Monday, June 29, 2020

The Dogs Of My Life ~ Post No. 7 ~ Bandit

And then there was Bandit. After I named him, I would have moments of regret as he lived up to his name, but then he would charm me all over again. 

Of all our dogs, Bandit was the one providing constant entertainment, always up to something, a dog so full of life, such a character, so smart, so much fun, just a wonderful, wonderful dog. 

Errol found him in a Home Depot type box store in the mid-1990s.  When Errol asked about the dog, the store clerks told him they thought he had been dumped there. They would put him outside and the dog would return as soon as he could and keep running around the store looking for someone. 

Errol was tempted, but left the store. After he had loaded up the van and was about to drive away, he noticed the dog resting in the shade under a huge tractor trailer truck.  So, of course, he had to rescue him and bring him home. 

Bandit was just a puppy. I took one look at his face with a black mask perfectly placed around his eyes and ears and I named him Bandit. For his long life with us, he would  live up to his name, particularly after Angel, his partner in crime, arrived a few years later. 

The first thing he did after he arrived was to save us from a fire. We lived in the house I bought in Pasadena at the time. An old wooden house. Our neighbors were away, burglars came and, as they left, set our neighbors' house on fire. Only a driveway separated our house from theirs. We were asleep, when Bandit jumped on the bed, onto Errol's chest and woke him up. 

So now he was our Hero, but still a Bandit at heart. 

He was a hound dog through and through, not a pure bred one, but his nose was to the ground, always. 

Bandit loved to eat and would do any trick I taught him to get a snack. That dog knew more tricks. What a fun dog he was. 

While still young, he got in trouble with a raccoon, but saw the danger and escaped without serious injuries. 

Bandit was still with us when we moved here. He ran loose and with us as we walked our dogs in the hills. We clearly should not have let him as he was getting deaf in his old age. 

One winter's day, as we were hiking with him and our two  other dogs, he disappeared. In the blink of an eye, he was nowhere in sight. He was gone and would not have survived a cold winter's night. Our black lab/border collie rescued him and I will leave that story for her post. She was the true hero that day.

Bandit watches as bats fly by.

I loved this dog so much I wrote a silly book of badly executed poems about him. Only thing they had going for them was that they rhymed and absolutely told his story. Perfectly! 

Here area few examples:

My name is Bandit and I am a hound 
born to chase prey into the ground
My sister Angel is such a nerd
Bred to chase sheep back to the herd

My name is Bandit
And I am a hound
I sniff and I sniff all over the ground
Each smell has a story to tell
The best ones I find on a post or a tree
And that's where I like to lift my knee

This goes on for page after page and as I read it now, it's all about my love for this amazing dog. 

As he aged, he got Cushing's disease and in the end his liver gave out. 

The day Bandit died was one of the saddest of our lives. I worked at the donkey rescue at the time and one of the staff there euthanized him here in our yard. Errol held him while I went behind the shed and cried my eyes out. 

He was around fourteen years old, so he lived a long and good life with us. 

I still miss this amazing dog and his sister Angel. What a wonderful pair they were. I will tell her story next month.

My name is Bandit and I heard that my dad
Found a new dog, a black female Lab
Should I be glad or should I be sad
On the one hand she adds to my pack
On the other she may steal my snack
But one thing I know to be true
And because of this I can't be blue
Daddy he loves me as much as before
And I am his doggie for ever more.

Sorry about that, I just had to add one more. I can't help it, I just loved this dog so very much.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Notes From The Canyon

Thank you for your happy birthday wishes. I really had to brag about my big day. I still feel young, or at least the way I remember always feeling, nothing at all like I thought one would feel at 80. Some parts don't work as good as they used to, of course, but life is still interesting and fun. 

Joyce and Solange came by with these fabulous flowers and balloons. Friends and family called, cards and gifts arrived,  and Deborah and August, my sister and brother-in-law, called and sang the Happy Birthday song in their lovely voices. I felt alone and a bit sad at the beginning of the day, but as the day ended I felt loved.

And the day wasn't without a bit of drama and comedy.

The show was put on by Faith, who, as it turned out, did not like the balloons! Here I sit with the balloons and my phone at one end of the room, Faith peeks around the corner, growls, then

turns tail and hides behind the corner. This she repeats over and over again. Meanwhile Samson is calm as always and does a little photo bombing, just because he can. 

He's become quite the photo bomber, my Samson.

I finally got tired of the drama and put the balloons outside, but this didn't stop her. She knew they were there and would have none of it. When I got really, really tired of her, I popped the balloons and was sorry to do it, but the weather was hot and I needed some peace. 

The following day Jeanne and Jon came over and Jon worked on my Jeep. It had a problem with its battery and something about oxygen, which they understood and I did not. I'm  grateful beyond words for their help. The Jeep seems fine now, I haven't taken it anywhere but around here, but I will. One of the highlights of my week is coming up -- a trip to the dump.

Earlier my niece and nephew-in-law gave me a huge contribution toward a new washing machine. This is what I bought, it's an LG, recommended by Consumer Reports. I like it a lot and I've never owned such a fancy one before!

Hanging laundry on my lines is still one of my favorite things to do here. It's so peaceful.

The other day, my phone beeped a warning message, the first one I've ever received regarding earthquakes. They have never been able to predict them, now they can with a very short window of time to warn people. It was for our county and said one was imminent, duck and take cover! 

