Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day...

I would like to send out a big, heartfelt thank you to all the men and women who have selflessly served, and are still serving, in our military for the sake of my freedom.

I plan to celebrate with buttercream icing. Didn't Martha Stewart do a wonderful job on this cake? I mean, she is Martha Stewart, after all.

I can't wait to see if the local Walmart has some red, white and blue cupcakes. My tastebuds won't know Martha didn't make them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

A birthday and a milestone...

Sorry to post the same thing two Saturdays in a row but I got all mixed up, ya'll. I thought Pink Saturday's birthday party was last weekend. Ooops... It's today... So, without further adieu...

How Sweet the Sound is celebrating the second birthday of Pink Saturday. Be sure and stop by to say hello to Beverly. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday by Pete's Blue Scooterbug on

And, in case you missed it last week... the Old House in Texas has 100 posts! Thanks to each and every one of you for your sweetness, which keeps me posting even when I'm not in the mood.

Pink Dancer Pictures, Images and Photos

And, we have more flowers...

I spotted some more flowers on my way home from work, ya'll. At first I thought it was alfalfa... alfalfa has purple flowers... and it's growing in the neighbor's field... but Cowboy has informed me that it's more weeds. I don't care. They're still beautiful flowers to me...!

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday at Southern Daydreamer

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

I realize this post might make some of you shudder.

I know you probably spend a good amount of your time ridding your yard of these pesky "weeds."

But to me, they are beautiful wildflowers.

You see, last week it was snowing... Heck, it's been snowing for 9 months... But today is sunny and I'm just so excited to see color, I could squeal.

(Okay, I did squeal...! Then I flopped on the ground right there and rolled around in the grass.)

When you are a Southerner, living a life virtually void of flowers, you'll take what you can get...

...and be darned happy to have it.

So, next time one of these pops up on your beautiful lawn, think of me...

...and remember...

Dandelions are flowers too.

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday at Southern Daydreamer and Mellow Yellow Monday

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More photos from the Old House...

As you know, my sister took some photos at the Old House last week. Here are the ones she took in the dog trot. I wish I could show you a photo that was taken right down the center of it... but I don't have one. To learn more about dog trots, click here.

Note to self: Paint dog trot ASAP...!!!

That toy horse was mine when I was little. There's one of the small chairs I collect. This one came from a school. There, in the flower pots, are some tiles that came from a different old family house. We used the boat anchor in a wooden rowboat at our beach house on Galveston Bay. The boat and the house were both washed away in hurricanes. Check out the kettle here in a much older photo.

These things are usually out in the yard but I brought them inside so they wouldn't get stolen. We have photos of my dad sitting in this chair when he was a boy. It weighs a ton... Did you notice the arms have horse heads and the legs have hooves? The pulley is from the old well that's still out in the yard.

I'll share more Old House photos later this week.

Linking to Show and Tell Friday

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Old House yard...

My sister just sent me this photo of the Old House yard. Isn't it pretty?

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday at Southern Daydreamer

Monday, May 24, 2010

My dog, June Bug, is the front-page, headline story of the Sunday paper...

Dog tales

June Bug thrives on the solitude that Necel Golden’s
home east of Weston offers. Photo by Necel Golden

By NATHAN PAYNE, News-Record City Editor

Published: Saturday, May 22, 2010 11:53 PM MDT

When 13 neglected dogs were placed in homes in Gillette, it seemed like the climax of an event that had started with the discovery of 159 dogs at one home in Provo, S.D.

They were dirty, ragged, unfriendly and were totally unaccustomed to being around humans when they were found in November 2006. When those 13 dogs found homes in Gillette, it was like the nightmare was over for them and next would come the fairy tale ending.

But, alas, it wasn’t a Disney movie, and every story does not end with happily ever after.

The tale did, however, end up with a couple of fairy godmothers.

Escape artists

Jennifer Hackney takes all of the charity cases — those dogs that no one wants or loves, and some that might be impossible to love.

Hackney knew that her dog, Tanner, was the wildest of the 13 dogs brought to the Campbell County Humane Society from South Dakota, but she took him anyway. He had never been washed. He had never been touched. He didn’t want to be touched.

Because of those things, he would never be adopted.

She took him, at first, as a foster case. But she hoped that one day she would be able to prepare him and another named Scooter to be adopted into a loving home, with an owner looking for a best friend.

Tanner had other plans.

Hackney took Tanner home on Dec. 4, 2006, nine days after he was confiscated. Tanner and 158 other dogs had been rescued from a home where two women had been hoarding the dogs for years. The canines were housed in outdoor hovels in groups of 10 or more that bred and bred until the population grew out of control. None of them had been spayed, neutered or washed, but they had been fed.

“Physically they were in fine shape,” Hackney said.

The mental picture was not so pretty, though.

