Saturday, January 1, 2011

MAKING THE MOST OF A WET DAY-doesn't stop me though

click photos to enlarge
Eyes that melt my heart;  that's Shade's eyes.  The golden dog Douglas usually is the selected one to stand tall in the lime light and Shade, most times, draws the last card.  That's not because I love one more than the other.  It's because Douglas has been with me since the earliest Tennessee days.  He was raised on a TWRA boat, may as well say.  He went with me to work and was by my side morning, noon and night.  Douglas is the first dog I adopted here in Tennessee.  I try not to play favoritism with these guys but, Douglas does hold an ace most times.  I thought it time to give Shade her little spot on the blog site.
Many of you who follow this blog know the story of how I came by Shade.  I'll restate it quickly.  Douglas and I were traveling by boat to an island years back on a camping trip.  It was 11PM on Chilhowee Lake.  The nose of the boat touched the island and Douglas growled deeply and did not disembark.  Something was lurking in the tall grass.  I immediately thought bear or wild boar.  A black dog slowly emerged full of obvious distrust.  I lured the dog closer with a hand full of food.  I made a grab and pulled the big dog into the boat.  The camp trip was over.  This dog was priority one.  That's how Shade came along.  No collar or identification of any type.  Her owners left her on the island alone and drove away in their boat.  Shade waited and waited for them to come back and get her.  They weren't coming back, ever.  But, Douglas and I did.  So, that's the story.  Shade has been with us ever since.
I often times refer to her as a "big goofy Shade."  I mean no disrespect with those words.  Shade is a very powerful dog.  I estimate her age at six or seven years old.  She weighs in at 80 pounds and there isn't an ounce of fat on her body.  She is all hard muscle.  Her chest is very deep which equates to unending stamina.  When in the woods she is a powerful dynamo with emphasis on the word powerful.  Yet, in the evenings she walks to me with head down and sits beside my leg and leans against me.  Her beautiful face turns up to stare at me.  The photos above were taken while she was in such a position.  If I look back long enough into her eyes I can't prevent myself from putting my arms around her and hugging her tightly.  Yes;  she is totally spoiled.  Wouldn't have it any other way.  She is totally devoted to me.  Totally.
The best thing I have ever done in my life is "not go camping last night."  I stopped over to the New Years Eve party at the store for a half hour and couldn't get with it.  I'm into the third stage of hermit-ism and there are only four stages involved with that decease.   I really wanted to start 2011 on Calderwood.  What really kept me off Calderwood Lake was fear that the road leading into it would be like the road I was on at Indian Boundary Lake just the other day.  The truck wouldn't go forward or backward due to solid ice.  What a mess!  I was lucky to get out of there at all.  That side road was solid ice edge to edge.
 I  clearly was in big trouble here.  I won't go into details but, I got out of it.

The rain fell relentlessly last night and today.  Had I gone camping, the canoe would have filled with water and sank to the bottom.  This rain has fallen long and hard from late last night through this entire day.  It appeared to stop sometime around 3PM.  I gathered the pups and went to the old state park.  I just can't sit around.  It's not in me to do that.  Of course;  as soon as we pulled into the park and got out of the truck;  it started a steady rain again.  What the heck!  We were off.  The rain fell harder and we were near the ruins.  There were some old dilapidated buildings behind the ruins and I had a mind to seek shelter in one of them.  So, off we went.
This old log building might be just the place to dodge the rain.  Wonder how many wanderers have slept in this place?
The white dots on the photo is water on the lens.  This place has boards laying about with old nails sticking through.  We'll pass on this place.  I'd rather be wet than have one of the guys step on a nail.  Now here's a good possibility:
I took one step inside and my foot went through the rotten floor.  Nope;  won't do.  Two more old buildings to look into.  I'm getting soaked.  If I don't find something soon we may as well forget about it.  I'm glad it's warm outside today.
We'll drift on over to what's left of this old barn.
Finally;  the perfect place.  We found it just in time as the sky has just opened up.
Perfect!  Now, where is Douglas?  That boy practically ignores the rain.  He's a water dog for sure.  Shade and Happy are near, running in and out of this shack and inspecting everything.
I sat my shoulder bag down and leaned against the wall while listening to the water beat upon the roof.  My thoughts were directed to "what's to come?"   I didn't dwell on any one topic but, just left my mind wander.  Wander;  I'm good at that.  That's just about the only thing I do well.  Gary's Outdoor Wanderings.  I've wandered around all my life never putting a root down.  Heck;  I've never even planted a seed anywhere.  I guess I've been rolling along and wandering ever since I returned from the Vietnam war.  That's the only road marker I can date with any reliability anyway.  Before the war I was too young to wander and after the war wandering seemed to be the thing to do.  I guess it became a habit.  I never would have thought I would end up here in Tennessee literally living with three dogs.  I guess one might say that the whole of my life has lead me to this end.  You know what;  wouldn't have it any other way.  I'm damn happy!
It could be creepy out here at night.  Wonder how many times that door, above, has swung open and shut?  This old ruins makes me think.  I like it here.  I hope it stays a ruins and deserted.  I hope it never changes and that it disappears by the hand of nature;  not man's.
The rain has subsided and I think we'll make a break for the truck.  Oh, the dogs won't want to go.  They're having fun.  But, I'm almost soaked.  "Come on pups.  Lets go now.  Now I said."
It seems that puppies are more difficult to place in the Winter time.  I'm not sure what the reasoning behind that is but, it's the way of it.  I want to introduce you to two 8 month old puppies.  Their mother had her litter here at my habitat and they are the last two that need homes.  The puppy to the left is Chestnut.  She is gorgeous and on her way to becoming leash trained.

Chestnut is a docile puppy, never bold or loud.  She will approach  me and lay her muzzle on my leg.  When petted she does not lick.  She simply stares at my face.  Her mother was exactly like Chestnut in every way.  Quiet and unobtrusive. 

This is Chestnut's brother Spruce.  He is a darling little pup who listens well.  He is the outgoing one of the two.  He will approach immediately and lick the hand that is extended.  Both Spruce and Chestnut are very well mannered and compliment each other.

 I really need to find homes for these two kids.  My hopes are that they are adopted together.  They are inseparable here at the habitat.

Chestnut and Spruce are one of these pups you see below.  The mother's name is Maple.  Chestnut gets her great disposition from mom.  These are terrific pups.  They have all been adopted accept Spruce and Chestnut.

Look at those faces.  What's not to love?
I really hope they become adopted together.  It's not so bad to see puppies separated when they are very young as bonding has not occurred.  But, once bonded, it is a heart breaker to see one adopted and drive away in some car while the brother or sister sits and watches.  He or she will never see the sibling again.  I guess I put too much human emotions into the whole thing.
They are not big dogs.  I believe they are fully grown at their age.  They are beautiful and healthy.  I've supplied nothing short of the best in food, shelter and vetting.  Any dog who finds me has it made.
If any readers know of anyone interested in adopting one or both of these beauties;  please email me or leave a message on this blog at the bottom.  I do hope both go to the same home.  They are no trouble.  Their only sin was being born.
It's getting late and the rain is still falling.  I can't believe it.  It's the first day of 2011.  I hope this dreary day isn't an indication of how 2011 is going to go.  Ha.  Just kidding.  2011 is going to be an exciting year.  I know I'm going to really live it as large as I can!
Below is old Sigh.  She's got to be about 15 years old.  Yep.  found her too.  I never figured she would still be on this earth.  Her legs barely support her weight but, she is hanging in there.  Bless her!
Love you old girl.  Love you......