I'm worried about fires, not earthquakes. I looked around for a place to duck, but found none, so I just took the dogs outside. I knew if nothing happened immediately we would be OK. As it turned out, the quake was more than 100 miles away, a 5.8 magnitude. I didn't feel a thing. 

But if the earthquake had happened right here I would have felt pretty stupid, still looking for a place to duck and take cover! 

As I walked outside on my birthday, I found this critter on my wall. I took it as a good sign.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Tales From The Vicarage ~ Scrabble, Shakespeare, The Queen Mother, And Tommy Steele

While I lived at the vicarage, I befriended a young actor from the Old Vic who taught me to play Scrabble and invited me to the theater to see some of the world's best actors perform in Shakespeare plays. Once I was at the Old Vic when the Queen Mother attended, but I couldn't remember anything more or how I came to be there at a gala performance. 

So again I went to the pile of my letters home, those with the sender address of : The Vicarage, Handen Road, Lee, London S.E. 12, England.

And there it was. This is what led up to me being at a fancy performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Old Vic in London.

The vicar and Mrs. Smith were good friends with a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Harris and their son, Douglas. The family would come over for tea or dinner every once in a while. 

There was going to be a special performance at the Old Vic to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the theater's reopening after the second world war. Mr. and Mrs. Harris were invited to the performance. When her husband became sick, Mrs. Harris invited me to come along and I accepted of course. 

We arrived and walked into a theater full of glitter, gowns and celebrities. The Queen Mother was there with the Duchess of Kent and I remember watching her.

I've never been much for royalty, but being in the presence of someone like that, even if I only saw her at a distance, must have made an impression on me. And on my memory. But as far as my memory goes, that's about all I remember. 

Reading my letter home, I learned that sometime during the evening, I ran into Tommy Steele, the singer who was Europe's answer to Elvis Presley and a huge star at the time. I have no memory of this, none. 

But I told my parents about it in a letter, so it must have happened.

I told my parents we had a conversation, Tommy Steele and I. And I didn't realize who he was until Mrs. Harris excitedly pointed out to me that I had just talked to one of the greatest stars in England, well in Europe actually.

Now about memory -- I never was a Tommy Steele fan, but wouldn't I remember that we talked for a while?

As I'm writing this, I keep thinking about the red fox I saw cross the ice on Jackson Lake at Yellowstone Park one winter's day in 1970. I remember it so clearly, I will never forget it's deep red coat against the snow. 

Tommy Steele -- I have no memory of meeting him at all. 

Douglas and I remained friends and, as time went by and I got better, I may have won a game or two of Scrabble. If not, I'm pretty sure I beat the vicar at it. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Happy Father's Day!

To all Dads I know (who of course don't read my blog) to my blogger friends and all Dads out there. Have a wonderful day!

Happy Midsummer to my friends in

Wild strawberries

Midsummer night in the countryside outside Stockholm

Happy Sankt Hans Aften to my
dear, dear friend in Denmark.

Happy Summer Solstice to my kind and

caring friends and family.

Happy Summer to you, my blogger friends. It won't be a normal summer, but I hope we can find some joy in each day.

Finally, today is a very big day for me. I will share how I feel about turning 80 sometime later, after it has sunk in.

Happy Birthday, dear Mommy
Happy Birthday to You!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

We Are Back!

At least I hope so.

I truly didn't mean to be gone for this long, but things happen and my attention gets diverted. I've had some issues here at home. A few uninvited critters, mice, yes a common thing when you live in the country, those little guys get in through the tiniest holes. But worse, not one, but two juvenile Northern Pacific rattlesnakes. One in my bedroom, that one I had to kill because of all the stuff in there, where it could go behind and disappear. The other one was on the open floor in my other bedroom and I was able to take outside alive and leave in my field below. 

Snakes in the house made me decide to clean out and get rid of as much as possible from the floors of my bedroom closets. There wasn't all that much left after earlier clean ups, but there was enough. I found some items of sentimental value, but since they had sat there for years and never been used, I was able to part with them. Mark came yesterday and took all that and my regular trash to the dump. 

My Jeep has some issues and I don't like to take the Honda to the dump, so that worked out well.

Then I finally bought a new washing machine, an LG, front loading, large capacity machine. It arrived and I had to ask Glenn to come and fix some of the plumbing in the shed where it sits before he could install it for me. I have a huge amount of laundry to do and really like my new machine.

I'm still sheltering in place with my dogs. I want to walk with them as much as possible and found an old pedometer that I had bought but never used. It's working well and we are all happy with our walks. Faith still runs at an incredible speed, even though she's a bit rounder now than when she was young. She can also still jump really high, straight up in the air, something she does whenever I walk by their enclosure. 

I've learned the Walmart app and used it to shop there and pick up outside the store. My friend Jeanne goes to Albertsons, where they have some of my favorite things. And she's picked up Icelandic yogurts, blueberries and cut watermelon for me. Albertsons also has an app so I need to learn how it works. But before that, I'm scheduled for a video chat with my primary care doctor this coming week. A first for me. So one thing at a time. 

Snakes and mice aside, for me country life is still lovely. I mean, you walk up a hill and come upon this beautiful horse. She belongs to my neighbor Bob and was just wandering around outside her fenced in area. Bob has his horses well trained and they won't go far. 

Samson and Faith are OK. The weather is getting hot, so there will be lazy days ahead for them. Soon I may have to turn on the air conditioning in the bedroom and stay there in the afternoons with both dogs, watching movies. It has become a summer tradition for us. 

I hope you are all well and I'm looking forward to be more consistent with reading about your daily lives and posting about mine. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails