Thank God ! They are friends at last.
I took this picture when we weren’t home, to find out how they behaved when were gone.

Well not really , although we have the technology to do so. My wife says I like to talk like that because I am distantly related to Yogi Berra. She may be right since I’m always saying things like him. Actually, nobody talks like him anymore because there’s so many people already doing it.

This is Uschi and China Blue. You have never met China before because before we got her, I used to like cats. She’s half Russian Blue and half Siamese and never shuts up. We got her for my daughter’s eleventh birthday birthday. That was over fifteen years ago.

My daughter is a grown woman now living in another country, and we are blessed with a decision she made just before she turned eleven.

So now eighteen months ago I bring home a giant puppy. I had no idea what effect this would have on an old grouchy set in her ways cat. Some people and cats don’t like for you to move their food dish. We didn’t move her food dish, but I’m pretty sure we brought the equivalent of an earth quake into her life.

For month after month she made clear her opinion of the changes in a way that can really only be accurately displayed with video and audio. The audio on any device would have to be turned down to just above mute. Did I mention she never shuts up?

After nearly a year and a half they began to come to terms.

The first signs were when she would tolerate Uschi in the same room. She wouldn’t shut up, but they could exist within sight of each other. Then China started using power plays to teach this huge beast who the real boss is. She started to claim the rug you can barely see in the bottom of the picture. That’s Uschi’s seeping pad and security blanket and very important to her.

China won that territory. She only uses it occasionaly to remind Uschi who’s boss.

To keep this story under two thousand pages I’ll just tell you that, eventually they began to touch, and then they learned to groom each other.

Now you see them plotting against us while we are gone.

It’s taken a long time, but now they are best friends. An old Cat and a Dog ten times her her size have made peace.

People could learn a lot from these two.

Of course China still never shuts up.


New Doggie In Town

New Doggie  In Town

This is Dixie.
Uschi and I went for our regular mid morning walk down the dead end street where we live yesterday. We always do this after some chores and some play and and some training.

As we approached the last house on our short little street, I heard a young woman’s voice that I recognized yelling,” Uschi! Uschi!

People always ignore me when I’m out with Uschi. They fawn all over her, but me …oh no. It’s like I’m not even there. It reminds me of when I entered my forties and became invisible to teenage girls. What am I? Maybe her butler or pooper scooper or one of her subjects?

At any rate; scampering out of the house comes our neighbor calling out, ” We got our
new puppy!” We got our new puppy!”

At first I didn’t even see the cute little pup all cuddled up in her new mom’s arms. When I did it was love at first sight.
After much excitement and introductions we learned that she is a Goldendoodle. She is eight weeks old and they just adopted her the day before.

Her father is a standard sized Golden Retriever and her mother is a mid sized Poodle. She is as sweet as can be and very smart. She has beautiful highlights, and I think they found a very good new friend.

One thing for sure is there was love oozing all over the place, and this puppy is blessed with a wonderful new home.

Uschi has a new friend, and our neighborhood is better than before.

Thank God for doggies.

My Dog and History


It’s a New Year now, and time to come clean about some things.

I have often written about my best friend Little Bear. She has been used in several posts. A couple times without her permission, I must confess.
I have even misrepresented her gender; a venial sin at least in this time of over kill political correctness.
You must admit though, that she is very photogenic. If I had used pictures of myself I’d still be waiting for my first view.

Here’s the thing though. Her name is not Little Bear. It sort of is, but not exactly. Bear with me here. I know that was terrible, but desperate world famous writers, must do desperate things to wade through their own delusions.
Her real name is…… {drum roll here}…. Uschi!
Uschi? Are you serious right now? Is that Japanese, or Chinese or American Indian, or what? Surprise! Surprise! It’s German.
Here’s how it all happened.