The dogs were mostly wild. They did not know how to react to the people who were trying to help them and were obviously frightened when they were taken from the quarter-acre cesspool where they had been kept.

Only four days after Hackney brought Tanner to her home in the Sundog subdivision west of Gillette, he escaped. She spent days chasing him, trying to corral him, but finally he disappeared.

“They’re not like normal dogs. They’re not socialized like that,” she said.

Hackney assumed her newest companion was gone, dead somewhere, hit by a car or killed by coyotes. The beagle-dachshund mix would be no match for the wild.

She felt horrible.

But for the grace of God...

Almost 40 days passed, and Hackney knew that Tanner would not be back. She had given up on ever seeing him again.

But then she got an e-mail, forwarded to her from a friend who worked with her at the Humane Society, where she is the president.

On Christmas day, Necel Golden had seen a black-and-tan dog scavenging for road kill along the Interstate 90 median west of Gillette. The skittish dog refused to come anywhere near Golden and her boyfriend, Travis Hackert.

The description of a beagle-sized rottweiler-looking dog was enough to convince Hackney that the stray was her foster dog.

She quickly secured a live trap and went to the mile marker where he was last seen. She baited the trap and went home, hoping that the dog was hungry enough to overcome his fear and enter the metal-mesh trap.

For several days, she drove twice a day to the trap to find it empty, and then would spot the dog in another location.

Finally, on the 40th day, she found Tanner inside the trap.

“I figured 40 days was my big sign from God ... 40 days, that’s your dog,” Hackney said. “I thought this one needs the most work, so I’ll keep him.”

She took the dog home, washed him and fed him.

And then she tied him to her leg.

For the next three months, Tanner learned to never leave her side by being tied to a leash attached to her ankle. The two went everywhere together for three months, a habit that persists today.

It is not so much of a choice for Hackney, whether to take Tanner with her. Most of the time, he makes the choice by scurrying out of the front door when she leaves and waits by her car.

He has become somewhat of a mascot for the Campbell County Humane Society, a tail-wagging testimonial of what can happen when the right dog finds the right owner.

On the seventh day, she rested

Animals in need have found their way to Necel Golden. She found Tanner in late December 2006. Six months later she found June Bug.

Golden was driving past a field at the corner of Little Powder River Road and North Highway 59 when she saw the petite blond dog sitting in the grass watching cars rumble to work in either direction.

She drives the same route to Gillette every day from her home near Weston.

Again, Golden e-mailed everyone she knew in the dog world in Gillette, asking if anyone knew of a missing dog that matched that description. Immediately she received a reply that there was another of the rescue dogs that had been missing for seven months since it escaped from the kennel where some of the dogs were housed in December. The kennel was less than a mile from where Golden found her.

For three days, the dog sat in the field watching her, and Golden felt as though it was beckoning for a home.

On the third day, she lugged a live trap over a fence and down to a culvert near where she last saw the dog. She baited the trap with cat food and expected the worst.

Golden knew how long it took Hackney to catch Tanner. She expected to check the trap twice a day, on her way to and from work, for as long as it took to catch the dog.

To her surprise, the next morning, the 25-pound terrier mix was sitting in the trap, waiting for her. Golden immediately lugged the agitated dog over the fence and into her car.

“She was like a wild animal, running back and forth in the trap,” Golden said. “She was crazed.”

For three days, the dog she had named June Bug stayed in a kennel in a spare bedroom at Golden’s home, hidden from her boyfriend. The couple already had three dogs and he didn’t want another one.

But she knew that she was a last chance for a dog like June Bug.

“If you put her in a shelter, they’re going to put her down because she is wild,” she said. “It’s just weird that animals in need come across my path.”

On the fourth day, Golden made the mistake of letting Bug out of her kennel. The dog bolted into another bedroom and lodged herself under a bed. Golden fetched her boyfriend and gave him a blanket to throw over the dog when she flushed it out from under the bed. Not knowing if the dog would bite, Golden donned a winter coat, gloves and a hat.

The scene ended with the dog out from under the bed, but with Golden covered in the blanket.

The first six days, Bug cowered in her kennel and refused to leave the shelter.

“We kept all doors and windows shut. She navigated the house under furniture,” Golden said. “We just ignored her.”

On the seventh day, they pulled her kennel out onto the porch so she could get some fresh air. Golden was given a glimmer of hope when she moved the kennel back inside the house: Bug wagged her tail once, then went back to cowering.

That night, nearly the end of the seventh day, while Golden was standing at the kitchen sink, Bug sidled up beside her and stood on her hind legs in order to put her front paws on Golden’s leg.

Golden immediately found a chair, sat down, and the tiny blond dog jumped into her lap and began to lick her face.

“She was just like a normal dog,” she said. “It was almost like a miracle.”

Against all odds

Hackney and Golden make no bones about the fact that they picked two dogs that had little chance at a normal life. They were hard to catch and at times even harder to love, but their guardians persisted against the odds.

