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Sunday, December 19, 2010


I've been very remiss in posting. My life has taken a turn. I'm retiring from my 911 operator job because I cannot handle any more stress like I have been doing. I can't go into details because some are pending court cases but just say talking to murderers, suicides and utterly stupid people have taken its toll. I am trying to get my Class B license renewed but that's taking more effort than I expected.

But the good news is my walking with Nature Hounds is going fabulously. The pups and I easily finished a 5 mile walk and actually could have done more. The lovely lady with me is from Rumania and we were having fun, at least I was, attempting a conversation. Note my new walking stick. Its a Brazos Hickory 55 inches and is sooo much better than my old walking cane.

Scarlet is doing wonderfully. I bought her some
Yucca to help her through the cold months.
She is fat, fluffy and frisky. Just the way she
should be at 22 years of age. What a wonderful
life we've had together. And look...Spots! It
only took her two decades to get them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What is wrong with Pit Bulls.

Let me say that I love Pit Bulls. Mine have all been love warts who want to be in your lap or in the bed with you.

What is a PitBull.

A pitbull can be: An American Bull Dog, American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Bull, English Bull Dog, English Bull Terrier, Minature English Bull Terrier, French Bull Dog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or a loose Labrador Retriever called in by a stupid citizen who is mad at his neighbor.

More importantly, what's wrong with PitBulls.

What is wrong with the pitbull is the owner AND the dog. Too many wrong headed people own pitties because they are big intimidating and strong. They present an image to the world of who the owner is. Pitties are sort of like holding a loaded gun. The gun doesn't kill people, people kill people but if the wrong person picks up the gun then someone can die.

The pitbull is a heroic, brave, strong, loving dog who does exactly what his owner wants. If you want them to guard your kids, they are safe. If you want them to guard your valuables (house, car or drugs) they are guarded. But if you want them to kill other animals for sport, money or your fear, then animals will die. Pitties will literally die for you, and kill for you.

They are wonderful marvelous dogs, but to own one you need Experience, Maturity and Wisdom. Training should be required, tests should be given, licenses should be mandatory. Of course, I feel the same way about Rotties, Dobies, GSDs, Malinois and numerous other breeds. Oh, and breeding dogs needs to require all of the above mentioned stipulations also.

But then, I want a 5 year moratorium on breeding all dogs. Our dog cup runneth over and too many good ones going down the drain.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm baaaack from the land of Dragons.

Here I am back at the computer trying to put the weekend into perspective.

Dragoncon is the land of dreams where you meet your favorite television personalities, your best friends and your wildest fantasies. I met witches and pirates and fairys and elves oh my. Not to mention my favorite author, the ghost hunters and Michael Shanks.

My girl friend fed us such magnificent things as biscuits, peach cobbler and dacqueries. I wore my hair down and costumes.

It was magnificent and always takes me about a week to get my feet back on the ground. And then wonder why I did feet, not Dragon con.

I almost cried when I had to get on the plane. At least I found the jeep and it started.

And the dogs were happy to see me.

Oh dear, I'm home and not nearly as happy to be here as Dorothy was.

Reality is such a bitch.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

life and animals

Dogs are worth more than any money from any where. When the ambulance came for me last March my little man, all 8 inches and 14 pounds, attacked the EMTs. The big ole policeman had to come and get him out of the room. Luckily he was the K-9 cop and knew how to handle dogs so no one got hurt.

After this experience death seems to be in my thoughts. It's like I can see it more clearly. Waking up in the hospital with a tube in my lungs changed my whole perception of life. I want to live it as fully as possible without fear. I want to walk even if I fall down. I want to ride even if I fall off. I want to see the world and enjoy it even at the expense of comfort for me. BUT it will not cause discomfort for my animals. They are always foremost in my mind.

Life goes on and in very unexpected ways. Abbott and Bridget are very much in my life. My doctor once said that if it weren't for my animals I'd be dead by now. They ARE my reason for living. Once several years ago before I got my condition under control, I couldn't ride Scarlet and I couldn't even walk the dogs. But every morning I would get up, go feed Scarlet and clean her pen, sit down and cough for a while then come home and feed and play with the dogs then cough some more and go back to bed until work time. They were an effort but they were/are MY responsibly.

Scarlet will NEVER be sold and should live another 10 years (she's 21, getting older for a horse). Abbott is 7 and Bridget 4 so I'm counting on at least 10 more years for them. When I lose each of them, I will make a decision. I predict that I will always get more dogs, probably rescues. I don't know about the horse because by then I'll be 67. Maybe an older rescue horse for just easy riding. That will depend on finances. I figure that there will always be a sad, hurt, frightened dog that needs me and I will need him just much as I've needed these two. I figure that the best tribute to my little lost ones is to get one of their kin to love...not to take their place but to make their own spot in my life.

Why? Because they are my priceless gems. Some people collect diamonds and dollars but I think I collect little hearts. I would rather feel them beating under my hand or next to me in the night than have all the gold in the world.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The sad story of a fat dog.

Oh, dear. I've not been blogging. I've been reading not writing and that's always dangerous.

I had a discussion with a pal about her dog. Their vet said he was too fat.

Well, sadly, he is. Big boned, large, fat Lab.

The cure? Diet dog food.

I was surprised. I didn't know they made such a thing, but then I feed raw. I do feed meat with fat on it but my dogs are not fat.

'Of course, JRTs are naturally much more active.' My friend replied. By the way my Pal is heavier than I am, I'm guessing around 250, so its no surprise her dog is overweight too.

Yes, that is true, JRTs are more active. They are really more active when you walk your dog every other morning for 2 to 3 miles. Then they aren't AS active in the afternoon. But diet dog food? Of course, you pay more for it so that you can feed your dog too much of it just like you fed too much of the other stuff.

Okay, here's my question. Why feed your dog too much food to make him fat? Control the amount of food he gets. Why not insure he gets enough exercise. Walk your dog. You will both benefit.

Her answer? 'I can't walk poor Pookie. He's sick.'

He has diabetes cause he's too fat! He's fat because he eats too much. He needs exercise which will help him lose weight. Walking is the best exercise for him but you won't walk him cause he's sick and has diabetes.

Talk about a vicious circle!

Oh, and he doesn't like to walk.

