and they all have the same kind of mugs. And, I have no clue, as to what kind of trees those are.

The next afternoon, I read one of the books that Paula had given to Kinky, that he had loaned to me, and it blew me out of the saddle! The book is “Found Lives” by James Nocito, and it is a collection of found photographs with stories or famous quotes to fit each picture. The author had no idea of who, what, or where the photos came from, but he has written very clever story lines. And, the pictures were captivating like the one that I found.

The next morning I e-mailed Paula, to thank her for the book, and I told her about the mysterious picture that I had found, and about the coincidence in finding the picture, and then reading “Found Lives.”

Paula e-mailed me back, to tell me that the Kipling book came from the Kaufman County Library Annual Book Sale. So, I need y’alls help, if any of you can tell me something about my found photo, or if you have any idea who Virginia Lou Garrett, and Uncle & Aunt Smity are. And yes, I do plan on writing my own story for my found photo, once I catch up with my blogging. I look forward to hearing from y’all. P.S. Sally just got adopted! And, her new roomate, Orion, a ten week old puppy, needs to get adopted. I’ll post a picture of him later today.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I have been more than busy out here, this week, and so have Tony, John and Kinky. I plan to blog this weekend to catch everyone up on what's been going on. And, I apologized for not blogging much this week, and my excuse, of course—is the full moon! I have great news about, "Velma the Vomiting Vulture," Miles of Chocolate, the six new dogs that we have rescued this week, Willie Nelson and much more! Manana!

P.S. Since yesterday, Kinky and I have played pool on three different occasions. And, as of this evening the results are in: The Hummingbird Man—3 and Cousin Nancy—0!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good News! Bad News!

This morning, I received an e from Pete. The bad news is—they can't come up this week. The good news—they have officially adopted the Bulldog! They have named her Lilly and she is four years old. Congratulations, Kelly and Pete! See y'all soon!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pete and Kelly! Come On Up!

A Note From Pete:

Dear Nance,

Click on the link for a picture of my band playing the sock hop at the local school. This picture was on the front page in color above the fold! Remember we have a newspaper that only comes out once a week so we got a lot of miles from it.

That gig was at the Port Aransas Elementary School K-6. It was the annual Sock Hop. Even though it was at night over 70 kids came. The previous years it had been done by a D.J. Mike and I heard about it and volunteered to do it for free. It was a fund raiser for the P.T.A.

My partner Mike Jones and I play four shows a week during most of the year but this one was by far the funnest gig we ever played. There were little girls in poodle skirts and little boys with slicked back hair and rolled up blue jeans.

In the picture you can see the little girl who is on stage with us is leading all of the crowd to put their hands in the air and is leading the dance. The last note of every song brought about a scream that went all the way to the rafters. It was like the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl! Not one kid out of 70 ever sat down. They danced every dance in wild abandon. See ya! Pete

P.S. I believe we have adopted another bulldog! A lady found this one in the parking lot of Petsmart. She took it in and nobody claimed it so she ran down the tag and she was told the people moved so she took it to the clinic where Kelly worked.

The clinic took it in and ran some tests and determined that she was heart worm positive, and, needed to be spayed. They said if we wanted to take the dog that they would treat her for heart worms and spay her for free. If you have anybody who is specifically looking for a bulldog let us know we seem to be drawing them. Say hello to the dogs for me.

We all have our fingers crossed that Pete and Kelly can come up, clip some doggie nails, and get in a good visit!

Saturday, April 12, 2008! I Love Tony!

Earlier today, I posted that I purchased my first domain site, and my blog address would be changing. That was exciting! And then I removed the post.

Well, I am not sure that I will be changing addresses, because if it doesn’t look just like this one, and I will have to redo everything, I’m not going to use it. The new domain address is: and I should be able to see it, and how it works, when it is up in about three days, and then I will make a final decision to use it or not. So, for now, I am sticking with this address:

Today, after telling Tony about getting a web site, he asked me to help him set up his own blog site and I was happy to do it! In fact, I couldn’t wait! It took us about ten minutes to set up his blog site and his address is:

Question? Is it blogs pot or blog spot?

