Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A dog in one's life~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Life has a way of thrusting things into my sphere of life, be it adventures, problems, good friends, family events or things that seem to develop for some reason that’s unknown to me~~~at least at this time.

I have traveled up to my country house and had a very nice, relaxing and fun Valentine’s weekend, enjoying the town’s Valentine’s Dance and the Fireman’s Valentine’s Fund raising Pancake Breakfast---they add 7-up to the batter, for some reason it makes it fluffier.

Laughter, catching up with events and people, finding things for the house, enjoying the peace of the area.

And a dog.

In my last blog I told you that when I arrived there was a stray dog on the front porch that my caretakers were not familiar with, but the next day Hal took another look at the dog and said he thought it might belong to an old man who lived on the other side of town, a bit of a recluse in his old age, but he’d come into town from time to time as he needed things in his old truck and a big dog that “rode shoot-gun”.

But what puzzled him is if it’s that same dog why so far away from home? I said that maybe we can find the answer at the Vet’s, I had called earlier and the receptionist said to bring the dog in, the Vet had a very light day for a change she said.

At the Vet’s office we were surprised when the receptionist upon seeing the dog said “Buddy!!! Where have you BEEN!!?” came over and rubbed his head and the dog responded very affectionately. The Vet came out and confirmed that it was Buddy, the old man’s dog.

As sad story in a way, the other day a sheriff’s deputy was doing a standard-welfare check on the old man, it was the deputy’s habit to stop by the fellow’s place every day, especially in the winter time, the old man was over 90 years old and the historical society had made arrangements for the daily check since the elderly fellow had no living family.

The deputy found the old man dead on the back porch from a heart attack, the dog no where to be found, supplies in the back of the truck, but the house was locked. The deputy found strange human foot prints and believed that the old man and his dog had frightened off trespassers and the dog must have chased them for a long time, being so far away from his home the dog wandered around and somehow came to my house.

The Vet told us that Buddy was voice trained so if Buddy ran after any trespassers and the old timer was unable to call out Buddy would have kept after the strangers until exhausted and lost. Somehow the dog must have thought that my house looked familiar and went to the shelter of the front porch until we let him in.

Hal remembered that the old man did come to the house a few times with the dog, delivering old time farm and ranch equipment for the barn for the historical displays, and the dog would romp around the place.

The Vet gave Buddy a through checkup and told us what he is suppose to have, so Josie made arrangements to pick up Buddy’s things and it looks like we have a dog.

The Vet offered to have Buddy bathed, since he had volunteers arriving in a few minutes and we could pick Buddy up later in the afternoon, that way he could also run some blood tests as well to be on the safe side although he pretty much was healthy. I said I would pay for the bill since this was a special case.

The question came up who would be the legal owner of the dog? Josie, Hal and I looked at each other, I could see that Josie would like to have the dog, so then I said, “All three of us” and was happy to see the relief on Josie’s face.

As Hal and Josie left to get Buddy’s things, I said I would walk around the town and would contact them by the cell phone to let them know where I was. We all had planned to come into town anyway for groceries and things and I wanted to look in the antique shops again to see what could be added to the house.

Bit by bit we are having it go back to the 1880’s which isn’t too hard to do, much of what was found in the attic and in the barn could be used, and some pieces were being refurbished but still there was a thing here and a thing there I wanted to add, especially in my Bedroom.

Josie had suggested that I look at an old treadle sewing machine at one of the shops that was in excellent condition, she thought it would look very nice in the very small room to the back of the house, she remembered her Grandmother-in-law saying that way back when it was the sewing room because it got such good light, to keep it warm there was a very small stove and a pot of hot water for tea was always on it, and we had found the vent in the room for the stove and the old stove in the barn, so I suggested that we re-install it, and that did seem right for it to be the sewing room since the cedar lined linen closet was just off of it.

Not only was the sewing machine just right, there was also an antique dress maker’s dummy, so I bought them both, and made arrangements to have Hal pick them up later in the week.

They called me on my cell and we met at the coffee shop for lunch, and there I discovered that word traveled fast about the dog and us. More than once someone came up to us saying they were glad we found the dog and was going to adopt it. Josie told me that she found Buddy’s food, and such and his bed but wanted to wash the bedding at the Laundromat and Hal bought some flea spray and was going to spray the basket while the bedding was washed.

