Monday, October 13, 2008


Click on pictures to enlarge I woke up in a lake kind of mood today; imagine that. All the dogs sensed that I was going to make a move with them today to somewhere. The air was heavy with their anticipation. But today would be a little different. I have always taken Douglas and or Happy with me on the boat outings because Shade will not come reliably when called and she and Douglas pair up and range too far ahead of me. Today I would give Shade her chance on a boat outing. In my mind I imagined her being a problem as soon as I opened the truck door at the boat ramp. It was difficult to get her away from the other dogs and into the truck. They all wanted to go. But we made it and off we went toward Santeelah Lake. She sat leaning tight against my right side while in the truck, her big head against my chest. She is a heavy dog at 95 pounds. Route 129 South leads to Santeelah which would mean the infamous Dragon would have to be negotiated. After pushing and prodding her away from me on the front seat, we did fine. The parking lot at the boat ramp was empty, as I had hoped it would be. I opened the door and she pranced around the lot sniffing and doing what dogs do. But the important thing is she stayed with me. I thought this can't be. But it was. I called her and she responded. This is the difference between taking multiple dogs simultaneously or individually. My dogs are rescue dogs and they were not raised with other dogs. So when together, they form a pack. Individually, the human becomes the leader. And so it is with Shade today. I unloaded and launched the boat. Here's the part I was not ready for. She was terrified to get on the boat. I had to put her leash on her and assist her onto the deck. As we pulled out into the water, I felt her shivering. She sat on my feet for half an hour. Then she slowly inched her way toward the front of the boat. It is now two hours later and she is still not comfortable on the boat. The Gheenoe is pulled up on the shore line of an island and she is staying with me. Amazing! She's going to be alright if I take her out by herself. I'm glad I gave her this chance to prove herself. I wonder if she remembers how someone drove her to an island and left her. I wonder if she remembers the feeling of being put out in the middle of nowhere to fend for herself. And then I came along. She's a very luck girl. Santeelah is beautiful today. A breeze is blowing and the fall colors are starting to garnish the surrounding mountains in a beautiful vail of bright orange and reds. The leaves should be fully turned in another five days. Everything is quiet here. The only sound is Shade's big paws punching down through the fallen, crisp leaves on the forest floor. Even surrounded by all this beauty, my thoughts return to my good friend who is fighting a battle with cancer. Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson held a special concert and auction for him and his family this past weekend. My friends wife spoke on the microphone at the outdoor event. Her words brought tears to my eyes. The owner of Smoky Mountain Harley acted as an autioneer. He did a marvelous job. The items for auction were donated by employees and customers. Some items were really price worthy but most were normal fare. But no matter; the owner energetically presented each item with entheusiam and the attendees offered up ridiculous amounts of money for most every item. Pictures, tail packs, glass ware and even a wreath sold for $250 and $500. The aution was simply a catylist to allow folks to express their generosity toward this needing family. I am proud of the employees at Smoky Mountain; I am proud of our customer who showed in number; I am sincerely proud of who we work for. The owner of Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson sincerely cares about not only those who are dedicated to the business, but to folks in general. In short he did a splendid job! It's a wonderful feeling. And that concert and auction was one of the finest examples of caring and sharing I have ever seen. There's still good in the world. I'm afraid this blog entry is turning out to be more writing than pictures. I have been known to be wordy at times. I love you all for caring enough to read about my ramblings. And my love goes out to my friend who is in peril. And lastly; thank you Smoky Mountain Harley. That event will never be forgotten and in my mind it will never be surpassed in stature. Good by for now