Tony is one fine photographer, and he plans to mainly post pictures of wildlife, our dogs, and scenery of the Hill Country. Tony Rocks!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tea Sippers!

A couple of days ago, while in Kerrville, I noticed, as we passed by, that Randy and Lisa’s Save Inn Restaurant had a sign posted—NOW HIRING! I was in shock, because they have the best waitresses in all of Kerr County! They are friendly, upbeat and always wearing smiles.

So, this afternoon, Tony and I needed to go Kerrville for supplies, and we decided to eat lunch at Randy and Lisa’s Save Inn Restaurant, because we love their food, and also because I wanted to know if the same waitresses were still there.

As soon as we walked into the restaurant, I was tickled to see that the waitresses were still there and working—hard! The place was packed. “Hi Cousin Nancy and Tony,” Angie said. “Two teas?”

“Yes,” Tony and I answered, in two part harmony. Our teas were sitting on our table, before we had time to even sit down. Tony was feeling special, because of some good news that he had received, earlier this morning, so he ordered their Special, and I ordered their chicken fried steak, but this time I asked for the half portion, because the last time I ordered it, my chicken fried steak was nearly the size of a Frisbee. And, I ended up taking most of it home, too.

Within no time at all, Angie was at our table serving our lunch to us. During our meal, I couldn’t help but notice how everyone in the restaurant was smiling or laughing. The vibes in there are great! While Tony and I were eating our meal, a cell phone rang.

An older man, sitting at the table right next to us, with another older gentleman—answered his cell phone. Tony and I couldn’t help, but overhear his conversation, because he was talking real loud. “Hello? No there isn’t any Mrs. K. This is Mr. K. and I divorced her seven years ago, and she’s dead.” Then there was a long pause.

Tony and I continued eating, but everytime that we looked over at each other—we would laugh. And, it’s not easy laughing with food in your mouth. “Who are you?" Followed by another long pause. “Well, I’m sorry that she owes your company money. I promise you, this is not her number. Her number’s up—she no longer has a number. She’s dead!”

Tony and I continued eating, but with caution. We would only sip our teas, when there was a pause, and we made sure not to look at each other. Heaven forbid that tea would come out of our noses! “Okay. Fine. If you want to reach her, here’s her number. Got a pen? Okay. It’s 1-800-468-6435 or just dial 1-800-GOTOHEL!”

Mr. K. then ended his phone call. I was laughing so hard—I was shaking, and I had to put my napkin up to my face. I’m thinking—thank goodness that conversation is over. Just as I put another bite of mashed potatoes into my mouth. Mr. K. says to his friend, “That dang woman is still haunting me from the grave! I’m going to have a slice of their Key Lime pie for dessert. It’s delicious.”

Tony and I were just about finished eating, when Angie walks up. “Y’all want to hear a couple of jokes?”

We did, even though we were exhausted from laughing. We said yes.

“Do you know how to catch a unique rabbit?” Angie asked. Tony and I shook our heads. “Unique up on them.”

Tony and I laughed. “Do you know how to catch a tame rabbit?” She asked. We shook our heads, again. “Tame way.”

Tony and I were still laughing when we left the Save Inn Restaurant. I just love that place!

P.S. Today, I received a sweet snail letter from Olivia C., in Fort Payne, Alabama, who wrote to tell me that she enjoys reading my blogs. Olivia, thank you for the kind note, and yes, I will make sure that Kinky gets your letter, and the gift, as soon as he gets back to the ranch. He’s gonna love it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Bonefit Dates!

New Bonefit Dates for the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch!

4/25 The Big Easy $50.00 8:00PM
2411 Mechanic Street, Galveston

5/2 The Auslander $35-$50 7:30PM
323 Main Street, Fredericksburg

5/3 Silver Spur Theatre $50 7:30PM
108 Royal Street, Salado

5/4 Uptown Marble Theater $35-$45 4:00PM
218 Main Street, Marble Falls

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tipping 101!

This afternoon, Kinky called and asked Tony and I to go to lunch with him in Kerrville. Tony and I arrived first at the restaurant, and Kinky arrived five minutes later. Our lunch was fun, because during our lunch, we kept being interrupted by Kinky fans wanting to say hello, shake his hand, or to get an autograph! And, near the end of our meal, a couple walked over to our table, and introduced themselves to us, they shook our hands, said some kind words to Kinky and then the man said, “Cousin Nancy, my wife and I, want to let you know that we loved reading your book—it was great.”

