Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Summer 2011...Part 1: Long, but Too Short

The Summer of 2011 will go down as one of the busiest, hectic, non stop summers that I can ever remember. And except for being able to see the few cords of firewood stacked so nice in my backyard, I feel most times like I didn't get anything accomplished. 

Weather wise, the Summer of 2011 was pitiful. Rain, heat, cool, rain, heat, and floods kept us all alert to what was being forecast-ed by the weather folks who are suppose to keep the public accurately informed. Our family swimming pool water temperature fluctuation was really different this year also. After a rainy wet spring, with the water temps staying in the low 70's, we did get a dry warm spell and the water temp "soared" to the mid 80's. The family was finally able to enjoy the pool for a while. I even set up the "kiddie" pool. 

Kiddie pool for non swimmers when no adults are in big pool.

My eldest 2 granddaughters in the "warmer" pool.

This Green Heron even dropped in for a visit.

Sadness hit us in mid July with the passing of our great family dog Samson. Personally, he was the best dog I ever was privy to call my own. Sam and I had a bond that is hard to describe. Our bond started the day I first laid eyes on him. He was 7 weeks old. He was laying on the floor behind the toilet in our spare bathroom. My wife (bless her) called me at work and told me we had a water leak in the bathroom and I should come home right away. The "leak" was this beautiful sleepy beast that penetrated my life like no animal had ever done before. It was instantaneous. Bonded. There never was, over the next 14 years, any doubt to anyone, whose dog Sam was. We were attached at the hip. I couldn't go from my chair to the bathroom or the refrigerator without his escort. He was always with me... and I loved it.


R.I.P. Sam

With Sam's passing the house and yard became completely different. My "shadow" was gone. My sidekick gone. Sure, my feline pets, Boots and Rascal, were still under foot, but it's just not the same. It's a completely different species and the bonding is so very different. I never was a cat lovin kinda guy until my wife decided we needed "one" after we retired. We ended up with "two" kitties. Brothers Boots and Rascal. Yeah, I got attached to them too.
Rascal & Boots

King "Rascal"

Prince "Boots"

Rascal is laid back, leave me alone, when I want petted, I'll come to you and is huge. His brother Boots is completely different. He was born with a deformed left rear foot (paw). He has learned to get around really good with his minor handicap. He has settled down a lot after initially being a neurotic. He'd run and hide at the least little noise. Not so much any more. You will normally find him laying on my computer desk. Spoiled? Not a chance, well yeah they are.........

Roe (my wonderful wife) and I had talked about not getting any more dogs."It would be easier" to go away for a weekend without having to get a dog sitter. The cats would be fine. Food and litter box set for a weekend was no big deal. Ok by me. A few weeks after Sam passed, I "caught" her visiting a "Lab Kennel" on line. When I confronted her as to what was she looking at, she responded, "I miss Sammy". Obviously, I did too. I suggested she find us another yellow lab. A few days later we were making a 2 hour trip to pick out "Botar".

Now Bo is no Sam, but he does have the makings to be a good dog. I think. Bo was born in a barn and lived there for the 1st 6 weeks of his life. He didn't have much human interaction and was surrounded by large "noisy" farm machinery. That has made him very shy around anything that makes noise. Lawn mowers, vacuum sweepers, blenders, 4 wheelers, even our vehicles....he wants no part of them and runs away from them. Yes this is good in that he will not go anywhere near the road or driveway when a vehicle approaches, but, to my deep disappointment, he wants no part of going with me "in the truck". BUMMER. I'm working on that problem. I want my dog to go with me in the truck.

4 months old..."Botar"
He is growing like a weed and is a great lookin lab. He loves it outdoors and is great with the grandkids. He's not happy about all the birds that land in "his" yard, but has been encouraged to accept them. They were here before him and will continue to be here with or without his permission.

Next up: The Flood of Sept. 2011

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