Uh huh. Sure. Right. How do you know he doesn't like to walk if he's never been walked. My two jump and run circles when I put on the fanny pack and the sun hat. WALKIES! WALKIES! WALKIES!

So there lies poor fat Pookie. He has a life span of 10 if he's lucky. He's sick because he's fat and can't walk to lose weight because he's sick. I've got news for my Pal. Pookie is also going to get arthritis and probably develop hip problems from carrying that extra 20 or 30 lbs.

But then, so is she. So in 5 or 6 years, if she's lucky, the two of them will be sitting at home with 'health issues' and watch me walk by their window with my two Jacks. She'll say that they can't do that and its a shame and I wonder why they can. It must be, oh I don't know, maybe genetics, or fate, or God's will.

No dear friend. It's you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recon Patrol 7/12/10

Today we had a long and rather hot RECON. I got up early and we were out the
door by 0730. We went a new route into a subdivision that's close to the house.
We climbed our 40 degree 'hill' then started exploring some different streets. The
neighborhood is a nice one with sidewalks and high privacy fences. There's even
a little park where we stop and drink water and I put some on the dogs' faces
and bellies to be sure they're cool enough.

The only problem is the privacy fences. When there is a dog inside the yard,
the Cpls cannot see him. This makes for a rather noisy passing as Bridget takes
offense at not being able to see the enemy. And some of them are quite large
and hit the board fence with enthusiasm. I even saw a German Shepard or
Malinois head come up over the 6 ft fence.

We had been going at a good clip and Bridget and I were arguing whom the
commander of this particular parade. She always wants to be in front and then
strains against the lead. Added to this was the additional stress of the
unpredictable attacks on the various perimeter fencing. Cpl Abbot as usual was
in his customary 1st Sgt's position at the rear of the formation happily
trotting his short little legs along.

Then we turned a corner to go up yet another street when I saw looming up the
hill an Samurai Sentry in the form of a huge black chow dog. He was standing
in the big middle of his front yard and giving us the evil eye. I stopped the
patrol and considered our options. We could go forward and engage the enemy,
but my two little Marines had been going great guns for 2.3 miles and were not
at their best fighting conditions. Plus, my main homicidal maniac had been
fighting me for the last mile. Nevertheless, she hit the end of her leash and
barked out her battle cry. Cpl Abbott looked at me like Longstreet to Lee at
Gettysburg and said "If you want it, we'll do 'er, but I'm not enthusiastic
about the whole thing."

As the Commander I took all options into consideration and decided to make a
dignified retreat. We had lost nothing on that street. The other soldier was
only guarding his own camp and had not made any hostile moves yet. And he was
Huge!! Even from the distance, he looked to be the size of a black angus bull.
Just a while back we'd successfully withstood skirmishes from two macho young
Pit Bulls but no actual blood had been shed. I liked out combat history. I'll
take one successful flanking movement and one peaceful outcome over a last stand
any day. My two marines have a combined weight 31 lbs, this guy probably topped
out at around 100 with or without fur coat. So we made a good about face and
headed down the lonesome trail. The Chow, like a good sentry, stayed his post and
watched us leave without comment.

We continued to back track until we hit our regular route and headed towards the
high school and then home. We made it down to the tennis courts but when we went
to cut across the high school campus at 3.07 miles, Bridget pulled back and plopped
down on the dirt. The good thing is that she picked a shady spot that we could all
enjoy the break. I pulled out the water bottle and the Home K9 Energy Edge'shake mix'
that I just got several days ago and mixed her a potion. She drank it down and lay
there happily as I washed her with the remainder of the cool water. She wasn't
abnormally hot, she just appeared all tuckered out. So we sat in the shade a while
took a short break and, when she finally got back up, made it back to the house.

I'm thinking that she's just not used to controlled marches. As a pup she just
did what she wanted and rested when she felt like it. So, since we've been
having forced marches, she just doesn't have the traveling stamina that Cpl Abbott
does. He stays calm and collected most of the time only having some mild panic
attacks when honking big vehicles come a little too close for his comfort zone.
He's only reacted violently once when a Labrador puppy tried to put a foot on
his head. When we get back from the marches he's just a happy little guy, no fuss no
muss no drama. She, on the other hand, is wearing herself out arguing with me and making promises she probably can't keep against much combatants. I mean I walk with a stick but it probably wouldn't have done much against Attila the Chow.

So that was our walk today. We actually logged 3.6 miles in about 2 hrs
including the breaks and the dramatic collapse. I'll probably take the little
darling to see her vet this weekend just to be sure there's not a real problem
that's manifesting itself as these apparent 'fainting' spells.

By the way, when we did get home, they BOTH had to run perimeter fence, chase the squirrels, threaten the Cocker brothers and argue with old Brownie. Then they came in and slept on the bed while I got ready for work. What a life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My pit bull adventures, or a tragedy waiting to happen

This is just some experiences I myself have had.

I walk several miles a day with my two Jack Russells. I'm 57 years and cannot run so anyone/thing I meet must be dealt with.

Several weeks ago I was walking in a field near a residential area. A beautiful silver pit bull puppy started following us. I believe he'd been at the park getting water from a leaky fountain. He had no collar or tags. I only had my two little dogs and they were very adamant that he was the enemy and should be fought off, but he was totally non agressive and backed away at my insistance. He headed back into the residential area and hopefully home.

Two days ago, Saturday night, I was walking at the high school across the street from us when another young rednosed pitbull started following us. My two again began the growling barking thing and I tried to run him off too. He actually rolled and showed his belly. When I did get him to leave I watched in horror as he ran out into traffic and nearly got hit. Becoming frightened he came back to me.

Being a complete sucker, I pulled my emergency lead out of my fanny pack and looped it around his neck. He had a fancy collar but NO TAGS! I dropped my two Jacks off with my husband who was a bit surprised to see my new friend. Did I mention that my female Jack had already bitten the poor guy once before I realized that she could get to him. Again, no agression on his part.

I took him down to a house on my street that I knew had pitties. They didn't know who he was but had seen him in the neighborhood recently. Luckily the man was willing to take him from me and keep him. He works in a 7-11 store and said he'd post pictures of him around. He like me just thinks the boy got out.

The point of my stories, why in less than a month was I acosted by pitbulls? Now, I love pitbulls, I'm not afraid of them, these were both young dogs, both had collars but no ID tags, both were intact males. Both were playful but non-agressive. I didn't turn them into the pound because of the euthanasia practices against pitbulls. Both times ended as well as could be expected.