Well, that sure did make my day! Near the end of our meal, Kinky was telling us about hating to leave tips, because he is always worried that he hasn’t left enough—so he has made it simple—he always leaves a tip for half of what the bill is.

“Tony and I always tip at least twenty-five percent,” I told Kinky. About that time, the friendly waiter walked up to give us our bills. Kinky put his hand out, and I grabbed the bills. “Kinky, lunch is on us, today,” I said. “You get to take care of the tip!” We all broke into laughter.

After paying for lunch, we went outside to the parking lot, and decided to meet up, over at Wolfmueller’s Book Store, after we each had run some errands.

On our way over to Wolfmueller’s Books, Tony and I spotted a burgundy Toyota FJ for sale, at a dealership—across the street from the HEB! Tony and I have been dreaming about buying one of those FJ’s for ourselves, for quite a while now, and we decided that we would go check it out, after leaving Wolfmueller’s.

Tony and I arrived at Sandy’s and Jon’s store first. Sandy greeted us at the front door, and she invited us to sit down in some chairs near the checkout counter for a visit. Then Sandy walked over to the stairs, and hollered down to Jon, who was working in their Bargain Basement. “Jon, Come on up! Cousin Nancy and Tony are here!”

“Tell them I’m not here, and I’ll hide down here, in the basement—until they leave!” I hollered. A woman customer, in the store, heard me and she burst out laughing as did Sandy and Jon. After Jon had risen to our level, the four of us went over to the chairs for a visit, and that is when I noticed this book on the table—“Complete Chinese Horoscopes” by Kwok Man-Ho! “Can I buy this book?” I asked. “Is it for sale?”

“It is now,” Sandy quipped. “It just came in, and I have just priced it. Eight dollars.”

I paid for the book, and then Jon asked Tony and I to go out to the parking lot to see his brand new Tacoma Toyota truck. Tony and I followed Jon outside to check out his new pickup, and I loved the color—indigo blue! His truck was loaded out to the hilt, too! I could see why he and Sandy loved it, and I’m sure that they are going to really enjoy it.

Kinky showed up, admired Jon’s truck, and then on our way back into the store, Jon said, “Kinky, I watched Geraldo, and you weren’t on it?”

“I wasn’t on Geraldo,” Kinky said.

“Jon, that’s good, that you didn’t say you saw Kinky on Geraldo, and tell him that he was great on it,” I teased.

Kinky visited with us, but after a couple of phone calls, he decided he needed to get back to the ranch so— he left. The four of us went over to the chairs and sat down to visit.

“I can’t wait to read this book,” I said. “Sandy, what sign are you?”

“I’m a Taurus,” Sandy replied.

“No, not for that astrology—Chinese,” I said. “What year were you born?”


“Sandy, you’re a Tiger.”

“Jon, what year were you born?”


“Jon, you’re a Cock,” I said. “Tony is a Horse, and I’m a Rabbit! I love being a Rabbit—it’s one of the luckiest signs!”

After discussing our signs for a little while, I changed the subject. “Jon, does your truck have a name?”

“No,” Jon said, with a smile. “Why?”

“In one of my favorite Feng Shui books, it recommends that everyone name their cars and trucks. It says that giving your car a name will help your car be more in tune with you—and protect you. Ours are named.”

There was a lot of laughter, and then I changed the subject again. “Tony and I want a Toyota FJ Cruiser, and we just saw one for sale!”

“What’s an FJ?” Sandy asked.

“They are the coolest jeeps made!”

Sandy went to her computer and typed in Toyota FJ. “Wow!” Sandy said. “I love the blue one, they call it Voodoo Blue! Jon, look at this!”

We all got up, and went over to the computer, to view the pictures of the FJ. After looking at all of the colors, Sandy told us that she wanted a blue one, like Tony did. “I want the Sandstorm color, and now we need to go, so we can actually take a look at the one for sale.” We said our good byes and left.

