Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The weather here in East Tennessee has been very unreliable.  We came off a 75 degree sunny day yesterday to storm threats, very high wind and extremely heavy rain today.  As you can imagine, this situation affects outdoor exploration in a big negative way.   I like to post things that interest me and dogs are one of them.  However, I understand that all readers aren't particularly interested in looking at pictures of dogs.  It has even been suggested that I start another blog dedicated to things not related to my outdoor activities.  I don't know about doing that.  It's sort of counterproductive, I think, because I can incorporate everything on one blog.  The second one would be double work.  The message the reader is sending is that they expect to see things associated with the wild places when they come to my blog and often times see domestic topics and photos.  I'll think about this a little bit.  But, fact is that the blog is about things that interest "me."  All one has to do is scroll down out of one topic and into another if desired.  I appreciate the comments.. It means you like the blog enough to make them.  I appreciate that very much.
Now - about this current posting.  I was sincerely prepared to take the canoe to Chilhowee Lake yesterday for an outing.  The weather was gorgeous.  I was on the front porch sipping coffee well before sun-up and getting things lined up in my head for the day.  I got the shower out of the way, put the camera and canoe gear into the truck and came back in the house to get the canoe out of the living room. I walked past the upstairs steps and all three dogs were sitting on the edge of the upstairs landing looking down and watching everything I was doing.  The front door was open and normally they would be out romping in the yard at the opportunity.  Instead they just sat up there watching me.  They knew I was leaving and they weren't going.
Its been a couple months since Happy and Chestnut were out for the entire day.  They've not been exhausted in all that time and exercise has been from the yard to the house.  I walked away from the canoe and got another cup of coffee.  I stood there and stared up at them.  Not a tail was moving.  They were putting a head trip on me without even knowing it.  That’s what I mean by dogs being totally innocent.

Time was ticking on and I had to get it going pretty quick.  It’s a long drive to Chilhowee Lake.  I went out on the porch and looked up into the sky and uttered, “damn it!”  They were still at the top of the stairway.  “Come on girls!”  They blasted down the steps an all three ran out to the truck, tails wagging.  What the heck.   I opened the door and all three popped onto the front seat.  What a ride this would be!  I quickly unloaded the stuff out of the back and returned with a jug of water for the pups.  It was over 75 degrees and I like to have some water for them.  We were off for the old state park.  This was getting gasoline expensive.
Its amazing how those dogs get to me.  I guess its because they are a responsibility I take very serious.  They deserve happiness and all they want to do is be with me.  How great is that?

They all were having a blast.  Chestnut had her nose in everything and Happy romped and romped.  I especially wanted Chestnut to have this opportunity.  She’s a hound and hounds weren’t designed to be couch potatoes.  Furthermore, I’m very proud of her.  She stayed close to us disappearing only for moments out of sight.  At no time did I have to call and call or search for any one of them.  I have some great girls here.
This old park is a blessing for my dogs and for me.  It’s a huge expanse of land that is inhabited by animals only.  It’s scenic and very rustic with very old buildings and fences hidden in the undergrowth.  Trees grow up through the floors of some and exit through the roof.  It’s a splendid place.
I wanted to get them down to the lake for water.  They were panting hard from all the excitement of this new place.  I was particularly surprised by how Chestnut acted when she got to the lake.  Ya have to remember that she is part beagle and part coon hound.
Just look at Chestnut’s face if you want to know what happy looks like.  Well, Happy is the little white dog also.
Look at Chestnut go!
For a moment my thoughts returned to my sweet Douglas as I watched the golden color of Chestnut following along behind Shade.  Precious thoughts!
Chestnut actually was catching up to Shade, the professional stick retriever in the group.
She grabbed the stick beside Shade and held on.  What a hound!
Ah Oh – here comes Happy the stick thief.
Wow – where’d the 
stick go?
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Chestnut sure reminds me of Douglas out there.  It gives me a lot of joy and happiness to see them having such a great time.  Their faces say it all.  They are not keeping me from doing something I’d rather be doing.  There’s nothing or no place I’d rather be than right here in their company.  Just look at those happy, beautiful face.  That is Joy!

Happy makes a pretty fair water dog for a terrier.
Happy waits until Shade brings in the stick and then plunges out and steals it. 
They were finally tiring.  We headed back up toward the old ruins area.  It was there that Chestnut jumped a rabbit in some tall grass.  I actually saw the rabbit run across an open stretch of grass but couldn’t get the lens on it fast enough.  I got the blurred picture below.  Chestnut is a fast little girl and I know she could run down a rabbit in open country.  Fortunately, this little bunny made it to the forest.
You can just barely see the rabbit as a blur in the shot above.
We have been here for many hours – all afternoon, and they were tired.  I think all will sleep well tonight.  We slowly walked back toward the truck all the while enjoying the colors of the day.
As I said before – this is a fantastic place that offers peace and quiet with the result of a thoroughly enjoyable outdoor experience.
I’m off again tomorrow, thank heaven, because there is some horrible, nasty weather moving in fast.  Tornado’s are not out of the question.  I just noticed another little bone splinter protruding out through my gum lower left side that is irritating my tongue.  This one just now appeared while I was writing this.  Will it never end?
I might mention here that this entire entry was designed using Windows Live Writer which allows the post to be created totally inside my computer and then uploaded, somehow, to my web site.  It may appear a bit differently when you view it.  We’ll see.  I guess you all received your fill of dogs for awhile.  I’ll have to pull the string on the creativity bag and see what falls out for the next entry. Thanks for your readership.  I appreciate you all very much.  Also, it looks like that foul weather I spoke of earlier has finally arrived.  It's been pouring rain all day but the wind has really increased.  Snow is to fall shortly.  Oh well.  See ya.