I do not understand the thinking of these owners. Do they not think they can get out? Do they not care that their dogs run the risk of death on the streets or death at a pound? Both beautiful young dogs. Both friendly. Both doomed by their owner's lack of care and attention.

Its a trajedy waiting to happen.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

SIT-REP Comanche Lookout Park

DATE: 7 Jul 2010

SUBJECT: SIT-REP Comanche Lookout Park

TO: All JRT USMC on the dirt, in the water and in the sky.

FROM: Cpl Abbott (with help from Cpl Bridget.)

Today Papa got up real early to go to 'work' and he woke us all up at 0400. After he left Mama couldn't go back to sleep so she put us out in the dark while she futzed around the house. Then she called us in and put us in the Yella Jeep.

We rode a little ways and stopped at COMANCHE LOOK OUT PARK !!! Yeaaaa!! Its a great park that we'd been to once before with Nature Hounds.

The trails are really cool here. I mean really...there's lots of trees and picnic benches and places to sit and drink water. They're kinda rough hard stuff Mama called asphalt with lotsa gravel. Good grip for paws and tennis shoes. We walked and walked and there were lizards and rabbits and squirrels everywhere. There was even other prints that Bridget said was deer tracks.

We met several other doggie people out with all different kinds of dogs. There were just people walking themselves and some people were running. I think they are called joggers. Bridget wanted to go with them or for Mama to run but Mama says NO, Our Mama doesn't run. And guess what! Today she didn't fall oops at all. And Bridget didn't get too tired either.

We even went up the big hill to the tower. It's not a real castle, somebody just built it up there but its very nice looking. And you could see a long ways off from the bluff just past it. And there's even a water fountain up there with a doggie fountain too. Then we came down the hill and walked some more. We took the easy way down. Mama says there are some motivated people that go up and down the bluff face, but she wasn't that enthusiastic.

When we got back to the jeep, Mama said we walked 2.6 miles in about an hour. Then we had to come home cause she has to take a nap before work today. But we had a really good time and then we came home and we got raw beef heart for our dinner. It finished a perfect day for us.

Bridget and I are expecting Mama to be crashing for her nap soon. We will snuggle up to her and make sure she is comfy. She likes us to do that

So that's my sit-rep. It was a great morning and we'll sleep all day on the bed while she goes to work. I wonder what work is anyway.

Yours Truly
Cpl Abbott and Cpl Bridget
Firebase Cole , TX

Poem for Trooper.

I am a huge fan of I wrote this for Trooper, Patrick Burns' 16 year old Border Terrier that recently passed. I guess I have enough ego to post it here also. Saylor was his JRT packmate and they hunted together for many years.
I know God loves us, he gave us dogs.

Poem for Trooper.

Run, run, run to the bridge.
Greet your packmate Saylor.
Wag your tail and bow to her
be again the rollicking player.

You will be missed on this plain
of earthen warrens and pipes
where your master still listens
for your voice amongst the dykes.

For you are now one of legend
to those of us who know your name.
Your stories still we will hear
your life is now one of fame.

Be you proud, if dogs are proud,
where game is fast and burrows deep.
Sound off Trooper, nice and loud,
so Master may find you when he sleeps.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A commentary on LOYALTY and our little ones.

A commentary on LOYALTY and our little ones.

True loyalty is a very rare commodity in today's world. A companion who will
always stand by you is a 'pearl of great price' and is of untold value. There
is an ancient bond between mankind and our canine companions that was struck in
the ancient darkness of time immemorial. Many people have forgotten and violate
the pact by ignorance and heartlessness. Some dogs don't take it as seriously
as others. They will run and hide in times of violence or danger to them. But
not the Jack Russell. The old Parson would still be proud of the strain that he
developed from his great lady bitch, Trump.

One of the things I seriously love about Jack Russells is their undying loyalty
and their tenacity. We're always hearing about the ones who go down a hole like
Alice and can't get back. Or they get lost in the woods and have to be found.
There are even unfortunate stories of them attacking other small pets like cats,
ferrets and gerbils. These are true due to the innate nature of this little
rascals, because they were bred to be brave beyond common sense and savage to
their prey.

On the other side of the coin, however, there have been many many true stories
of the little ones standing by their owners/masters/parents to the bloody end.
There's the story of George who won the Victorian Cross for saving a group of
'his' children from attacking dogs. There's the story of the South African JRT
who remained to guard his master's body after he was killed by rebels in that
country's civil insurrection. There was the JRT who in England, saved his
Mistress from a rapist by viciously attacking the man after being kicked
numerous times. Then the story of the JRT who defended 'his' pub from burglars.
These news stories are becoming legendary.

Even television has given them a bow. There were the too perfect versions such
as Eddie and Wishbone. But then on Law and Order there was an episode where a
woman jogger was attacked and killed by an attack dog that had gotten loose in
Central Park. The investigating detective sadly commented on the death of her
little terrier dog who had fought the much larger dog to protect her.

I believe that if Nicole Simpson had possessed a JRT, there would have been
proof of her murderer because he would have sustained injuries. The dog would
not have been found wandering the streets in confusion. A Jack would have saved
her or died with her.

Oh, yes. We know they have their problems and not all human and canine personalities mesh successfully. You can have a JRT who doesn't work out for you. Something in
their background may interfere with the bonding. Or they may be too high energy
for your circumstance. If that happens, all you can do is return or rehome the
dog. They are too strong willed to conquer if the relationship doesn't take.
But we know that when we find them, or they find us, that we have a soul mate
for life. We are blessed with our little hairy Angels. And the loyalty they
give to us can only be returned as fully and as tenaciously as we can.

Cpl Abbott and Cpl Bridget.
and Scarlet the dependable Horse Marine.

Semper Fideles which means (of course) Always Faithful.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why some people should be hurt.

In my humble opinion, there are people who should be hurt.

I'm on a list for a dog rescue group. So, I often hear about dogs that need help and people who need hurt. A good friend of mine often states there are too many people who need killing, but not enough bullets or time.

Today I learned of a 13 year old lady dog who was turned into a shelter because the owner, a Minister by the way, got a calling from her god to go and do something else with her life. Notice this god is in small letters. I do not accept nor respect a god who calls someone to desert a helpless animal at a shelter.

