It=s sort of hard to start a story from the ending, just so you understand that=s about the only way this will work.
It is a nice day, suns out and warm. Sky is blue and there is just the smallest breeze just enough to keep the air moving. I=m headed up the Grizzly Peak Trail a place I have walked many times and one of my favorite places.
Jim and I have come this way many a time to enjoy the peace and quiet, watch the wild life and just to get away from it all. Now I walk the trail by myself and wait, Jim will show up one of these days and I will be here, it=s just not his time yet.
You see, I got old and I got sick, I did my best to stick around, the last year was really hard, Jim was doing everything he could to keep me happy and healthy.
One of my last times up here on the mountain with Jim, he carried me in a baby back pack because he knew just how much I loved the mountain. He told me AJasper, just because your legs don=t work anymore doesnít mean we can=t go to the mountainĒ.
Then the day came when my old body just started shutting down, I knew I was leaving my old wore out body and my only worry was for Jim. I know he understood, he told me it was ok that I could go when I was ready. Plus they didnít make me lay around and suffer. They didnít want me afraid because I had lost control of my body, they let me go fast.
I had heard all those stories about this big rainbow bridge that we run across when we leave the world. Tell you what, I don=t know whose story that was, I went from a body full of pain and legs that didnít work to running up the trail to Grizzly peak.
Sort of took me by surprise, I so loved to run up that hill and here I was storming up that trail like I had jet engines on my wheels.
I=m just about to the top of the mountain where I can lay on a big flat warm rock and watch the valley below. I can even see Jim=s house from here and think back to all of our good days together.
Maybe I should go back and start at the first of my story. The first things I remember were my Mom, big surprise, and my brother and two sisters. Mom had help taking care of us as there were two aunties lived in the yard with us. We had this nice big green fenced yard, a great place for a group of Schipperke pups. I wondered what all the fuss was from time to time; strangers would come into our yard, walk around us and make comments. Then they would pick one or two of us up pull our legs and look in our mouth. After all this upset, these people would just go away.
Then one day this man showed up and was shown into the yard. The minute he stepped into the yard I was overcome with the need to be next to him. So I followed him around and would jump up on his leg asking time and again, pick me up, pick me up. So at last he sat on the edge of the porch, reached down and picked me up. He asked the man who owned us A can I see the papers on this pup@ I didnít know what papers were but they must have been important, because when this man holding me saw the papers, he held me so much tighter I was having a hard time breathing. I heard him say A I=ll take this pup@ So at a day or two before I was six weeks old I left my big green yard, my Mom and family behind and went with this strange man. Still I felt, this is where I belong, yet I couldnít wonder just a little bit what was going to become of me.
As you have guessed the man was Jim, he picked me up and we left where I had been living, in his old red Jeep pickup. He put me in the seat beside him and held on to me with one hand while he drove home.
When we got to Jim=s home I had another big surprise, there were other strange dogs living there. There was Bitty and there was Shadow. Shadow looked like me and I understood later Shadow was my uncle, you see Jim had been my Grandpa Tuffy=s person, until Tuffy died. Now Bitty was a dog the like I had never seen, yes she had black hair but it was stiff and slightly curly. She was a Carien terrier. Still I knew I had just become number one dog in the place.
That first night I didn=t know where I was going to sleep, but I shouldn=t have worried. Jim picked me up and lay me in the bed beside him. I had this little problem when I was born my Mom had been a little rough on me and caused me to have a hernia next to my navel. Jim didn=t want me cut on for the repair so he would hold me every nigh next to him in bed and push the hernia back inside and hold it there while we went to sleep, plus I always got a belly rub out of it. Jim=s idea was if he held the hernia in as I grew the muscles would hold the hernia in and I wouldn=t need an operation to fix it, and it worked, I never had a bit of problem with the hernia. After six months you would never know I=d ever had one.
There were a number of years there when I was young that Jim had to work. So every morning before he would go to work he would put me in my room and give me a treat. I didn=t much like him leaving me, but I understood people have responsibilities and us dogs have to take life as it goes. Out there in the people world they need money to buy food, that also goes for dog food and I do like to eat. Well in my present state, I can still dream about eating can't I?
The best times then were the weekends and vacation time. At first we drove the old red Jeep everywhere. Whenever the Jeep went and it wasn=t a work day I knew I was going also. Jim would open the door and I would climb up in that Jeep and place myself on the back of the seat. Then when Jim would get in and I would take my place on the back of the seat draped around Jim=s neck. I really liked riding that way, I had myperson in hand and I could see out all the windows.