Someone in our house got Dog fever real bad. You can probably guess, it wasn’t my wife. She’s somewhat younger than me, and her immune system is stronger, so she was able to fight it off. She loves dogs, but wasn’t ready for a giant new baby in the house. I was oblivious to the ramifications of such a project, and that’s why I spelled Dog with a capital letter. I didn’t want a dog, I wanted a Dog.
In order to entice my wife to go along with a new pup, I offered her naming rights. I held onto veto power though, just in case she came up with something like… like…., well I don’t know exactly, but just in case.
She came up with a brilliant idea. She doesn’t know me much better than I know myself.
When our daughter was an undergraduate student, one of her professors was from Germany and named Uschi. She was an extraordinary woman, and gave my daughter advice that changed her life and as a result ours also.
Uschi is a diminutive of Ursala which means little girl bear. Ursala is diminutive of the Latin Ursa meaning little bear. How can a larger word be a diminutive of a smaller word? I have so much to learn.
The picture of Uschi taken about a week after we first met, shows the cutie factor I had to deal with. One of my friends said, ” shes going to be pretty big when she grows into those ears.

The beautiful Picture is of the martyr Ursala around four hundred A.D. I don’t remember what she died for,but because of her fame her name became popular from that day forward.
That’s how my best friend Uschi became a part of history.

I took this first picture tomorrow, since all the bad weather coming our way will make it unpleasant to go out side. I just wanted you to see what Uschi will look like after the great storm hits.


Uschi   6 2012 021

Fallen Leaves

 This morning as Little Bear and I braved the nineteen degree cold , a noticeable change had ,and was taking place outside.

The trees were no longer hesitant about giving into the inevitable coming of winter. They were seemingly resigned to sacrificing their leaves , so that nature could do with them whatever she will.

  In our back yard the grass was completely covered , with browns , and yellows , and reds , and colors I can’t describe. The Tulip Poplar tree was raining leaves as big as a large man’s hands all morning. There was just enough breeze to help them fall in a way that was so like a beautiful snowfall , or some very special rain that comes along from time to time.  By noon or so it was over. Leaves still fell , but it was back to the trickle , that has been happening since autumn began

 That moment in time was over. The sun was bright , and since it was no longer hidden by the leaves , which until recently had diffused it’s position somewhat , it was heading south.

  We can now see parts of our neighbor’s homes across the small valley that we all share , but sometimes forget all summer long. Most of us have moved here for that very reason. It’s like living in our own private forest. We’ll I’ll be; we do live in our own private forest.

  The Squirrels were running around like crazy, Do Squirrels run any other way?


After the walk and some play, it was time to gather wood , to fend off the coming cold. I filled the wheel barrel , and headed toward the pile I always keep ready in a dry spot for cutting into different sizes. Just then I thought I smelled poop. I looked around and didn’t see anything. Then I noticed a large leaf stuck on my boot. When I reached down to pull off the leaf , I pulled off a lot more than I expected. Somewhere in my travels I stepped in a pile. Using the leaf I removed as much as I could , but in the process got some on my hands. Now I am trying to use the leaves to clean my hand and my boot. You can probably guess how well that all worked out.

Now I know what nature had in plan for those particular leaves.

Thank God for fallen leaves.

Dog door etiquette

Hello dog lovers.

Does your dog misbehave at the door? Are you embarrassed when visitors stop by? Do you feel totally out of control with the whole situation?

  Fear not. There is hope . It is not complicated , but it will take work and consistency on your part.

  The first step is to teach your best friend to sit when going in or out of all doors in your house. Starting as young as possible is a great advantage. You will have to do this dozens of  times and then hundreds of times and then thousands of times. I only said this is the first step. I never said it would ever end. Any thing you teach your dog will have to be reinforced for the rest of his or her life. Think….little child.

   You will need to use a command to get your dog to sit. I Recommend “sit”. Any word will work. You can even say “rainbow” or ” bowl of beans”, but that seems silly to me. But that’s just me.

  Once your dog has learned to sit make them do it every time you go in and out the door.  You must do it when it is raining and when you are in a hurry and when you have on nice clothes. You cannot take no for an answer.

  When they have begun to learn that this ritual is just part of life , then you can go to the next step.

Step two is how do you tell them it’s time to go through the door? This is important because they can’t sit there forever , and you must be the one to decide when it happens.

  Another command is needed. I recommend “let’s go” or ” ok”. Once again you can use ” rainbow” or bowl of beans” as long as you say the same thing every time.