I told them what I had purchased, so after lunch we went back to the shop and Hal set the date and time to pick up the large items while the smaller things I bought were packed in the SUV. Grocery shopping was next, and while we were at the store we ran into some of the historical society board members, they were going to take care of the old man’s funeral arrangements, he left his house to the society with the proviso that anything of value or historical interest be used for the museum or the exhibits that will be set up at the house, fortunately they were not interested in selling the house but instead will rent it out to a family who can maintain it and the income of the rent will pay for taxes and upkeep until they can decide what to do.

We picked up Buddy next and he looked wonderful and ready to go, so with just a few voice commands he took up his space as “shot gun” Josie said to me, “I’ve been displaced!” but Hal with a few words told Buddy to go to the back seat, and he joined me resting his massive head on my lap. Looking at his size I was glad that more food was bought for him.

That evening after dinner we went to the Valentine’s Dance, Buddy came along and was a perfect ‘gentleman’, lying down under the table out of the way and occasionally getting a tidbit from someone. Josie said to me we might have digestion problems during the night---but we didn’t.

I had my share of dances with various partners including one 8 year old boy who appears to have crush on me, I’m going to have to be gentle with him until his attention turns to another girl or cars.

We got back tired but happy, and Buddy was once again in his old sleeping bed, his familiar things with him, but I noticed during the night he’d walk around the house checking things, even coming into my bed room, since I have a habit of opening the door after I’ve dressed for bed, some how it felt very reassuring. And he was a good boy, no accidents.

The next morning dawned a bit gray and cold but the Pancake breakfast was a success, such a huge turn out, and again word had traveled around that Buddy had a new home. At the house I noticed that he seem to prefer being around Josie which was fine since I would only be coming up only now and then, I suspected because Josie is the “food maker” and with his sleeping bed under the kitchen table he can lay there close by the delicious smells of food.

Monday was a relaxing day, I put some of my new purchases for my bedroom up and Hal and I walked about the property to see what to do next, Buddy came with us checking on this and that and seeming to fit in with the place.

Afterwards I felt a bit tired and took a nap, since dinner wasn’t going be on for a few hours but the house bit by bit is coming together as it looked when it was a working place, so not only will we live in it but it is also ready for tours for the season. One thing we replaced esd the stove, the original stove is sitting in the barn waiting to be worked on, and it will go into the smaller foreman’s house, and be used for living history demonstrations, but we replaced it with a more modern one that was rebuilt that uses gas and is also a wood burner, one of the areas for major renovation is the kitchen it had gotten a modern work over in the 70’s but doesn’t look well, fortunately there are some old snapshots showing the old kitchen before the 70’s re-do and we can use those photo’s to re-adapt the kitchen back to it’s original style but with some modern things; we still have to have a way to hide the dish washer. But the pantry room which now looks dreary, we discovered was at one time quiet bright, some how a window got covered up so we are going to restore that as well and we'll put the refrigerator into the pantry area as well, since we discovered that it had been partitioned.

Plans lots of plans.

Hal and Josie e-mailed me saying that Buddy has settled in real well, but when they went back to the old man’s house, Buddy looked around and whined, Josie thinks Buddy is missing his old master. Not knowing what to do she found an old flannel shirt that belonged to the man and placed it in the SUV and Buddy seemed to settle down with that.

They told me that the Historical Society has made arrangements with a retired military vet and his wife to stay in the house to maintain it and keep vandals away, until they can go through and catalog everything and move anything valuable out to a safe location. And they will help the Society with things.

Right now I’m back in the Bay Area coming back on Tuesday Morning and driving directly to work seemed to be the right thing to do. And I caught up with everything,

It will be a while before I go back again, a lot of things to do here and family events.

It’s cold right now as I write this, I’m tempted to start a fire in my fireplace but I need to see if it’s an O.K. day to have a fire first. My friend Janet called me and wants to do something together, she’ll be here any minute, so we’ll decide what to do.

Lillian is still visiting her sons, I had a nice chat with her last night and she’s doing well.

But this cold just creeps into the bones. I will be so glad when Spring finally gets here, although some of the trees are blossoming and Yoshi and I are planning to once again go to the Chinese New Year’s Parade, that means layering on the clothing and be prepared for rain.

Janet is here, time to go.

Kisses, Sweet Things.

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