When Tony and I arrived at the dealership, we parked Buttermilk, and walked straight over to the burgundy FJ. Kay, a nice woman, walked up to us, and introduced herself to us, and asked us if we wanted to take a look inside the FJ. We told her yes, and then we introduced ourselves to her.

“Oh my god! You’re Cousin Nancy!” Kay said, as she unlocked the FJ. “I listen to you every Thursday morning on ‘The Harley Show!’”

Wow, I thought, two in one day—I felt honored. Tony climbed inside the FJ, and while I was inspecting the backseat—he fell in love with the vehicle. Kay offered to let us take it for a test drive, but we declined, because we needed to get groceries and get back to the rescue ranch. Kay gave us her card and then we bid her farewell.

We drove across the street, parked Buttermilk, and then we went inside HEB to speed shop. In less than twenty minutes—Tony was driving us back to the rescue ranch, while I talked to Jon on the phone. I told him all about the FJ.

About a mile after passing the orange restaurant, you will not believe what happened next! A burgundy FJ pulled up behind us at the last signal light, and followed us nearly all of the way back to the ranch! “I think it’s a sign,” I said to Tony.

Monday, April 7, 2008

So Long Good Buddy!

This morning, Tony had some very sad news to tell me—Pryor had passed away, sometime during the night. I loved Pryor, even though he was unpredictable, and at times would be grouchy and growl— he never bit any of us.

After hearing the sad news, I phoned Kinky to tell him the bad news, and then I phoned Ben. While Tony and John were outside burying Pryor, I went to my computer and looked up the story that I had written long ago, about Pryor for the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch Summer 2004 Report. I also rewrote his story for my book, and, Pryor’s picture is on the front cover of my book, on the lower right hand side.

When I began reading the newsletter, I was shocked to find that Pryor had either died on his four year anniversary of being here, or one day after. He had come to the rescue ranch on April 6, 2004.

Rest In Peace—Pryor. We loved you. And, you were a good dog and will never be forgotten.

Made in loving memory of Pryor, here is the Summer 2004 Newsletter story, about how he made it to our rescue ranch.
Pryor-ity Male!

For over a month our ranch has been back and forth on the phone to Jennifer Lee (Richard Pryor’s wife) and her friends, Karen and Shannon, concerning a dog named Pierce, that had been abandoned in a front yard in Los Angeles with no food or water. Pierce is approximately eight years old and this was the second time for him to be abandoned. Jennifer and her friends rescued him and boarded him at a kennel for over three weeks while desperately trying to find Pierce a home.

No one would take him because he had issues such as being unpredictable and biting. The places they called suggested that he be euthanized because of his biting. Jennifer, Shannon and Karen refused to heed the advice and kept on trying until they made a call to Kinky.

Kinky put them in touch with Tony and I and the rest is history. It took us about a week to line out the plan. First off, the ranch changed his name to Pryor in honor of Richard Pryor, whom we all love. Next, we worked out the transportation.

Monday, April 5th Pryor departed LAX headed for his new home in Texas! This is the e-mail sent from Nancy to Jennifer Lee, Richard Pryor, Karen and Shannon:

Tuesday, April 6th.....Good morning Jennifer, Richard, Karen and Shannon. Forgive me for not writing to each of you individually I only got about three hours of sleep last night and it was not Pryor's fault. First off, let me tell you how much Tony, Kinky and I love Pryor! Here is the way it went down last night and please remember that we were under a full moon, too (Jennifer can explain this to y'all later).

6:30 p.m....Tony & Maribeth Couch leave to go to the airport in San Antonio to pick up Pryor.
7:00 p.m....Jennifer calls wanting an update.
8:00 p.m....Kinky calls me and wants to be updated every 30 minutes on operation “Pryority Male!”
9:00-10:30 p.m....I watch Green Acres reruns––I love that show!
11:00 p.m....Jennifer calls for an update on Pryor.
11:05 p.m....I called Tony. He and Maribeth have just picked up Pryor and he never growled!
11:10 p.m....I called Shannon and told her that "The Eagle Has Landed!"
11:15 p.m....I called Jennifer and repeated myself about the eagle.
11:20 p.m....I began cooking Pryor’s welcome home dinner. I cooked some hamburger, two eggs, green beans, cheese and garlic and mixed it up all together. Tasted great!
11:21 p.m...Kinky calls me while I am cooking––his back is killing him, but he wants to be here when Pryor arrives––so we make a plan.