Can you even imagine how this poor little angel must feel? Thrown into a cold cage and surrounded by others in the same plight? Abandoned by the only people she had ever known. People whom she had loved deeply and faithfully. My heart breaks for her. Even if adopted she will take a long time to recover.

Then there's the browbeaten woman who's getting a divorce and her estranged asshole told her to 'get rid of the dogs or he'd do it for her'. My first question is if she's getting a divorce why the hell should she do anything he tells her to do? I have a few others but they get pretty messy. I've tried to get in touch but to no avail so far. My husband is not happy with me. I want both dogs. Well, I want them both safe.

I deal with stupid people every day. I think that humanity took a biological diversification along about the beginning of the 20th century. We split, just like the Neanderthal and the Cro-Magnum did. Before then, people who were that stupid and mean were usually killed by some lawman or someone meaner and smarter than him. But starting about 1890 the law came to the land and a 'kinder gentler' time began. They didn't hang people anymore for murder, rape or horse thieving. They went to jail and continued to spoil the gene pool. I'll have to put the whole thing down again for the blog.

Anyway, I have a real hatred for these types who demonstrate a complete lack of morality and sensibility. I guess I can state is succinctly by saying...

Yes, I'm a prejudiced person. Now, I don't care what color, race, ethnicity, financial class, religion or nationality you are. However, I am deeply prejudiced against Assholes. If you are one, please stay far away from me, or I will hurt you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stargate SG1 Story

I haven't written one in a while. This is Gen so I feel comfortable posting this here.

Title: New Beginnings
Author: Debi C
Spoilers: New Ground
Category: Written for the Other Character Challenge. Not beta'd.
Warning: Gen. G-rated.
Summary: A new immigrant makes a decision.
Disclaimer: Not mine, wish they were, but then someone left them alone and I‘m letting them out to play.

What was this place anyway? It was dark and cold and sometimes dank. He had left his world because it was no longer safe for him. He was a traitor. He was despised. And now he was here, a stranger on a strange world.

He had left his world to come with a man of intelligence, courage, and wisdom to this new life. But it was difficult and he didn’t know what to expect. This friend, also an alien, had told him of freedom of body, spirit and mind. Time would tell if it was a lie.

Now, this man was taking him on another journey through halls, corridors and tunnels. It was a difficult trip but finally, at the end, a huge metal hatch was opened and they climbed out to an incomparable spectacle.

It was fantastic, it was magnificent, and it was awe inspiring. They were on a mountain top looking at a glorious view of sweeping vistas, splendid trees and a never ending sky. The sun shown warmly down on the craggy landscape. There was birdsong in the air. The wind gently moved his hair with soft fingers as if to welcome him.

“Look around you, Nyan of Bedrosia. Is this not a beautiful world?” Teal’c looked at him knowingly.

“Yes, Teal’c.” He replied to his fellow alien. “It is indeed that. But will it welcome me?”

“You must keep the secrets of the SGC but, yes, it will welcome you. There are several aliens who abide here in complete anonymity.” The big man replied with a smile. “This can be your new home also if you wish it.”

“But how will I live?”

“Daniel Jackson had applied for you to be allowed to work with him here. You will be suitably recompensed and you will learn much from him. He is a good man.”

“As are you my friend.” Nyan replied with a smile. “I think I would like to stay and learn about this planet and the universe.”

“Then, stay.” The two friends stood and looked at their brave new world.

“Oh, there you are!” A familiar voice called out to them. “Nyan, Teal’c c’mon. We’re going out to dinner. My treat.”

They turned to greet O’Neill who was leaning on a friendly tree. “Geez, Teal’c. Did you have to come all the way up here? Next time take it easy on an old man.”

“You are not old O’Neill,” the warrior responded kindly to his commander. “And yes I did.”

“So what do you think, Nyan?” O’Neill swung his arm to take in the entire view. “Think you’d like to live here?”

“I think I would.” He replied steadily.

“All right!” the Colonel said enthusiastically, “Daniel will be happy about that. He’s been wanting someone like you to work with. C’mon then, Daniel and Carter are waiting for us. Let’s go get some steak.”

“And cake O’Neill?” The big man asked with a smile already knowing the answer.

“Teal’c, there should always be cake.” The Colonel turned and led them down the mountain to their new lives.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Double Dog Dare

Things I've Learned by Walking my Two Dogs
Double Dog Dare.

I started walking my two Jack Russells together several years ago and I’ve had the opportunity to learn a few things about double dog walking. Cesar Millan’s methods are right, but mine work for my dogs. I’m not such a strict pack leader but then again, mine are JRTs. Here’s my take on walking my two ‘June bugs on a string’.

1. Use the same equipment on both dogs. Harnesses are NOT recommended, use collars. I don’t like chain chokes, as my dogs are both civilized and small. I prefer the martingale collar. I have heard some people can use a coupler, a short connecting leash between dogs, but I cannot recommend it with Jack Russells. I believe it could lead to fights and possible injury to one or both of the dogs.

2. The leashes must be the same length.

3. Carry a walking stick or a cane for protection against loose dogs, snakes, etc. If you have pepper spray that may work but it can backfire and it doesn't work on snakes.

4. Be sure your gear is fitted properly to include your clothing and packs. Think comfort and safety, pants not too loose or too tight, cotton socks with sturdy shoes. Wear a hat.

5. Use a backpack or a fanny pack for your supplies. You should carry:

A. water for you and your dogs, at least two bottles.
B. bowl(s) for your dogs to drink water from
C. pocket knife
D. whistle to signal your location if necessary
E. cell phone
F. Extra leash and collar for emergencies.
G. First aide kit (band-aides, sterile wipes, antibiotic cream, etc.)
H. wallet with your ID and if you have any health problems an updated list of your meds. I. always bring any emergency meds you might need on the trail such as inhalers and epi-pens.

6. If you've never walked your dogs before start by walking them one at a time to get them trained to the leash and your signals. Take your time with this as you are setting the foundations for their future behavior. I would suggest that you develop certain verbal cues to help them understand what you want from them. Words like 'Lets Go' to indicate forward motion, Perhaps ‘This Way’ for a left direction or ‘That Way’ for a right direction. There are traditional terms like mush, gee, haw and whoa but use what is comfortable for you. The dogs don't care.

