Shootin' the Breeze

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In the Middle of the Night, She Asked Me

I try to not disturb my wife’s sleep.   Sometimes, despite my best efforts, others disturb Sugar’s rest.  For example, last night our 90 lb. puppy, Gus, who just celebrated his first birthday, came up to Sugar’s side of the bed and awakened her by sniffing at her lovely face.

However, it is my job to let Gus out, as he good and well knows, so next he came to my side of the bed and softly barked.  I awakened from a deep sleep, obediently sat on the side of the bed, waited for my consciousness to emerge, and started for the bedroom door in the utter darkness.

Before I got there, I stepped on Beau, one of our other Labrador Retrievers, who was sleeping soundly at the end of the bed.  I tried to lift my foot from Beau, out of kindness, I suppose, sacrificing my extraordinary balance to protect Beau, and landing on my bum knee and then my extended right hand, which did not support my lithe frame, which resulted in my laying on the floor at the foot of the bed, where Gus eagerly jumped on my prone form.

“Get off me,” I said from the floor, which disturbed Sugar, who reminded me that he is just a puppy.  I already knew Gus is just a puppy, yet I felt it would be easier to get up off the floor without a puppy on my chest.

Gus and I walked down the hall, across the balcony, down the steps, through the front room, and out the front door, onto the front porch, then down the steps.  Gus was happy to be out at 2:00 a.m.  I was hobbling on my bum knee, which was much more painful than it had been a few moments earlier.

Gus proved that it was worthwhile to go outside, as from a young age he had been taught to potty outside.  See post entitled, “We slept together the very first night.”

I returned to the bedroom by the same painfully difficult route of going up two flights of steps.  I stealthily slipped under the covers.  Sleepy Sugar hugged me and, with genuine concern, asked, “Did he poop?”

Apparently, she felt it unnecessary to inquire about my health after my fall.  That makes sense because she knows how tough I am.

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Already Dead

I know a fella who, when in college years ago, dated a girl who was interested enough in him that she introduced him to her father, the Rabbi.   The Rabbi was not pleased that his daughter’s suitor was not Jewish.  The boyfriend  was, instead, Catholic.  The Rabbi was so concerned about the relationship that he decided to make his feelings very clear to his daughter by saying, “If you marry him, you will be dead to me.”

The couple broke up.  It was probably for the best.

I know another man whose daughter did not invite him to her wedding.  You might wonder if there was a good reason for the cruel exclusion.  There was not a good reason.  It was to punish him for remarrying twelve years after divorcing her mother for good reason.   He refused to exclude his wife, the bride’s stepmother.

He was, naturally, humiliated about being excluded.  People attending the wedding would notice the absence of the father of the bride.   He imagined what they might think.  He was so devastated that he even thought of suicide   Then he realized that, to his daughter, he was already dead.

What the Rabbi threatened, and what the daughter actually did, was to cut someone out of their lives, treating relatives as if they no longer exist.

Why kill yourself if you are already dead?

And why forgive the killer?  The Bible teaches us to love one another, to love even our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to forgive those who trespass against us, and to pray for those who persecute us.  Easier said than done.

Maybe it is smart to follow the example of opossums and “play dead.”  Maybe that father should have nothing more to do with the daughter who acts like she has no father.  To her, he is dead so she will have to live with that false reality.  To the rest of the world, he is alive.

 

Crushing the Head of the Serpent, Again

It was foretold in Genesis 3:15, when the Lord told the serpent that He will put enmity between the serpent and the woman, and between the serpent’s offspring and hers; and that the woman’s offspring would crush the head of the serpent’s offspring, though it could maybe “bruise his heel.”   Sounds fair.

That prophecy was borne out yet again on Thursday when I, distant offspring of Eve and Mary and other women through the ages, crushed the head of a serpent.  Actually, I cut off the head before he could bruise my heel.

The particular serpent was of the rattlesnake variety.  I kilt him out of revenge.  That dang serpent had bit our beloved puppy on the nose.  That is something up with which we do not put.

We took Gus to the emergency vet clinic after 9 p.m.  We did not get out of there until after 1 a.m.   Poor Gus had to get anti-venom administered by I.V.

Gus was a good patient, wagging his tail throughout the ordeal.  We are thankful to God that Gus seems to have come out okay.  The snake did not come out okay.

Satan likes snakes, apparently.  God likes puppies.  Count this as another victory for God.

 

 

We Slept Together the Very First Night

The puppy featured herein is now eleven months old and weighs 90 lbs.

Shootin' the Breeze

sleepy gus

So my wife and I picked up our new puppy yesterday.  His name is Gus.  He is a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He joins Sadie, who is almost 14 years old, and Beau, who is 6 years old.  They were not too enthused about the idea of bringing in an 8 week old baby to change their lives.  Three is a crowd perhaps.

We spent the day as an orientation period.  Gus seems smart and curious.  He is pretty brave.  He likes following the older dogs.  He wants to make friends.  They are usually tolerant, but Beau snapped at Gus when he got too close to his personal bone.  Sadie left the living room at bedtime and, instead of sleeping there as usual, showed up in our bedroom.  Turns out that was a smart idea.