Please note: 10 days ago, Tony threw his back out....8 days ago, I threw my back out....3 days ago, Kinky threw his back out and not that this is real important, but one of our veterinarians, Wylie Skelton, threw his back out 6 days ago and so did our friend, Jim Cravotta! I truly think it is contagious, but I don't think you can get it over the internet.

11:55 p.m....Tony calls from Bandera (22 miles from us) and as we are talking on the phone the tv goes into an emergency weather forecast! Out of nowhere, some heavy thunderstorms showed up and they were headed straight for us! Dime-size hail had hit Rocksprings which is only about a 45 minute/45 miles away. Wind shears up to 70 mph had also been clocked in Junction, Texas!

11:56 p.m....My heart sinks over the forecast that I had just heard. I called Kinky––we now become nervous wrecks concerning the weather reports.

12:10 a.m....I meet Kinky outside in front of Pryor's pen. The winds had picked up and it was thundering and lighting and starting to rain. Kinky and I jumped into the Explorer and waited in silence for Tony and Pryor’s arrival. Suddenly, he starts laughing and says,"Thank God, Pryor isn't a giant dog! I can just see the three of us with our backs out––trying to carry his cage.” I laughed so hard that my back began to hurt again.

12:15 a.m...Tony & Pryor arrive! It was really starting to rain cats and dogs as Tony, Kinky and I carried Pryor's cage from the back of the truck to his new pen. We looked like a bad immitation of Harvey Korman, Tim Conway and Carol Burnett doing a skit on old people. Tony lowered the tail gate of the truck and the three of us took our positions around Pryor's cage. On the count of three, we shuffled our feet in tiny baby steps to his pen. Kinky and I then shuffled quickly out of the pen and Tony did the ribbon cutting. He reached down and unlatched Pryor's door. Before Pryor came out of his cage, Tony had swiftly scooted outside of the pen. As the rain fell and the lightning cracked, Pryor stretched, pooped, drank some water and then ate the homemade dinner that had been cooked for him.

12:30 a.m. Satisfied that Pryor was going to be okay, Kinky went home and we went back to our trailer. Ten minutes later, all hell broke loose––thunder, lightning, high-winds, etc. Tony and I grabbed our raincoats, put on our rubber boots and went outside to the pens. Dustin Hoffman and Martha Stewart, two of our smaller dogs, had escaped from their pens. After we had rounded them up and had them back in their pens, Randy Travis leaped out of his pen! After returning Randy to his digs we went back to the trailer. We were so wound up with the storm and all of the excitement that neither one of us could sleep.

And now here is the rest of the story....

Tuesday, April 7th, 9:00 a.m. We wake up to find that Medina had flooded over the night! We were all fine, but the rivers and creeks were over their banks. Fortunately, we are high up and all we got from the flood––was mud! All is well now. The rivers are going down and Pryor, who I have fallen madly in love with, has already eaten two eggs with bacon for breakfast (laced with garlic). We served him hot dog wieners every hour on the hour this morning and he seems to like the attention that he is receiving. He seems to be doing great and we are taking it very slowly with him. Here are some picts for y'all that I took this morning. Take care out there and be glad that I did this in Reader's Digest form. Love to all, Nancy

August ‘04 Update: Our ranch wishes to thank Jennifer and Richard Pryor for supplying our dogs each and every month with Frontline Plus ( the best flea, tick and mosquito repellent) for our dogs, but I am still going to make our dogs quesidillas because they love them! Please check out And, Richard and Jennifer—We Love Y’all!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

May The Force Be With...!

Everyone at the rescue ranch is celebrating Jedi’s adoption today! Jedi has been adopted to a very nice family, and we are so happy for her!

For several months, Kim and her husband, Joe, and their sweet, young daughter, Katherine, have been coming out to the rescue ranch, on Saturdays—to walk our dogs. And, our dogs love them as much as we do!