The survival rate of the rescued dogs sits at a little more than 50 percent, although the 13 dogs fared far better than they would have had they been put in a shelter. Taking care of a dog that was born wild and has never had meaningful human contact takes a patient and dedicated owner.

Even today, June Bug cowers when anyone but Golden and her boyfriend are around. Tanner still has a distinct apprehensiveness when he meets new people, though anyone who rides in his car is immediately a friend.

“It is hard to have a dog you can’t take to the vet,” Golden said. “But we love our Bug.”

The dogs will never be normal, but Golden and Hackney are OK with that.

They don’t need a fairy tale ending.

They just need the occasional tail wag, and cold wet nose to remind them that they are the happy ending.

The South Dakota 13


Of the 12 dogs Jennifer Hackney can account for, she knows of seven still alive.

Tanner: He spends his days riding around town in Hackney’s car and meeting new people.

June Bug: She lives a quiet and happy life on a ranch north of Gillette, though she is still afraid of everyone but her owners.

Mick: He was one of the more timid dogs but found a good home with owner Donna Wells. He runs on a treadmill next to her stationary bike for exercise.

Skeeter: The dog was adopted and lives with Nikki Huddleston.

Snoopy: The dog still lives in Gillette.

Zipper: The dog still lives in Gillette.

Pokey: The dog still lives in Gillette.


Unfortunately, miracles do not happen in every case and several of the rescued dogs did not survive.

Cowboy: He was hit by a car.

Scooter: Scooter was adopted by Hackney. In December 2009, the dog escaped and was hit by a car.


Snickers: The dog’s owners cannot be found. Their phone was disconnected.

Scruffy: The dog ran away and is presumed dead.

Max: The dog ran away and is presumed dead.

No. 13: Hackney has searched for the name of the 13th dog, but has had no luck locating the last pooch.

Want to know more about adopting a pet? Call the Campbell County Humane Society at 682-7465.

What is the Campbell County Humane Society up to?

Selling used books

The Campbell County Humane Society soon will open a used book store in its office at 110 E. Lakeway Road, Suite 600.

Proceeds from the sale of donated books will benefit the the local organization.

Books to supply the store can be dropped in boxes at:

✔ RE/Max real estate offices on Boxelder Road

✔ Brothers Coffee on Gillette Avenue

✔ Espresso Roundup inside Don’s Supermarket

✔ Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Depot on First Street.

✔ Another drop box soon may be located in front of the Humane Society’s Lakeway Road office.

The animal rescue organization also needs bookshelves for the store.

For more information or to donate, call 682-7465 or visit the office between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.

Creating calendars

The Campbell County Humane Society is accepting entries for its 2011 calendar.

Entries in the calendar contest cost $15 and will be voted on beginning Sept. 2. Each vote costs $1.

All proceeds benefit the local organization.

Organizing wiener dog races

The Campbell County Humane Society will host its annual dachshund races Aug. 7.

Racers can pre-register now with the Humane Society.

Signing up volunteer help

To join the organization or learn more, attend a meeting.

The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month and at noon the fourth Tuesday of every month at the office on Lakeway Road.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cow and calves...

This post is dedicated to my follower, Tracy, from Honeysuckle and Hissy Fits in Georgia. She just loves cows, ya'll.

Here is a small handful of my cow photos. There are hundreds of babies running around right now. Cowboy has branded three times here at this ranch. Today he's branding calves at his parents'. He took our Border Collie, Pete, with him. He'll brand two more times here. On June 20, the bulls get turned out with the cows and on June 25, he will trail what's left here to the Hatfield, a pasture to the south. Then he can breathe a sigh of relief until October.

A very new Black Angus

Black Angus and Red Brockle Face

Black Brockle Face

Black Baldy

Momma Cow in my yard


Linking to Outdoor Wednesday and Show and Tell

Friday, May 21, 2010

A milestone and a birthday...

Whoooo hooooo... the Old House in Texas has 100 posts! Thanks to each and every one of you for your sweetness, which keeps me posting even when I'm not in the mood.

Pink Dancer Pictures, Images and Photos
How Sweet the Sound is celebrating the second birthday of Pink Saturday. Be sure and stop by to say hello to Beverly. Happy birthday!

Why cowboys drive pick-up trucks...

I asked cowboy a couple of times to bring me some hay for the baby calf we're bottle feeding... but he kept forgetting.

So, when I spotted a pile in the road on my way home from work, I brought it home.

Like this...

At first, it was going pretty well...
But after I drove about 3 feet, it blew back and covered the entire windshield. (Photo taken from the driver's seat.)

I had to drive home with my head hanging out the window and hay blowing in my face. I wish I could tell you that this is the first time I have done this... but that would be a lie.

And this, my friends, is why cowboys drive pick-up trucks.

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday at Southern Daydreamer