It was a smart idea because Gus cried and cried from his crate, which I had…

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Loyalty

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An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The cowboy was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them.

 After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter “H” that glowed in the sunlight.

 Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold.

 He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”

“This is Heaven, sir,” the man answered. 

“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.

“Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”

 As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, “Can I bring my partners, too?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side.

 After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.  “Excuse me,” he called to the man, “Do you have any water?”

“Sure, there’s a pump right over there. Help yourself.”

“How about my friends here?” the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse.

“Of course! They look thirsty, too,” said the man.

 The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog.  When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. “What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.

“This is Heaven,” he answered.

“That’s confusing,” the traveler said, “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”

“Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That’s hell.”

“Doesn’t it make you angry when they use your name like that?”

“Not at all. Actually, we’re happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”

scamp crossing bridge

 Author Unknown

I did not write this, but I like it and wanted to pass it on.  I do take credit for the authentic illustrations.

Pros and Cons of Bowleggedness

For my entire life, I have been bowlegged.  I did not have rickets.  I attribute the condition to riding horses and genetics.  Many fine athletes, such as Gale Sayers and myself, are bowlegged.  It gives us a better base for our superior balance than if we were, heaven forbid, knock-kneed.  Tacklers find it much easier to tackle players whose knees collide anyway.  One might be able to tackle a knock-kneed player with one hand, the knees being so close together and all.  As everyone knows, Gale Sayers and I can only be tackled with great difficulty.  An opposing player can barely reach around both knees at the same time.  I don’t know if Gale likes to ride horses, but I do.  Again, the advantage for a bowlegged rider is obvious.  But enough about me and Gale.

Let’s contemplate the legs of my lovely wife, Miss Sugar.  I doubt that prior to this very day she ever desired to have bowed legs.  For example, when she won the swimsuit event in the Miss Texas pageant, she did not have bowed legs and it is possible that she might not have won had she had bowed legs.  Of course, that is speculation, but nevertheless, Sugar has never seemed envious of my legs.

Today Sugar learned that her legs, as good as they might look, are not as functional as the bowed legs of me and Gale Sayers.  I will tell you what happened today.

As we were talking to a lady in the front yard of a suburban neighborhood, she told us to watch out because a loose dog was coming towards us.  The large dog approached from the rear.  Suddenly, he was in front of me, having passed between my legs.  It was like going under a  bridge.  I do not recall feeling any contact.  He just walked through.  I had an adequate inseam as well as space between my knees.

Then he tried the same thing with Sugar.  It did not go so smoothly,  The dog nearly knocked her down when he tried to go between her legs.  He did not have room to maneuver once he tried to squeeze through.  He got into the tight space and panicked.  Sugar had to move forward with him to try to keep her balance because he was so tall that she was almost sitting on him.  It was like she was riding him.  They moved forward together for nearly ten feet.  Finally, the dog was free again.  Sugar kept her balance.  The danger had passed.

Sugar might be re-thinking which of us has better legs.

legs

The photo above was displayed for weeks at a gallery of photography.  It was larger than life-size in the front window.  These are Sugar’s actual legs.  They served her well for modeling and girly things but, let’s face it, as Gale Sayers could tell you, they really would not work for a running back in the NFL.  Just sayin’.

coffee at church

I am the fella wearing a blue shirt and white hat.  Note how a large dog could run between my legs.

Mothers’ Day Differences

My mother raised  her children in a stable, fun, and loving home.

The TV and print ads about Mothers’ Day feature smiling mothers with adoring families.

Of course, there are other maternal situations that are not so heart-warming.

Not all mothers are good mothers who deserve praise and recognition.

Not all good mothers are appreciated.

Today can be an emotionally painful one for some women.

Some wanted to be mothers but are not.

Some regret  having children they mistreated or abandoned.

Some are mourning children who died before them.

Some are good mothers whose children ignore them, even today.

Some are missing mothers who are deceased.

If you have been blessed with a loving mother, show her some love.

 

 

 

Cross Creek Ranch Swim Team

closeswimGus, who used to be our baby puppy, is now eight months old.  He has reached the age to try out for the swim team.  So he did.

We have a river running through the ranch, only 100 feet or so from the house.  Beau is an expert swimmer.  In fact, in another post I wrote awhile back, I described him swimming across a lake in order to help some fishermen who were, well, fishing from a boat.  Beau disturbed their attempt to sneak up on fish.  Later, he went to the dock and located the fish that had been caught and took one.  Theft is a wrongful taking with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property.  Maybe Beau intended to bring the fish back, except he did not.

Gus idolizes Beau.  When Beau went swimming, Gus tried to emulate him.  At first Gus stayed in the shallow water and pretended to swim.  He kept his back legs on the bottom and slapped the water with his front paws.  After awhile, Miss Sugar threw a stick into the channel.  That action presented a dilemma.  Gus loves to fetch but he did not know how to swim.  He whined like a baby as the stick drifted past him.  Then instinct kicked in.  He is, after all, a Labrador Retriever.