7. Once you have mastered the walk try taking them both out together. If one is higher energy, in the beginning you might take him for a short walk alone then pick up the second dog afterwards. At this point in your training, I would recommend that you take one in each hand the first few times. Leave your stick behind at this point. This is just to familiarize them with walking together and to see if you have a fearful dog or if there is aggression between them. They can cause tripping problems for you and excite his pal. Dog fights can occur, be prepared.

8. When you all have become acclimatized to walking with each other, they you can start to fine tune the walk. Determine which side is more comfortable for you to control the dogs on and which side is more comfortable for you to carry your stick with. Traditionally, they go on the left side. I happen to like the right because it is my dominant hand, but that’s just me.

9. Position the dogs on the selected side of your body preferably side by side. Give your command and step off with the foot closest to them. This gives them a verbal and a visual cue to work from. Take a few steps and then give a halt command. Practice this a few times until they understand what you are doing. If they try to switch sides, don’t allow this. It can tangle you up and cause a bad fall. Just tug GENTLY on the leash or tap LIGHTLY on their flank with your stick. Do not scare or hurt your dog. This should be FUN for ALL of you, if it's not don't bother.

10. After this you will learn to adjust to your dogs and they to you. It is a learning curve. Each dog will react differently according to their natures.

I do recommend that you take things slowly and watch your feet. Dogs are tricky and will try to take advantage of many things to be where They want to be. But if you allow them free rein, you can get into trouble. You can take a hard fall just as easily on flat pavement as rocky ground with a tangle. This is a great way to get your exercise and your dogs’ also. It can be difficult at first and as I said, there is a certain danger involved.

You must be prepared, think ahead, and have the proper equipment in the arsenal in your backpack. Good luck and if you learn something I don’t know about, please let us know.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SITREP: Home Invasion

From the POV of Cpl Bridget, JRT USMC Cpl

Ooh, le'me tell it, le'me tell it!!

Okay, ruff, go ahead. But remember...

Okay, okay, I remembers.

FROM: Fire-base Cole

TO: JRTUSMCs all over the place

DATE: (what's a date?) {today of course, those numbers I told you.} (oh, okay)
DATE: 13 June 2010

Deer fella JRTMarines

I git to tell this cause it was me. Well, I gotta say, it was both of us, but I caught it and Abbott kilt it. First tho, Abbott sez I gotta set the stage.

We wuz all in the big nest all warm and comfy asleep early this morning when we hears something in the den. I wants to go see, but Abbott sez we gotta warn Mama. Sos we start barking. Mama sits up in the bed and finds her glasses and grabs the big ole iron noiseybang gun she keeps under the mattress.

She looks around kinda bleary eyed and calls out 'Dave is that you?'. Of course it's not Papa. Ifn it was Papa we wouldn't abarked. She sits in the nest and listens real sharp like. Then she hears it too. A noise...inside the house...a strange noise.

Well, hit ain't coming to the nest room, sos we go to guard alert. But silly Mama gets outta the nest and gos a loo kin carrying a holt of the iron gun thing. Well, we hears the noise agin and we go with her down the hall. Then I sees it!

Its a noisy birdy from the chimbley. Them dadburned birds have a nest in there and been making noises fer a week now. One of them has made the mistake of a-comming the wrong way down the chimbley and into the big room. Hes aflying and running into things.

Mama puts the noisy bang gun thing down on the bookshelf. I'm happy cuz I knows what it can do and I'm a little scairt of it. But now, its safe and the bird is mine. Abbott is chasing it around the room but hits too fast for him. Sos I come up and it hits the winder/door and I snatches it right out of the air and crunch down. Then I picks it up and takes it to Mama and drops it on the floor.

Well, she don't look real happy at first but she knows this is what happens to home invaders. I think she's just shocked and maybe surprised. Cause she looks at it and then says to finish it. Well, I knows we got to now cause I done kilt it but its still moving. So, Abbott, being senior Cpl an all, grabs it up and shakes it like a good terrier. Feathers fly everywhere and its ded.

Mama looks at us, says what good Marines we are and ask s ifn we want to go out. Sos we go outside and run and bark and pee like wes susposed to.

Yeah! We guarded Mama, guarded the house and kilt the invader. We good JRT Marines. Yeah!

(is that okay?) {Yea, now Mama will check it and sign it for you, you did good.} (No bro, we done good.)

Yours truly
Bridget Cole, Cpl
Firebase Cole, JRT Marines.

FROM: Firebase Cole


DATE: DATE: 13 June 2010

Okay, the pups scared about 5 years off me this morning.

I was sound asleep at approximately 0500, when Abbott started barking. Bridget was standing next to him but not barking. Of course this wakes me up and I grab my glasses and my 38. I sit up in the bed and don't hear anything at first, then I call out for Dave. He knows better to come into the bedroom unannounced when he's not supposed to be at home. (He's at Lake Sam Rayburn on a fishing tournament.) But no, its not him.

Then I hear it, a flopping noise. And then something being knocked over. So I get up and call the dogs to me and we go down the hallway, Abbott in the lead and Bridget behind me. She's afraid of a gun, probably from her feral days. Then I see it. Its a barn swallow, or mud swallow. We have a community nest in the chimney. A youngster has come down the flu and is trapped in the house. It flies down to about about a 3 ft level and that the end of it. Bridget gets it and its pretty much dead, if still breathing. So, regrettably, I let the pups finish the job. Abbott picks it up and crushes it. Poor thing. It made a bad choice this morning.

But, nevertheless, my two Marines guardians did their jobs like well oiled machines. I was awakened to an intruder, they accompanied me on patrol, and the invader was dispatched in a quick lightening strike attack. So its now 0715. I can have my oatmeal, and head to the barn before it gets too warm.

Hoorah, my little Marines, Hoorah.

Debi, Cpl Abbott, Cpl Bridget and Capt Scarlet the horse Marine

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown

Friday, June 11, 2010

The 10 Commandments from a Dog's Perspective

After all, all he wants is your love. He doesn't care if you are carpetbagger or king. You are his leader.

The 10 Commandments From a Dog’s Perspective

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me―it’s crucial to my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you.
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’ve been out in the sun too long or my heart may be getting old.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.

