Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hanging With The Big Dogs

I would like to introduce you to Rosie.  The newest addition to the DMZ.

Many years ago when I was little I used to love staying at my Aunt Peggy's farm house out in the middle of nowhere in the Oklahoma panhandle.  There were only two t.v. stations to watch from a 20 foot antenna and depending on the weather we might accidentally get a fuzzy picture from a third station in Ensign, Kansas so a person had to use their imagination to make the day pass by and my cousins Randy, Billy, and Terry were experts in this particular field of entertainment. 
Up in the Oklahoma Panhandle there aren't very many trees across the rolling plains and if you see a clump of trees out there you can just about bet one of two things are going on.  The first would be that many farmer/ranchers planted them around their houses to use as a wind break for those harsh panhandle winds that blow through the land or to provide shady cool refuge from the scorching panhandle sun.  The second reason you might see a clump (and I use the word clump because forest or grove would over exaggerate the number of trees that actually exist in that part of the world) of trees such as Cottonwood or Chinese Elm  that could be seen across the landscape was only because there was a pond, creek, or river near by.  Well it just so happened that my cousins Randy, Billy, and Terry lived within 200 yards of the mighty Kiowa Creek which trickled into the North Canadian River (or Beaver River as we called it) which runs through much of the Oklahoma Panhandle and this is where many adventures took place daily.  Randy lived on the west side of Kiowa Creek with Billy and Terry living on the east side.  All three boys were older than me so I saw it as a great privilege to hang with my older cool cousins.  How lucky could a five year old get to hang out with such wise and experienced individuals.  I was mesmerized by this fact and would have walked through fire just to hang with them.  I followed those guys around like a little puppy excited to see what the adventure of the day looked like.  I don't quite remember the details of how we planned out each adventure but we sometimes had top secret meetings in the old storm cellar north of Randy's house which jumped the whole experience into the "Mega Cool" category because none of my other five year old friends had an under ground fort (insert your Tim Allen "man grunt" now).  I don't even remember Uncle Bob and Aunt Peggy having a telephone in the house and we cousins must have communicated with each other by Morris Code, Smoke Sign, and probably Mental Telepathy because we all seemed to find our way down to Kiowa Creek at the same time each day and didn't go back to the house until late in the afternoon.  I can remember being so excited as I stayed in Randy's hip pocket as we made our way down to the creek.  Man those were fun times.  We would fish, hunt turtles, tell stories, have stick and dirt clod fights and even wade around in the creek when we got too hot.  I'm sure that I got on Randy, Billy and Terry's last nerve much of the time and they probably tried to ditch me a time or two but my brain just refuses to remember those occasions in order to keep all of those Kiowa Creek Adventures in that "Mega Cool" category of my five year old life.  

The reason I tell you this story is that Debbie decided the day after Christmas she needed a new Rhodesian Ridge Back puppy added to here DMZ (Debbie Mini Zoo).  Her name is Rosie and we aren't sure at this time how old she is because our vet wisely chooses not to work over the holidays but she is a short chubby red Rhodesian pooping machine right now and she has driven every ounce of holiday fragrance out of the house if you know what I mean.  She is mesmerized by everything Red Dog does and follows him E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.  She is his officiall "Mini Me".  Red Dog's world has been turned up side down and now has to share the "Good Life" at the DMZ with someone else.  I don't think he is very happy, happy, happy about it.  When poor old Red Dog goes to eat there's Rosie.  He goes to drink there she is again.  He goes outside to take care of some personal business and who is there climbing all over him...You got it, Ms. Rosie.  I thought yesterday might had been the final straw as Red Dog headed into the bedroom for an afternoon nap on his new Christmas bed but guess who beat him there....Rosie.  Red Dog has taken the presences of his new friend in stride but when he found Rosie sleeping on his new bed that was ENOUGH of that.  Red Dog snarled and Rosie wisely darted under our bed to avoid any retaliation for using his stuff.  It was about an hour later when I walked back into the bed room and there lay Red Dog fast asleep with Rosie snuggled beside him.  I guess a comfortable bed and a good nap can fix a fellow's attitude.  So later that afternoon with a good nap in the books Red Dog started showing Rosie the ropes.  He began patrolling the indoor parameter of the house as usual with Rosie close at hand watching every move Red Dog made and during the course of his patrol a situation suddenly arose that caused Red Dog to spring into action...There were strangers near the front door...Although the holiday has started to wind down some of our neighbors still had family visiting and were unaware of Red Dogs primary patrol rule which is that any person who has not been identified by Red Dog as a regular neighbor will be sternly warned with multiple "SONIC WOOFS" until they return to their appropriate side of the street and with no questions asked.  So as Red Dog monitored the situation out the front window he had no choice but to enforce that rule as strange children played near our driveway.  So the warnings went out very loud and clear to move away from the premises with "WOOF WOOF WOOOOF WOOOOFFFF WOOOFFFF WOOOOOFFFFFFFF".  I don't think that Ms. Rosie was quite ready for such a loud warning and immediately took cover underneath a chair in the living room but after a few moments she was back at Red Dogs side ready to help do her part to defend the property.  Once all of the "SOINIC WOOFS" were over and the children moved back to their own yard I saw Rosie walk up to the same window Red Dog was looking out of and not being able to see over the window sill started this low grumbling puppy growl.  Suddenly she squirted out two little "mini sonic woofs" and went to following Red Dog throughout the house once again.  Rosie successfully survived her first training session and walked away feeling ten foot tall and bullet proof.  Although the mission was successful Rosie has a lot left to learn and I can almost bet it won't be the last time that Red Dog gets annoyed with his new colleague.  But the neat thing was that this whole episode stirred up some great childhood memories of a time gone by when I was a little goober much like Rosie hanging out with my "Cool Cousins" having adventures on the old Kiowa Creek.  I'm pretty certain that my cousins remember the details as more of an annoyance than an adventure but they were still nice enough to put up with me anyway.  I laugh to myself when I think back on those days and how I must have acted alot like Ms. Rosie following Red Dog around.  I learned many things hanging out with them and I must give credit to my "Cool Cousin" Randy who taught me how to talk like Donald Duck and my first cuss word which nearly got my five year old head slapped off by my mother when I used the newly learned slang in front of her friends one day.  I won't repeat the word because of younger readers but I will tell you that the soap she used to wash out my mouth tasted nothing like chicken.  When I think back to that time I was probably way more annoying to my cousins than Ms. Rosie will ever be to Red Dog but those wonderful childhood memories live vividly in my heart and I will cherish them "FOR-EV-ER" to quote one of my favorite lines from the movie "Sandlot".  I can't wait to see what adventures Red Dog and Rosie get into as a new year begins and if they are anything like the ones I had back in the day with my cousins, it will be an interesting year.  I hope that each of you have a great 2013.  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.      


  1. I look forward to your Red Dog Tales and, with the addition of Rosie, I know your stories are going to be even better. Please seriously consider having these wonderful stories published. Your writing reminds me quote a bit of James Herriot. With a bit of fine tuning you could make a lot of people very happy with your fabulously fun Red Dog reports. Thanks for making my life a mite brighter.

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