Speaking of windows, therewere times when Jim would have to go out at night on his job, many of those times the people he had to go see where not too happy with him. Often when he had to go out like this at night he would take me with him and I would sit on the other side of his work truck and be as good a dog as I could because I really did like to go. This one night we stopped at this personís house and Jim did his thing and got back in the truck when a man came running out of the house. The window of the truck was down and the man reached through the window and was grabbing for the front of Jim=s shirt. I sort of saw red and the next thing I knew I was two inches from the manís face and was showing him my very pretty white dental work. He stepped back away from the truck real fast and said@ I think he might bite@ Jim laughed and told him to stick his hand back inside the truck and he could find out. Well what else was I supposed to do, that guy was after my person and no one touches my person unless I ok it.
The best times were when we would go to the mountains hiking or on vacation to the coast. There is a small town on the Oregon coast called Gold Beach and it has a motel right on the beach and the best thing of all is they allow dogs. We tried to go every summer but that didn=t always work, so we went when we could. I so love to run in the sand and chase the waves as they come in and out on the shore. I would get so excited when I could smell the ocean and I knew we were headed for Gold Beach.
Jim made sure we always had the same room and I remember he would open the car door for me when we got to the motel and I would run and sit by the door of our room after he registered. The minute he opened the door to the room I would run out onto the small landing where I could look through the railing and watch the ocean.
Then after we got our bags unpacked, it was down for a run on the beach before a hike down to the center of town for takeout dinner. I guess there aren=t too many Schipperke dogs in Gold Beach because often people would ask what kind of a dog I was and then say how pretty he is. Well I hate to tell them, I wasn=t pretty I was handsome.
Jim always seemed surprised when I remembered our room from year to year, you think elephants have a long memory, try being around a Schipperke dog.
I=m laying here on top of Grizzly Peak remembering all the things I did and places Jim and I went. It=s hard to think we can no longer do these things together, well not in the proper term of the word. I=m still around and still doing my thing with Jim even if he can=t see me. At times I see him look real close to the side, right where I am and one day he said he thought he saw a dog there, hey guess what folks he did. Only now I like to call myself the shadow dog, get it shadow dog.
The old red pickup just didn=t have enough room so we parked it to use only for hauling stuff and pulling the horse trailer. Jim started driving a large Jeep Cherokee. Now that car was the first car where I had my very own place. We put the back seat flat and took a foam footstool and made me a place to sit where I could see out the windows, be out of the driverís way and ride safe. I sure did like that old Cherokee but just like old dogs old cars die also.
We went on a trip to dig opals off across to the eastern side of Oregon just over into Nevada there are several opal mines that for a small fee you get to keep what you dig. Jim and I set off early one morning, Jim driving and me riding shotgun. We had the back of that old Cherokee loaded down to the point I was forced to sit up in the front seat. But I had made arrangements for that by fixing myself a seat where I could sit safe and not get tossed on the floor if we had to stop fast. About six o=clock that night we pulled into a camp ground just down the road from the opal mines and went about setting up camp.
We had a tent, sleeping bags and a little gas stove to fix dinner on. One of the interesting parts of the camp ground was a big hot spring they had turned into kind of a swimming pool. The thing about this pool was it had fish in it so while the human soaked in the warm water, the dog patrolled the edges.
The closest town was Denio Nevada that is no more than a wide spot in the road. The next bigger towns are about a hundred miles left or right when you turn out of the camp ground.
That first night we didn=t sleep to good, somewhere around midnight Jim was pulling me into the sleeping bag with him. Well that was ok, we were both so cold we couldn=t think about sleeping. Jim kept mumbling about spending the night out in that warm pool.
The next day we headed up to look at the different mines and see if we could find us some opals. We settled on the Rainbow mine and spent most of the day going through a big pile of dirt looking for rocks with opal color in them. I got so hot I wondered how I could have been so cold just the night before. Well you guessed it night came along and we were right back to freezing again.
The next morning we headed up to one of the other mines and had a grease seal on one of the rear wheels go out and get oil all over the brakes. Jim said A time for us to head on home bud@ we made it into Lakeview Oregon that day and found a motel where I could stay in the room. I look at myself as an outside dog and love the mountains, but that warm motel room was a big improvement over the tent from the night before.
While Iím talking about the old Cherokee, I sure loved that car and most of all racing it. There are two places in the mountains where we would often go. One where I am today, the Grizzly Peak trail and the other is waterfalls above Lost Lake off Shale City road.