―Stan Rawlinson

Rescued Rescuer

I would never believe that I would write poetry. I write stories, and even a novel or two, but poetry always seemed something a little boring and a lot prim. But I find I can express myself better emotionally with a verse. This is being used by a wonderful lady, Christine Camp, for her program the Alberta Russell Rescue Organization.

Thanks Christine for your great work. You are an Angel on Earth.

Rescued Rescuer
by Debi Cole

Yes, my new baby, my puppy, my child.
I see all your baggage and to me it is mild.
I have some too; some memories to share,
But I'll take you home first and get comfy there.

I'll tell you the stories of joyous times past
and for me the bitter-sweetness will always last.
I'll tell you of Racer and Bonnie and Tiger and Gem.
They once had your place some long past time when.

I'll remember them with sorrow, and speak of my pain
But from my sad losses will come your happy gain.
You see, my new lovely, they taught me so fine
Of how to care for you and to help your hurt mind.

How to feed you, and walk you and how to properly train
So that I can understand you and all of your pain.
I know you've been hurt, starved, frightened and left
I know that you're wanting to start over in a new nest.

So, my dear, we'll face our tomorrows together
We'll walk side by side in all kind of weather
We'll work very hard to heal our hearts old hurts
Our new lives from now on will prove both our worths.

So come to me gently, so lay by me here
So that in our new partnership we will give and get cheer
We will pledge our devotion to one and the other
We will share our new lives and our love to each other.

(to the memory of my lost little ones)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My doggie adventure

I don't know how these things happen to me.

I had a flat tire which caused me to be on a street I'm not normally on. I passed a housing development with high brick fencing all around it. But running down the street was a white blob. I passed him then realized he was a lost dog.

I immediately pulled over to the curb and put my flashers on. (no shoulder on the road). Another car misses him and honks so he's all scared and confused. I get out of the car and hold my hands out and call 'C'mere baby, c'mere.' And he runs right to me. I grab him up and jump back into the jeep and put him in the passenger side. He's a Jack Russell.

He's so happy to be safe again he's giving me doggie kisses. I thought to take him home, but we're in Schertz, not my hometown of Converse (about 10 miles away). So I decided to take him to the ACO because that would be the 1st place his Mama or Papa would look (I hope). He has a collar but NO TAGS! But he also has a collar with a box on it, and Scott, the ACO officer, says its a NO BARK collar. Grrrrr! No chip either.

Of course, they all know me there and Scott looked at me and said 'What's with you and these Jack Russells. Now they're just coming to you off the street.'

So I filled out the 'found' paperwork and Scott says they'll hold him 5 days for the owner to claim him. After that he'll be available for adoption. I'm gonna keep track of him and they know I'll take him before anything bad happens to him. He's a cutie wire haired boy, full grown and fat. I'm sure his people will claim him but they'll have some fines to get him out of jail. No license, no rabies tag.

I hate people who don't take care of their responsibilities.



I called the ACO today and am pleased to advise that 'Baby' as I referred to him, was picked up by his very upset Mama. Not only was she worried to death, but she got a fine for no license, no rabies tag and dog running at large. If she'd only had an ID tag on him, I would have brought him home for free.

While I don't always agree with the ACO system, I was happy to hear that she was punished monetarily for allowing her little one to be exposed to dangers like other loose dogs, wild animals like snakes and being injured or killed by cars on a very busy street. I hope the family will learn to take better care of the little soul entrusted to their care.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What is a JRT Marine

Well, I belong to a wonderful group of people who have Jack Russells. In our many discussions it became apparent that JRTs make perfect Marines. They are loyal, faithful, tenacious, proud and always look good.

So within our group, Jack_RussellsUSMC, our little fur kids are considered Marines. So once in a while, My Cpl Abbott or Cpl Bridget will make a Sit Rep Report to the rest of the group. Here's the latest one.

SUBJECT: Nature Hounds Recon @ Eisenhower Pk

TO: Cpl JR Dugan and all the JRTs on the ground, in the air and on the sea and his boss too

DATE: 29 May 2010

Dear Cpl JR

Mama says I have to write this one cause she's 'a whipped puppy'. I think she's too old to be a puppy but that's what she says.

She got us up early this morning, packed all our stuff in the big car and put us in the back seat. We rode a long time and when we got where we were going it was really different from Fire base Cole.

It was reaaally rocky and everything was going up and down. It wasn't flat hardly at all. We met with several other Mamas and their kinds of soldiers. There was a medium black terrier girl, a big fuzzy Aussy girl, a medium sized black lab boy, a black/brown Malinois boy and a HUGE brown Dane guy. Everyone was really friendly except the Malinois who had a red wild rag around his neck. He growls at me and I growl back then Bridget jumps in and starts yelling at him that nobody messes with HER pack-mate. Mama and his mama pulls us apart and we all got quiet again.

Then we started the hike, Mama says it was NOT a walk. We walks awhile on kinda uphill path then boy howdy it got really vertical all of a sudden. Sometimes it was like big ole stair steps and that was hard but we could jump to the top and wait for Mama. But at one point it was like a ladder thing that reached about 3 times as high as Mama. Boy did she huff and puff on that one. She had to use her hands as paws and climb up that way, and we were trying to pull her up but we just couldn't.

Finally we got to the top but going down was just as bad. All rocky and gravelly and slippy cause the rocks wouldn't sit still. The lady with the terrier girl fell oops on her tail and it hurt her feelings. They walked with us for a little while but then they took a short cut back. But not Mama, she was the slowest one there even though we tried to help her. That left 3 other mamas and us.

The other ladies was real good on the trail, real skinny and healthy. But Mama and the us walked slower. Then, dad-burn it a rock rolled under Mama and she fell oops too. But she picked herself up and off we go again. The other ladies were waiting up aways and we all sat and rested for a little bit. After that, the Malinois lady and Mama walked together and talked about us pups. She found her boy in a park all by himself lost and alone so he loves her so much he wants to protect her from other dogs. Bridget and I told him we was once lost too, so we understand and we three got to be pals and nobody growled or nothing.

At the tail end of the walk Bridget pooped out on the trail. We had to wait for her to cool down and she drank a lot of water, almost two bottles. I only wanted a little cause I knew I was in charge and had to take care of Mama and Her too. We walked a little slower and finally got back to the trail-head and the big car. We all said good bye and we got into the big car and Mama turned on the A C button and the car got really cool. It was wonderful!