So, he swam.  He had a reason to swim.  He swam to the stick.  He even had to stick his muzzle in the water to bite on the stick.  He swam back to shore.   He brought the stick to Sugar.  Just like in the yard but with the extra twist of swimming out, fetching, and swimming back, then climbing ashore and bringing the stick to Sugar.  Wow!  A feat worthy of a Labrador.

So, since that fateful day, Gus heads for the river every chance he gets.  He swims his favorite stroke, Dog Paddle.

Just like a big boy.  A proud member of the swim team.

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Reproach

Many of us have enjoyed the cute videos shared on the internet of dogs confronted when they have done something naughty.  Usually the owner recording it will say something like, “Fluffy, what did you do?”  And Fluffy will look so remorseful that it is funny.  Fluffy will hang his head under the burdern of guilt.  Fluffy will display a conscience.

Our puppy Gus is not burdened by a guilty conscience.  He does not hang his head in shame.  He does not put his tail between his legs.

He has mastered a sincere attitude of pride in all he accomplishes.  He wags his tail.  He looks up and smiles, as if to say, “I am glad you noticed.”

/For example, today, my lovely wife, Miss Sugar, bought a new grill and a cover for the grill.  We grilled some steaks within an hour of bringing it home.  When it cooled, Sugar put on the grill cover.  I suppose she intended to protect the grill from the elements.

Gus discovered the tray that catches drippings of grease.  It was not an easy task.  He had to get under the cover, which was awkward, so he wisely decided to remove the cover altogether.

So when I said, like the owners of the cute remorseful dogs, whose videos I have viewed,  “Gus, what did you do??”  his response with body language said what, if it was in words, would be: “Yeah, ain’t it great?  I know what you were thinking.  You were thinking that next time you want to use the grill, you have to take that cover off before you can even use it.  So, I knew you would be happy to see that I removed it in anticipation of your needs.  And don’t think it was easy.  It had those Velcro straps.  I had to use my mouth to bite through that Teflon material.  It took a long time, but now it is mostly off.  I just need you to help me get the tattered remains off too.  It looks stupid to have the grill partially covered. You are welcome.”

I hope Sugar has learned a lesson in utilitarianism.  She often fails to express appreciation for what Gus does for us.  She is very forgiving, but what is there to forgive?

Gus wishes that she would come to recognize that he is, indeed, beyond reproach.

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Above My Station in Life

To those of you who know me only as Big Bronc, the successor King of the Wild Frontier, I hope it does not disappoint you to learn that I also make the world a better place in my role as The Lawman, Advocate for Western Justice.  I work at the World Headquarters for Western Justice, which is located right here in Northern Colorado.

My trophy wife, Miss Sugar, holds the position of Office Manager, awarded to her through a system of nepotism.  Consequently, she is present at The World Headquarters when Big City Lawyers from Denver are obliged to travel to Fort Collins to deal with me in my persona as Just a Country Lawyer.

Miss Sugar, still a handsome woman for her advanced age, was, back in the day, a finalist in the Miss Texas USA pageant, winning the swimsuit competition, leading to a professional modeling career and appearances on an obscure television series called Dallas.  Big deal.

Who says that I wasn’t a professional model too?  For your information, I’ve done a little modeling here and there.  Well, just there, in Omaha, Nebraska, when I appeared in a print ad for the grand opening of the teen department at Nebraska Clothing, which is now out of business, but I do not accept the blame.  You could kind of recognize the back of my head as I tried on a coat.  I was photographed while shopping with my mother.  We are both pretty sure it was me trying on the coat, which we did not purchase.  No wonder they went out of business.  Although we were offered a discount for the coat as compensation for my modeling, when Mom declined anyway, the guy who asked to take my picture compensated me in another manner, by giving me one of the prizes intended for the Grand Opening.  I was awarded a real cool flashlight.  Those of you familiar with legal definitions will recognize that being paid for the publication of my image makes me a professional model.  I have cut back on my modeling career since that particular gig, so I could focus on seventh grade and beyond.

I don’t talk about my modeling in front of Miss Sugar because I am fairly certain that she was never in The Omaha World Herald and I don’t want her to feel inferior.  We were in different niches of the market.  To be fair, I was not in the Dallas Morning News as she was, nor on the cover of any lingerie catalogs, nor did I model at Dallas Apparel Mart  BECAUSE  I was very picky about allowing my image to be “used” to sell products.  The only reason Miss Sugar had to do that stuff was because the Kim Dawson Agency arranged them.  I did not require an agent.  As I described, Nebraska Clothing approached me.

It is generally recommended that being “equally yoked” is a good idea.  As used in the Bible, that means being married to another believer, and we do indeed share our religious beliefs as Christians.  However, both being professional models and all, I liked to think we were equally yoked in that sense as well.

That is what I liked to think.  That is what I liked to think until one of those Big City Denver Lawyers came to my office to spend the day taking depositions for a case we were litigating.  Of course I introduced him to my lovely wife.  As he left at the end of the day, he unkindly volunteered, “Man, you sure married way above your station in life.”

He is absolutely correct.  I married above my station in life by every measure.  Lucky me!

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