Both places are only a short drive and are nice short hikes. Jim would often check the roads out to make sure no one else was going to be coming down the road then he would let me out of the car to run. I love to run and I love to chase or be chased. That was the hardest thing about my legs getting old, I could no longer enjoy my runs, nor could we take the long hikes into the Sky Lakes area anymore.
One other place we went but only once or twice a summer, because it was a long drive getting there was the Umpqua Hot Springs. Itís a great place for a dog because of all the smells, other dogs and people and dropped food. Well at first I didnít know what to think of the place. I thought it might be some kind of human mating ritual going on there. These humans would come up to these big holes in the ground full of hot water, take all their clothes off and climb in, except some of them didnít take off all their clothes and some didnít take off any clothes at all. I guess the sign did say clothing optional.
We drove up to the hot springs parking lot early in the morning, took our pack and headed up the trail.
We had to cross this big bridge and then take the trail going up along the Umpqua River to get to the springs. The trail comes out at the hot springs on a cliff about one hundred foot above the river. Itís such a great place for a dog and I think the people like it also, the crystal clear river below backed by all the tall trees, the warm water to soak in and air as clean as a spring day.
When we go to the hot spring there was one man already there, Joe was a retired fireman from a town nearby and was just there to enjoy the water and the quiet.
Jim got in the water and he and Joe talked about this and that while I explored out to the extent of my leash.
We had been there a half hour or so when I could hear voices coming up the trail. Five hippies came down to the springs and started to take off all their cloths and get in the spring. I knew they smelled bad, but I thought at the time that was just a dogís nose being a little over sensitive. Then this fellow with long hair went to climb into the spring next to Joe. Joe said ďdonít you think you should take a bath boy, one of these days anyhow. You smell so bad, you just downright stinkĒ. This young man turned to Joe and said he didnít believe in using soap or other unnatural things on his body. Joe informed him if that was his feelings he could just leave. That perhaps he should try getting a job, but no he smelled too bad to work so he must live on welfare. And Joe went on to tell him it was Joeís money the hippy was living on and he didnít like it.
Things were getting a little out of hand when this overly well fed young lady in a bright blue bathing suit climbed in the spring and splashed half the water out and down the hill.
Now Joe is really upset and is climbing out of the pool standing face to face with the stinky hippy neither of which had on any cloths.
I just knew there was going to be seven naked and half dressed people trying to toss each other a hundred foot down into that river below us.
I just sat off to the side under one of the benches where I wouldnít get stepped on trying to pick and choose what one of the legs I was going to bite if a ruckus started. Jim and Joe made the wise move; we got out of there and let the hippyís have all the water they wanted. After all they were the ones needing a bath.
I sort of got off my story there, shortly after we got back from our not to successful opal hunt Jim started staying home in the morning and not going to work. This was around the time I turned eight years old and at first I didnít know what to think about this. I had heard talk about retirement but in a dogís world there is no such thing. Now Iím thinking this retirement thing just might not be too bad. I get to go in the car all the time.
As I mentioned the old big Cherokee was starting to fall apart plus the fact it drank gas like it had a leak in the bottom of the tank. We started looking for a replacement. That car search in itself could be a long story. Needless to say we did find a replacement. We found a used bright red Jeep Grand Cherokee, a much smaller Jeep, but still a Jeep. I didnít think I was going to like the little red Jeep but we moved my bed over from the old Jeep and after everything was setup I got to liking the little Jeep better than the old big one.
I had my bed, water dish everything a dog could want to travel with right there close. Plus the ride in the little Jeep was easier on an old dogís body. I was starting to slow down just a little bit; I just didnít let it show.
We took the little Jeep and a friend up to the Sky Lakes trail one day, itís only a few miles to walk yet by the time we got back to the car I was slowing way down. Jim even picked me up and carried me for awhile. Little did I know then that a few years down the road being carried was the only way I could go to the mountains, Jim carrying me. As I said before he never once left me home because I had flat tires on all four wheels.
Every morning we would go out to feed the outside livestock and I would do my check of the hay barn for mice, then when I lost the push in my legs I couldnít go out to the barn anymore. So we got me a cart and fixed it up so I could go to the barn and also help out around the place. If a fence needed fixing we could just haul the wire and tools out in the front of my cart and I could sit there and supervise the job. I would also keep the horse and donkeys from running off with the tools.