Finally we got back to Firebase Cole and we slept for 3 whole hours on the big nest while Mama and Papa went to see a movie thingy.

So, we all had a wonderful day except for when Mama went oops and Bridget got tuckered out. But now we ate dinner and we all feel much better. Mama says she's proud of all of us, including herself, for lasting on the Rough Trail at Eisenhower park.

Abbott Cole, Cpl, JRTMC
Cpl in charge of Firebase Cole

Just a quick note from me. It was a hell of a march and much rougher than I anticipated, and I embarrassed myself by falling, but I have a real sense of accomplishment for finishing the trail. Bridget overheated herself again by getting too excited and trying to do everything the hard way but she got over it quickly thank goodness.

I feel very lucky to have found this group and I'm looking forward to going out again.

Debi, too pooped to pop.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cookie's story

A cautionary tale. There is no neighborhood that is safe.

A series of emails about a lost Jack Russell.

To: lostanimalsfound@comcast.netSubject: Lost Jack Russell Terrier

I hope I can get her back.
Her name is Cookie.
She weighs approx 16 lbs, 12+ years old, deaf and shakes alot.
She has an Avid chip.
White with large brown spots.
Docked tail, semi up ears
Her tags fell off her collar, but her collar is leather with brass cows on it as in photo.
Lost in a.m. of 4/28/10, Wednesday, from my home off N. Post Oak between Awty School Rd and Westview.
I really apprecdiate your help.


This is my neighbor’s dog. Please post far & wide to try to help get Cookie home where she belongs!!

I have also attached a flyer that can be printed and posted by all!

Please get Cookie home!

Subject: Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier North Post area/Westview Spring Branch - still missing!!!Importance: High

Cookie is STILL missing. Please continue to circulate and look for her! Her family misses her so much! Anyone that can hang even one of the attached fliers is helping so much! Each flyer hung around town – even far from where she was lost- gets the word out to more people.
Thank you!

Subject: FOUND!!! Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier HAS BEEN FOUND!!!Importance: High

I’m SO pleased to let you know that, after 4 very long weeks away from her family, Cookie is HOME!! Her family is beyond thrilled. J

Thanks to everyone for helping spread the word on Cookie.

Subject: FW: FOUND!!! Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier HAS BEEN FOUND!!!

Cookie has been found!!! I emailed owner for details - she asked that I call her (which I haven't had a chance to do yet). Apparently someone found her and they were basically holding her for ransom!?!??! At least she's home and I hope her owner will now NOT let her go outside for any length of time and leave her to her own devices. She's old and deaf and doesn't need to go out for anymore than to pee/poop and back in.

Subject: Re: FOUND!!! Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier HAS BEEN FOUND!!!

Thank you for sharing the news. Hal-La-LOO- YA!!!!

Subject: RE: FOUND!!! Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier HAS BEEN FOUND!!!

Well ... just got off the phone w/the owner. Check THIS OUT!! They live in a gated subdivision - Cookie didn't even make it OUT of the subdivision - apparently this people picked her up shortly after she went missing and have been calling the owner since day one from various pay phones asking how much she would pay for her return!?!? Then they'd hang up and the owner wouldn't hear again for several days. They called another time and told her they needed a new car! She said she wasn't buying them a new car. She didn't even know if they REALLY had cookie or just how crazy they were. Owner says they're crack heads and I don't know if she's just using the term or if that's a certainty. They got her back last night - the owner made arrangements to meet them in the parking lot of a hamburger joint and she paid them $1,000 for her dog. Cookie was full of fleas and skinner but she's home now and the owner has learned her lesson insofar as leaving the door open for her to go in and out. Owner said she had friends @ the parking lot in various places watching just in case. Good grief! I'd have gone there, too but I'd have taken a good friend who is HPD and about 6'5 to meet them. She did get the license plate of the car and plans to give it to authorities for whatever can be done.

Subject: RE: FOUND!!! Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier HAS BEEN FOUND!!!
What a freak! I’d uv taken a hog leg!!!!!

Subject: RE: FOUND!!! Cookie - 12-yr. old deaf Lost Jack Russell Terrier HAS BEEN FOUND!!!Yep too.

the end

A happy ending to a cautionary tale. Everyone please be careful and hug your little ones tonight. There are bad people out there.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

loose dogs and cats

I'm a little, well, perturbed comes to mind as a good description.

Out at the barn I board Scarlet at the manager is a nice enough guy. He lives on the property with his wife and his youngest son. He holds a green card which means he's a legal immigrant and is working to stay here.

I like him and his wife, though there is sort of a language barrier. I say sort of, because my John Wayne Spanish and his Ricky Ricardo English gets us through most conversations. He takes good care of the horses, so we're all happy.

Well, except for one thing. He had an adorable little Chihuahua mix. She ran loose on the property and was killed by a car. They have another dog, a white poodle. She runs loose too. I know she will probably have the same fate as the other dog. This really upsets me. And I mean a lot.

I had almost stolen Camilla, the Chi, because she was all over the place and I knew she wouldn't last long. But, good people don't steal dogs from others. Now Blanca is in danger. Not only from cars, but coyotes, rattle snakes etc not to mention getting kicked by a horse.

Technically, she hasn't left the property, so they're not breaking the law. But I also don't see tags on her collar for rabies and city license. She's fed, and she does get attention from everyone, but I'm still very concerned for her well being. After all, we ride past Camilla's grave several times a week.

It's a concern, but I have no answers. I don't know what to do.

We do also have a barn cat, but she belongs to the owner and is spayed, has her shots, etc. But again, cats don't seem to get hurt or killed as often as the dogs do out there. She's happy keeping the place clear of mice and snakes.

But Blanca, I'm afraid, will come to a bad end at a young age.

I don't understand why good people allow their pets to run into danger like this. Of course, lots of people do this. I don't want to get racial here, but a large number of Hispanics seem to do this around here. They don't seem to place any type of value on animal lives.

Like I said, I don't understand.

Doggie Dash and Russell Rescue

Yesterday I spent the morning at the Schertz Doggie Dash advertising for Russell Rescue. It was fun and maybe I did some good. Out of about 500 people, I guess I talked to about 50 and had good conversation with around 10 of those.