Today, they came out and walked some dogs, and then before leaving, they adopted Jedi and took her home with them! I would like to say, “May the Force be with them!” But, the Force is already with them—they’ve got our Jedi!

Friday, April 4, 2008

We Salute Oprah!

Today has been a great day! This afternoon, after all of the work was done, Tony, Ben and I watched Oprah. Her show today was about puppy mills, and it was fantastic, extremely sad and depressing —but it told the truth! I cried through most of it, and I had to leave the room when a dog was going to be euthanized. I couldn’t bear it.

What Oprah did today for the thousands of unfortunate dogs in puppy mills—sold to pet stores, as a cash crop—is fixin’ to change for the better! No more puppy mills, and pet stores selling those dogs! Everyone needs to adopt dops from shelters and put the puppy mills out of business, once and for all! Thank you, Oprah Winfrey! Animal lovers —LOVE YOU, and so do we! We salute you! And, I am now off of my soapbox.

After Oprah, Ben and I went over to Kinky’s Lodge. The hummingbird feeder, that Kinky and I had fixed a while back—needed more fixin’. With the help of some duct tape—Ben and Kinky fixed the ancient hummingbird feeder, again! I just love duct tape!

While the three of us were outside, I told Kinky, that the Friedman Family Bone Orchard—was really turning into a beautiful, peaceful place—especially since he had added the ceramic cat, that I had suggested he place up there with his Buddha and duck, in honor of his late cat—Lady Argyle.

Kinky and Ben, both agreed with me, about the Friedman Family Bone Orchard having become a special place. It was peaceful and full of love.

P.S. Kinky is going to be on Geraldo on Sunday maybe, and on O’Reilley Monday night—for sure!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sitting Here In Limbo!

Tuesday morning, at 4:32, Kinky called the rescue ranch and left this message. “Cousin Nancy, Tony! I just woke up and if y’all are up—give me a call or come on over and drink some coffee with me. I can’t sleep.”

Tony didn’t hear the call, because he was in the shower and I was sound asleep. When I woke up at 6:00, I dressed, fed the dogs, made some coffee on the expresso machine, that I still don’t know how to use, and then started a load of laundry. Then I noticed the light flashing on the answering machine. I listened to Kinky’s message and then I called him.

Kinky’s phone rang and rang and rang and his machine never kicked in, so I hung up. I poured a cup of coffee and then I called Kinky again—second verse same as the first—no Kinky. I then switched on my salt lamp, and then turned on my iPod—Willie Nelson was singing, “I’m Sitting Here in Limbo.”

Third time’s the charm I thought, as I redialed Kinky’s phone number. His phone rang five times and then Kinky picked up the phone, “Hello? Who is this?”

“Hi Kinky, it’s me,” I said.

“Nance, I’m doing Imus right now,” Kinky said with a laugh.

“Oh my gosh! I’m sorry. Bye,” I said, before hanging up. I then turned on the television, paused the iPod—leaving Willie in limbo, and pressed the Imus channel! Imus and Kinky were laughing and so was his crew.

Ten minutes later, Kinky phoned me. “Nance, the show was hilarious! Come on over and have a cup of coffee with me. Imus is going to call me back in about ten minutes.”

I went over to Kinky’s Lodge. Kinky came out the door to greet me and he was still laughing about the Imus show. “I am really sorry, for calling you during the Imus show,” I said. “I didn’t know that you were doing his show this morning.”

“Nance it was hilarious,” Kinky said. “When you started calling me, I made the remark to Imus, ‘what kind of a crazy nut is calling me at 6:30 in the morning?’ I then accused Imus of playing an April Fool’s joke on me—and he denied it. Then you called again, and everyone started laughing and I told Imus that maybe I should take the call, but I didn’t. Then, the third time that you called, I told Imus I had to find out who in the world was calling me and I put him on hold.”

“You’re kidding me, Kink,” I said.

“When I got back to Imus, he asked me who had called and I told him, ‘Cousin Nancy.’ And then Imus asked me how you were doing, and I said, fine. It was really very funny, Nance.”

We both laughed. “Well,” I teased. “At least I don’t go calling people at 4:32 in the morning to come over to drink coffee—now that’s a real nut case, if you ask me.”