Sunday, June 5, 2011


The morning is early and the sun is promising a hot day again.  Everyone at the little diner across the street complains about the heat.  I love it.  I loaded the pups and headed for the old state park to let them swim in the lake and enjoy the coolness of the morning.  We only have a four hour window in the morning to use for an outing as dogs are susceptible to intense heat.  The heat is intense these days with temperatures hanging near 95 degrees.

Cool off time for Douglas, Shade and Happy.
I don't want to lend the idea that this blog is all about dogs but, they exist in my life and with them comes a lot of responsibility.  People ask me why I mess with them.  Usually they state cost as the main reason for the comment.
Well;  I don't know what to think.  From a cost stand point there is no return on the dollars spent.  They're a problem if I want to leave town for more than two days.  Heartguard and flea preventative medication costs me $75.00 monthly for three dogs.  Douglas gets his annual physical which costs $450.00;  includes xrays and blood work. Then there's the feed cost.

 A 35 pound bag of good quality dog feed runs about $34.00.  The best dog feed will sell for around $45.00 for a 35 pound bag.  I usually buy four bags of really good feed and one bag of super feed and mix them together every meal, once a day.  That guarantees nutritious eating for them.

Their presence even dictates where I live.  If it weren't for them I would be living on a house boat right this minute on Cherokee or Douglas Lake.  However, I can't have a dog door on a house boat.  So why dogs?   There isn't any one answer to that question.  It certainly isn't because their just neat things and pretty.  It's far more than that.  I can offer the following to put things into a more understandable perspective.

A terrier that swims.  Happy the retriever.  Funny!
When Douglas, Shade and Happy jumped out of the truck at the old state park today;  their eyes opened wide and took on a wild appearance.  Their heads raised high and moved quickly left and right with purpose.  They came alive!  We, I, walked across the meadows.  Shade ran full out through the tall grass, occasionally jumping straight up above the tallest grass to get her bearings.  For just a moment she was a wild creature in a wild environment acting like a natural wild inhabitant of nature;  and she was beautiful doing it.

Douglas jogged along fence lines and open places and paths displaying the tendencies of his hunting breed, looking up the trunks of trees hoping to catch sight of his favorite animal--the squirrel.  His nose paused at flowers, certain plants and fence posts.  His face reflected a certain special alertness.  He projected a sense of being.  He was in his element;  an element he can not enjoy while behind a fenced in yard no matter how large it is.

A much needed rest!

I caught myself smiling as I watched them delighting themselves in this, to them, a Disney world.  Observing them being happy and contented made my happy.  When I walked on, they ranged about in the tall grass, yet followed me.  In short;  they were keeping their eyes on me constantly so they could follow my lead and direction.

They are dedicated to me and very loyal.  They ask for nothing more than food, water and shelter.  I provide the additional services to them willingly of my own accord.  It makes me feel good to provide not only the necessary survival items but, I want them comfortable and happy.

These sweet dog friends will give me their total dedication and loyalty every day and night for the rest of their lives and ask nothing more for it but to include them in my activities, sometimes.  Just sometimes.  I am the cause of all that.  That is an honor to me.  What devotion!  How many wives and husbands have a dedicated relationship like that?  Can people say the same about their children as they grow up?  You still may not get it;  but it's the best explanation I can offer.  Each and every dog has a personality and a heart ready to offer up to a human.  Can't put a price on that.
I love them all but, he is the sweetest

Good girl Happy.  Bring me the stick

Sometimes it's nice to just sit in the water

Come on Hap;  lets go.  Put the stick down

We left the water and walked up the old road to nowhere and onto the wide paths that lead to the meadows and back to the truck.  I am always amazed at the vivid green colors at this place.  They are rich and vibrant as if unreal.  The grass and trees appear painted by a brush filed with exceptional, unreal green paint.  These grounds are covered with natural grasses indigenous to the state of Tennessee.  The TWRA actually plants natural grasses for the betterment of the animals that live here.  I know this because I have watched the soil cultivated for the past six years and the natural grasses continually appear in those cultivated areas.  I do, however notice, that the grasses planted offer grain and leaves much preferred by the denizens who thrive here.  The eye is met with rich, lush green in every direction.
An Indigo Bunting alights in a tree ahead.  I have the tiny camera only.  Look closely (enlarge the shot) and you'll see the little fellow contrasted against the rich green he is perched in.

Upper left of center
I cropped the shot.  This is as good as it gets with this little Elph camera.  I could get some outrageous shots of birds with the big camera if I could bring myself to come here alone without the dogs.
He is totally rich, vivid, dark blue with a very small mask of black over his eyes.  At first I thought Eastern Bluebird.  But, they have light coloration and some cream and brown on their undersides.  Not so with this little guy.
The recent tornado's spared this grand old tree, thank heavens!

 We walked through the old ruins area and took a short break.  The dogs were contented and rested in the shade.  The sun was getting high in the sky and soon would prove dangerous for my friends.
Shade;  "where did you get that colorful tongue?"

He's the sweetest!

Part of a flower garden from the past

This is such a beautiful place.  We'll head across the meadow directly in front of us to the old barn.  It's a short walk to the truck from there.
My favorite tree in this old park

The old barn is just ahead.  I hope you enjoyed the morning hike with us.

I'm planning on putting a canoe in Tellico Lake for a paddle across to Citico Creek this afternooon.  I'll drive to the lake and make a decision weather to launch depending on the boat traffic there.  Again;  I thank you for looking in.