Talked to a Personal Trainer who wants a JRT as soon as son gets out of college and she can relax a bit. She took contact info for the future.

Talked to someone who just lost a terrier mix and they took info on a dog.

Talked to an older lady who didn't want to bother with raising another dog, though she missed her old dog (rainbow bridge) and loved terriers. I told her there are LOTS of older dogs out there that need homes. She got an aha look on her face and took contact info.

A lady walked up and announced she had 5 JRTs, one of which she just found. She's an ANGEL! Loved swapping stories with her.

Enjoyed Diamond Dachshund Rescue, and saw a twin for Abbott, except for slightly different face, different ears, and different tail set. Possibly from the same puppy mill. His name is Marty cause he's a parti...colored. No seriously, probably second or third cousins. Also saw a horribly scarred dog from acid on his back, and a baby puppy I think was from them also. Probably from a pregnant Mama.

Talked to Austin Boxer Rescue about white deaf Boxers. Too sad about what the AKC is doing to their dogs. Closed breeding is NOT a blessing, but a curse. So happy JRTCA refused AKC and best of luck to the Parsons out there.

Silvers came through with a donation of food. Lovely people, I went by later and got some alfalfa and wormer for Scarlet. They get my money every time because they are so good to RR. I was invited to the store on vaccination day to set up my little table again. Maybe some farmers who would want ratters will show up. That would be awesome.

Petco @ IH 281 also very nice. Donated some food too and helped me put table in the jeep.

Talked to a young man with a very bad Afghan Hound that he obviously loved. She was probably bred to the hilt but was too small, no curl in tail and had a coat like a dust mop, but he bragged on her for quite a while. I love watching owner and dog devotion. She obviously worshipped him too. So nice to see that. Talked of a Golden and a JRT abandoned at the kennel he got her. They rehomed the Golden and kept the JRT. Nice people even if they can't breed dogs.

Met lots of adopted/rescued dogs. Lots and lots. All shapes and sizes, one possible JRT/Dachshund mix. Very cute. Black mottled DH color but with Bridget legs.

Probably accidentally insulted Chihuahua owner. Big dog for Chi, looked heathy and happy. Again, long legs and good body. When I mentioned possible Rat/JRT blood I hurt his feelings, but the dog was obviously much healthier than a lot of the Chis there.

Very warm, humid day just wore me out. I was glad I didn't bring the pups. I couldn't have kept up with them.

When I got home, we went to lunch and then I came home and crashed for 4 hr nap. It was a good day.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I was listening to a local radio show as the host was discussing Immigration. A Hispanic man called and said that he thought that all the Anglos should go home back to Germany, England etc.

I immediately got angry as my people had come here legally under Mexican rule, followed all the laws and then rebelled, along with a lot of Hispanics against the rule of Santa Anna. My family has probably been in Texas longer than his. Land always belongs to the winners of wars. We didn't buy it, we weren't invited, we won it.

I had to stop myself from calling in to remind him that his forefathers took their land away from an indigenous people. If we followed his theory there would be large Aztec Pyramids all over San Antonio and his beloved Christ would never have left Jerusalem. Or would that have been the Incas or the Mayans.

If we're doing such a bad job in the southwest, then why are all the honest hard working Mexicans trying so hard to cross the border to get jobs here in the USA? Why are honest Mexicans hiding in their houses at night fearing for their lives?

What is wrong with the Arizona law that merely asks that one identifies themselves. National ID Card? Why not? We already have state ID cards and we, all of us, have to show them along with proof of insurance every time we interact with any government agency. It's called a Driver's License. And if you can't drive a car, its an ID card.

Its not the poor Mexican emigrant that we fear, the one who only wants to get here to better himself. Just get a Green card and come on over, always more room for the law abiding. Its the crooks who want, not to improve themselves, but to drag everyone down into their morass of evil and fear. They are killing the very people who would help them if they needed it.

Don't fear the dark children, look into the light and fear the monsters there.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Heaven's Gate

Once upon a time a good man died. Then he woke up riding his favorite horse, old Bob, with another good one, Cheyenne, trailing along and with three of his best dogs; Spot, Tiger and Racer trotting beside them.

'Okay, this isn't so bad', he thought. 'I know I'm dead but I'm here with all my best friends on a nice road to somewhere.'

So they continued along for a while and he realized that he was thirsty for something. Then he saw a gate in the distance. It was very fancy, painted white and there was a magnificent angel with a halo and big white wings sitting there at a big ornate desk with lots of books in front of him. One was open and he was writing in it.

"Hello!" the angel said. "Welcome, welcome."

"Well, hello." The man got off the horse and went up to the gate. "What's this all about?"

"You're at Heaven's Gate." The angel smiled up at him. "You have earned your just reward. Come on in."

He pushed the gate open and started to enter leading his friends.

"Oh, I'm sorry. You misunderstand. The animals can't come."

He stopped immediately and looked at the angel. "What?"

"Animals don't have souls, so they can't come in. You have to leave them behind."

The man thought a moment then closed the gate. "Sorry, if they don't come, I don't come."

The angel shook his head. "If you say so. Goodbye"

So the man continued walking down the road. They crossed a bridge and went up a little hill. There was another gate, smaller and unpainted, and another angel sitting at an old wooden desk. He had some file cabinets behind it and a notebook in front of him. His robes were homespun and his wings were a nice soft grey color. He smiled up at the man. "Welcome, come on in and get some water."

The man looked at him and pushed the gate open. "Can my pals come?" He asked hesitantly.

"Of course, they've waited a long time for you. They should be with you."

So he entered the gate and there was a watering trough for the horse, a bowl for the dog and a pitcher for him. They all relaxed and rested by the gate visiting with the kindly angel.

"Well, my friend, welcome to Heaven. You've just crossed the Rainbow bridge and if you go along this path you'll see lots of your old friends waiting for you."

"Thank you, I appreciate this." he paused. "You know there some fancy outfit down the road claiming to be Heaven and stealing your customers."

The Angel smiled at him. "No, they're only doing us a favor, weeding out the undeserving. Your best friends left their own paradise to get you, guide you here, and be with you for eternity. But if you abandon them along the way for a fancy gate and some well dressed impostor, you don't deserve to be in Heaven after all." He stood up and dusted off his simple robe. "They're the ones doing the picking, I'm just the welcome wagon."