Where Iím laying now on top of Grizzly Peak, I can look to the south and see Mt Shasta shining in the noon sun. Itís early spring and Shasta is still capped with snow.
One other spring Jim and I walked up here to the peak in the very early spring. Snow was still deep on the ground but the top was frozen over and I could run on it without falling through. We had made it to the top, had lunch and headed back down toward the car. Iím running ahead of Jim and doing my explore this and that when Jim started yelling. I turned and he was crashing through the snow toward me waving his arms and shouting. A big shadow came across me and I heard this rush of wings right on top of my head. I just got a good look at a large white owl that was thinking of having me for lunch, before it swooped up and away. Iíll tell you what for sure; it wouldnít have known what it got a hold of if it had grabbed this Schipperke dog. I would have pretended it was a kibble.
One time we stayed on the mountain until well after dark. Jim wanted to get pictures of the sunset and the lights in the valley. Not a big thing, Jim has spent many hours on this mountain in his life time, both in the daylight and dark. We started down the mountain with nothing more than the full moon lighting our way. About half way back to the car something came up behind us and I thought it time to get right under Jimís feet and let out a good growl. Jim stops and looks around to see what was going on and spotted a tall man standing half behind a tree across the clearing from where we were. Neither one of us thought this was the time or place to make new friends. We flat made it down off that mountain in record time. Then just about two hundred feet from the car there is a clearing where the trail switches back. Standing in this clearing was the tall man. We took a short cut, off the trail through the wood right to the car. The thing I was never able to tell Jim was that man didnít smell right. It wasnít a bear I know what they smell like.
We had just climbed out of the Lost Lake canyon and headed up the road in the old Jeep one day and I saw this man in a red fur coat running down the road towards us. Jim stopped the car and I had my head out the window getting a good smell of this man in a fur coat. Then I got excited, I had this over whelming need to get out of the car and give chase to this thing. It wasnít a man it was a wild animal and just because it looked a little like me but a hundred times bigger didnít mean I couldnít give it a good chase. Jim reached back and closed my window and saidĒ Jasper the last thing you need to go chasing is a cinnamon bear down into that canyonĒ. I had seen black bear before but didnít know they came in red also.
I guess here I should talk a little about my cats. Yes I call them my cats because they lived in my house with me and as such I called the shots. Image a Schipperke dog taking orders from a cat. Not!
On our place there have been many animals come and go over the years. Horses, cows, goats and chickens to name a few. Then we have the cats, the barn cats and the house cats. There were some dogs, but as time went along they all got old and fell by the way side. So the last few years itís only me and the cats.
Shortly after Jim retired he decided he needed a new roof on the house. One day he is working on the roof and seeís a small kitten playing in the sun out by the big barn door that goes into the place where we stack the hay bales and I get to do my mouser thing, oh how I love to catch mice in the hay, or anyplace else as far as thatís concerned. Anyhow Jim catches this small black and white kitten and brings her in the house to live in a crate back in our computer room. Now I like cats, that is when I get to train them. So from day one I made sure Puzzle knew who was the head of the house, me. After about four months Puzzle got the run of the house and I showed her how to come in and out of my dog door.
She was a good friend even if she was a cat. Many nights on the full moon we would go out and sit in the middle of my dog yard and watch the happenings of the night. I know Jim asked me what that cat and I were doing out there sitting side by side just watching the moon. What could I say, I donít talk human. Puzzle left me and came to the mountain about a week before I did.
Then there was Kit a big grey cat that Tyler (Jimís son) brought home in his pocket. He had been out to the lake and some people had just tossed this kitten out the car window and drove on. So home it came, now I thought I had that cat well under control.
We shared a bed every night right up to the time I came to the mountain. Only problem was he grew big, just about as big as I was. So sometimes it was a pushing match to see who got the biggest part of the bed. Sorry to say Kit came to the mountain to hunt with Puzzle and I about two months after I did. Guess the three of us just wanted to stay together. I still think one of us should of stuck around down there to keep Jim in line and watch over the house.
Of course I canít leave out saying something about Baxter. We live out in the country so people from time to time just drop off cats and they find their way down to the barn and now and then find their way into the house. Baxter was one of these; he said living in the house was better than an old drafty barn any time.
