Saturday, December 24, 2011


click on photo to enlarge
Another year is almost over.  They seem to pass by faster the older I get.  2011 has been a year of great occurrences for me;  some good and some bad.  The best thing that happened to me is the good fortune to be rehired into The Tennessee Wildlife Resource's Agency. (TWRA)  It's been a long wait for the opportunity to once again serve this outstanding organization, with no guarantee of success.  My last employment with them was eight years ago.  I was forced to resign due to financial issues back home.  I was introduced, then, to a wonderful new way of life that I adored, and to a golden friend that was soon to capture my heart and soul.

It seems like such a long, long time ago when I roved the big lakes west of here in a fast TWRA boat with a golden colored puppy who soon became loved by all the fishermen on the lakes.

So much has changed since then.  I am older, and feeling it.  The golden dog, and my best friend in this life is gone.  My heart is, and will forever be, in two pieces over him.  A great new boat has been given to me by the agency and once again I am on the water roving the East Tennessee lakes for TWRA.

Douglas taught me about the innocence of dogs, and about the dedication they offer to those who extend a kind hand to them.  I learned so very much about his kind from him.  He stood tall on the bow of the state boat in those days and fishermen knew it was me coming over to check their creel when they saw the golden dog on point.

I miss him every day of my life and constantly think about him in all that I do.  I'll never, ever forget that sweet golden dog that was my best friend.  I've moved on from the tragedy that took him from me, I think but, I haven't moved on from him, and I doubt I ever will, or can.  No other one can ever take his place.  I wouldn't put any dog into the impossible situation of trying.  However, time stops for nothing or anyone and we all must move on.
He represented all that is innocent in life.
He was a dynamic presence in the wild.
He was my best friend!
 Yep;  it's been a heck of a year alright!  I purchased a house on about four acres when I moved over here to Cherokee Lake.  I never wanted a house but, one has to live somewhere.  The area is not to my liking but, one can't have everything.  Where I used to take the dogs for a ten minute ride to the mountains or lake;  I now travel back west of here for eighty miles to visit those places.  The area here is not wild and offers no place where the dogs and I can hike and discover the out of the ordinary places.  I'm beginning to understand why people who live in residential neighborhoods can't wait to cut their grass.  It's because they are bored.  There isn't anything else to do accept go out to dinner, movies and watch TV.  There isn't even a hiking trail around here that is a "real" trail.  Panther Creek has a trail but, it's one of those Sunday afternoon trails with signs dictating where one can go and can not;  put the leash on the dog at all times; park here and not there;  don't pick the flowers and don't get off the trail.  The trail signs even include the Mexican language below the American language.  I guess one could call it a city trail. 
I'm taking Shade and Falcor to Slick Rock Creek for a Monday/Tuesday camp out next week.  It's been a long time since I've camped there, for a number of reasons.  It's time I get back there.  Shade always loved it there and Falcor needs to see what the real wild places are like.  I can't imagine camping there without Douglas.   This is the first Christmas without him.  It seems to be such a special time all of a sudden due to his absence.  I hadn't thought much about it before but, the thoughts of him are washing over my mind now that Christmas is here.  I will be carrying Douglas along to Slick Rock Creek.
 2011 has seen the coming of an additional little friend by the name of Falcor.  Google "Never Ending Story."  He is quickly winning the hearts of all the fishermen he comes in contact with on the lakes.

He makes a pretty little hood ornament on the front of the state boat.
A fisherman told me he was pretty enough to be born a Harp Seal.  I guess that's a compliment.  But, Harp Seals lead a precarious life.

So, that's about it for now.  I've got the camp out coming up on Monday at Slick Rock Creek so, keep watch for that one.  It should be a nice entry here.  January first will find Falcor and me on a new lake, Douglas Lake.  You can follow us along as we learn this new lake.  I call it the "Mud Hole."  You'll see why.  That's about it for this entry.  I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all of you and thank you for looking in.

And so;   from Shade, Happy, Falcor, Chestnut, Homer and old Sigh;