  Step three is eye contact. You will notice that after pooch has gotten the idea that sitting must happen , and you will decide when is time to go through the door with the command , your doggy may be a little over anxious to get in or out. Nudging forward instead of calmly waiting may occur, or whining with impatience are signs that you still don’t have total control. Your friend still wants to make part of the decision.

  To get control is simple , but requires continued consistency and concentration on your part.

  Once you have reached the door and your dog is sitting and waiting for your command do nothing. Wait until he or she looks up at you. That is the moment when you give what I call the release command. { “ok” , “let’s go” } or whatever you choose. At first your dog may have trouble figuring this out. The more they do the eye contact they more they come to realize that this is how it works. It helps you both to connect , and since   dogs are very visual animals they will become calmer. They are capable of multitasking . They can still be excited about what’s on the other side of the door , while focusing on you for the signal.

  If you do this every time you enter or leave the house then it will become automatic especially as your dogs becomes more mature and you learn to read each other better.

  Its not complicated , it just takes a lot of work , and you must keep it up for as long as you know each other. If you get lazy and let things slide a little too often they see that as a sign that they can take over and make the decisions.


  That’s just the human nature of male dogs.


Lucky old man



An old Scottish saying

An old Scottish saying

Little Bear and I went for our early morning walk today ,and found it to be a quite chilly morning. I was pleased with myself for bringing a sock hat ,and some thin cotton gloves , for the first time since last spring.
We awoke later than usual, since I fell asleep on the couch last night, after a long days work. The blessing was the sun , creeping over the horizon and we; perhaps I should say I, could see where we were going. I’m pretty sure Little Bear knows what’s out there , be it light or dark. Of course her senses are always on full alert ; while when I first wake up , stagger down the road like a drunk.
The hat and gloves jumped out of my jacket soon after leaving the door. The difference in my comfort was immediate and , I began to focus much better. The drunk was becoming sober.
Bowser was chewing on Elm saplings as we walked, That’s one of her favorite activities anytime she’s out doors. We Have no Elm trees growing inside? What’s on those leaves that she craves? I’m going to have to Google that.
She got me to looking at the changes of Fall, and particularly the colors of the leaves.
As a life long outdoors man, I’m sharper than your average Little Bear , and began to look at the changes in all the trees. Not just trees, but the bushes, flowers, and everything.
The persimmons trees are turning slightly yellow but hanging on well ; except for the fruit which is plentiful this year and if you look closely deer droppings will be near.
Ash trees seem to be turning yellow and dropping at the same time. Tulip Polar trees are half and half, yellow and green but, not really falling in a hurry. Dogwoods are holding to green, according to the light and weather direction, while still wanting to turn that beautiful burgundy red that looks so wonderful from far away. They like to grow on the edge of woods, where they can get that extra sunlight that gives them stunning blossoms in the spring , and yet allows them to use the fall sun to create that red in autumn.
I can’t cover every plant in one blog , but you can tell it was a wonderful walk.
Heck, Little Bear even did her business before we got home.
Now it’s time to throw the Jolly ball. It’s really made for horses , but Little Bear handles it easily. I throw it up and down the hill behind our house a thousand times. She doesn’t ever seem to get tired before I do; which is weird because she’s the one doing all the running.
When shes slows down at all , I take it as a sign it’s time for me to chop some wood. It’s supposed to be 32 degrees come this Thursday night, and a good warm wood stove will be quite pleasant, and the energy company can stick it.
My back hurts so it’s time to stop. I’m looking at the dead wood piled up , and thinking about the live trees I’ve told you about, and the legal fact , that I have paid off this house and all this property.
Just then , a recollection of an old Scottish saying, engraved in stone, outside the Parliament buildings in Edinburgh Scotland Came to my mind. You can read it above in two different languages , if you are bilingual , or lived five hundred years ago , or however that works out for you.
I don’t own this property, Though I’ve paid dearly for it.
It is by the grace of our creator, that my family gets to use this , tend to it, or, however you want to explain it. Yes we live here and survive and enjoy this place but, how and why can never really be understood.
And I thought we were just taking a poop walk.

Lucky old man