One night I was lying by Jimís feet and Baxter was across the room sleeping, when all of a sudden Baxter jumped up and took after something. I just got a quick glimpse of a rat run across the front room and go behind the TV stand. It had come in the dog door from my yard. Baxter is on one side of the TV and I am on the other and Mr. Rat is trapped in between. There is no way we can get to that rat. Jim comes over to see what is going on and seeing the rat. He said ďok guys, you hold him and Iíll go get the gunĒ in a minute he comes back with a twenty two pistol loaded with birdshot, leaned over the top of the TV and shot the rat. Guess what, it made that rat mad and he came right up and over that TV. He was going to get somebody and he didnít care who. I guess itís lucky when he hit the floor on our side of the TV he was dead. Well I am a Schipperke dog a rat killer and a mouse getter, thatís what generations of my family tree, have done. So I think Mr. Rat would have been well taken care of if he hadnít already been dead. Plus old Baxter had my back on this one.
As I lay here and watch the top of Mt Shasta the sun is getting low in the sky and the reflection off the snow on the mountain is turning a rose color. It makes me think of the Schipperke friends I have who live down close to Shasta and also remember the trips Jim and I would take down to that mountain. Sometimes we would just drive down and enjoy the view and take a few pictures, of course Iím a very photogenic dog so I often ended up in these pictures. Now and then we would go to The Living Memorial outside of Weed California. Itís a memorial to Veterans from different wars, but mainly the Viet Nam war. I could tell when we were there a mood would come over Jim. Many times he would sit and play one of his Native American style Flutes. Sometimes he was unable to play and we would just sit and listen to the quiet.Coming Home
I like the flutes Jim builds, I enjoy listening to them so I would push close to his leg and sit and listen as long as he wanted to play. One day he said ďthank you Jasper for keeping me centered, there are many spirits that walk here in this placeĒ. You see Jim is a combat veteran and like he said one time ď Jasper, I was in combat forty years ago yesterday, I sometimes wonder why I came home and others beside me didnítĒ. I as a dog donít really understand this war thing, I do know at times like this I do my dog duty and stay near. There are no conditions on my love, when my person needs me Iím there. A paw to hold or a head to pat, thatís me. I think Jim sort of felt he was closer to his lost friends when he was at the memorial.
You might think I am ignoring other people as I tell my tale. A Schipperke is a one person dog, thatís just our nature, oh we are good family dogs and we love our families. But there is one person we pick and that is our person. So thatís where my memories run.
I wonder how those Schipperkes make it that lose their person. I remember Teddy after Lum was killed in a car wreck, Teddy didnít want to talk to anyone anymore and it wasnít long before Teddy died also.
It almost makes a dog wonder if they can be soul mates with a person. Perhaps they both hold a little bit of the other ones soul inside.
Yes there were other people in my life, but Jim was my person and of all the trips and places we went in my almost sixteen years on that earth, I think you could count on my toes the number of times someone else went along. But thatís how I liked it, we werenít man and dog or dog and man we were partners.
I donít want you to think everything was all goose livers and pork chops. There are times when the best of friends can have a little difference of view. Growing up and living on a small farm all my life was supper great. All the smells from the other animals, my mouse hunting in the barn, my very own creek at the bottom of the hill. Letís not forget the horse hoof trimmings a guy can chew on.
Plus I had my own room in the house, my own personal dog door and a nice fenced dog yard.
Some of those farm smells were pure perfume to a dog. Two day old cow pies and fresh horse apples, who could want for anything better to roll in. To get down and get the ruff around my neck so impacted with that good smelling stuff was truly bliss. At times like this Jim seemed to have a little different point of view, he seemed to think I was telling him it was time for a bath.
I remember one day up in the mountains we were walking back to the car from a hike in to the water falls. I found this dead snake and rubbed and rolled until I was well coated from head to stub. Then as I was headed back up the trail towards Jim I found some minutes old cow, why that green stuff was still steaming. What a perfect topping to my coating of dead snake. So I rubbed and I scrubbed until I had turned my nice black coat into a beautiful shade of green. I was so happy with my new look and smell I couldnít wait to show it off. I ran right up and jumped on Jimís leg thinking he would pick me up. That was a big NOT, instead he started to choke and gag. We stopped right there and he took a stick and started to scrape off all my new look. He kept making comments about me walking home behind the car; I knew he didnít really mean that.
When we got to the car Jim opened all the windows and drove with his head outside. I sat in the back of that hot car enjoying my smell. Then we came to a giant mud puddle in the road, the car stopped and I wondered what was going on. Found out real fast, I got a bath in a mud puddle and then I got another one when we got home. Sometimes these people just donít understand a dog and they sort of lose track of their sense of humor. True misunderstanding, here I am alpha dog and now I smelled like some flowery dog shampoo.
The suns gone down behind the mountain and the only thing still showing up is the top of Shasta, the very tip still glows with a golden glow. My rock is starting to cool off a little so I guess I might as well pick myself up and head down the hill. In my present ghostly state itís simple just to think myself somewhere, but I still enjoy walking and running, now that I can do it with no pain.
I noticed when I was coming up the trail today one of the old stumps had rotted away. Jim took my picture on that stump when I was around two years old. He used the picture for the background on my web page. Now the stump and I are both gone from the world. Guess that goes to show nothing on this old world will last forever. Iím not totally gone however, I guess in computer slang Iíve sort of turned into vapor ware. I just no longer have much substance.
There are so many more stories I could tell and perhaps Iíve forgotten one or two important ones. I think though this is enough memories for one afternoon.
I have heard it said that we can live many lives and depending on how we live our lives can determine how we come back. A dog is said to be the last step the soul takes before it can become a human. I wonder about this, perhaps itís the other way around. I think many of the dogs have a better life than the humans so why take a step down in life just to walk on two legs. I would like to be able to talk, so I could express my points of view. Yet?
Nobody has asked me where I want to go next, but I had this dream, yes we dream on this side of the veil also, that Jim found a new Schipperke pup and it just so happened he found me again.
If though, Iím forced to come back as a human, I guess that would be ok too. I then would be able to talk and let my thoughts and feelings be known. If I was a human I could be the young guy that befriends an old man and takes him to the mountain when he can no longer take himself. That way Jim and I could go to the mountain together again.
Guess Iíll think myself down to the house and check on whatís going on, let Jim see that shadow of a dog out the corner of his eye. You know the dog that isnít really there. Or is he?
Thought I would add a little more it's about Christmas people time 12/2013
It's been about three years now and I guess I'm still hanging around watching over the old man my friend Jim just to make sure he's making it ok in the world without me. I'm Jasper and yes I have been on the other side of the veil for a while now but that doesn't mean I can't keep an eye on things.
I know Jim felt bad when I checked out on him, but the old body just couldn't stand anymore of the life on Earth. Old dogs are old dogs and there is a time for them like everyone else to leave and find an easier way.
I knew Jim being the dog person he is, it was going to be a lonesome road for him to walk without a dog friend to share life with, so you might say I sort of set things up just a little.
I knew deep down I could never be replaced, but Jim needed a friend a stand in for me until what time he walks over the bridge and we can hike up the mountain together again. A year or so after I passed on my way I pointed Jim towards a small white dog that was in the local animal shelter. Then I went and whispered in her ear that a nice old guy was coming in and to go over a put her head on his hand and lick his fingers. You know the sign on her pen at the shelter said she would bite, how stupid can some people be? She wouldn't bite if you put a finger in her mouth.
To make a long story short after Jim got a little loud and told the people at the shelter he knew more about dogs than they did, he was able to bring the little white dog home not knowing I had kind of set it all up from my side. Now Corky has fit right into Jim's life and like he tells people she is the first true lap dog he has ever had, she even lets him share her recliner.
Now I have a little secret that I think Jim sort of suspects. Corky way back down the line is related to me and my Grandpa Tuffy. No Corky doesn't look like she has a trace of Schipperke in her. The reason Jim sort of suspects is so many people were asking what kind of dog Corky was, Jim had a DNA test done on her just to answer some questions. Guess what; way down the list on the DNA test it said Corky had Schipperkes in her family tree. Guess who folks?
It's a nice day up here on top of Grizzly Peak and as I look out toward Mt Shasta it's kind of like they say in the song ďI can see foreverĒ also I can keep an eye on my small town of Ashland and an old man out feeding his chickens in the snow.
Guess I should go now my Grandpa Tuffy and Uncle Shadow are coming up the trail looking like they have something on their minds.
Just a thought in passing, there are a lot of little black dogs at the place you call the other side of the bridge, that in reality is right next to you. I ran into a small girl dog the other day that said the creek in my back yard sure was nice. Then there is Tucker, we talk from time to time it seems when ever Jim and Gary have something to say Tucker and I get together for a small chat. Anyhow I wish there was a way I could let all the lonesome people who miss their dogs know they aren't alone. Just look for the shadow out of the corner of your eye, the almost heard bark or whine when you know there is no one there. That's just it, we are never far away, you see we belong in your heart and that is where you hold us.
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© JH Smith