What Does the Wolf Say?

What does the wolf say, when he points his muzzle at the sky?

Is it a call of camaraderie, or a long goodbye?

When those last notes trail off, does he look around for friends?

Or does he know that the bond of the pack never ends?

I wonder if he is thinking of those who passed on,

And that is what adds the forlorn sound to the song

Or is it a solemn celebration, a call for an ally

A communal effort to make the pack rallyIMG_20140711_174851

Whatever it is, you can’t deny that effect

Heart beats faster, rising of hair on the neck

A feeling like you are part of the whole

Carrying  friends with you in the depths of your soul

The feeling is overwhelming; to be honest it made me cry

Hearing the sad, sweet songs of the wolves saying goodbye

IMG_20140711_183456IMG_20140711_191140IMG_20140711_191500IMG_20140711_185255 IMG_20140711_190407

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Divide CO, July 11 2014

Katy Sunset

katypond1We went for a walk tonight – my boys, my dogs, and I.  We went for a super-secret walk, in a place no one could find us.  We went for a walk in a place we weren’t supposed to drive to, but we did it anyway.

The dogs went for a swim tonight.  The water was a little shallow, maybe a little scummy.  It is possible there was an alligator, we found out later.  We let them swim anyway.

My little son, I’ve been wondering about him.  About six months ago, we had to put down a family dog that had been with our family for fourteen years, which is twice the sum of little son’s years.  The whole sum of little son’s life had taken place beside this dog.  Yet, when we came out of the vet’s office after saying goodbye, we had a moment that I have pondered over these months since.

The older son and I were bawling our eyes out, and this little one tried that with us for a minute or so, and then just opened his eyes and looked at us.  “Do we have to cry about this?”, he said.  We both looked at him in astonishment.  “No,” I said, “you don’t have to.” Then in unison, my older son and I both added, “but we want to!” and kept on bawling while this little son just sat up, relieved.

I have wondered about what this means since then.  J says it is just normal, he is a seven year old boy, they don’t always understand or are in touch with their emotions at this age.  One of my best friends, though, suggested that it is not normal not to cry after losing a family pet, and suggested he might be a sociopath.  “A sociopath?” I asked.  “Oh, don’t worry…not all sociopaths are murderers!” she tried to reassure me.  She said it was just a disorder where people did not have empathy for others and only cared about themselves.

I tried watching him for this, but I wasn’t sure.  I mean, he IS seven – there are times he cares about himself.  But he also does seem to care for others, and he especially enjoys the pets at the house.

As we were walking, the dogs came running down a hill, and there was a bird walking around on the path.  The bird was making a lot of noise, but didn’t fly away as the dogs ran past it.  The Lab jumped in the water, but the Aussie stopped to check out the bird and considered mouthing it for a minute.  I told him to leave it alone, and he did.

Then my young son came running down the hill towards the bird on the path. “Be careful of that bird,” I said to him, “I think it is hurt.”

“I know, Mom,” he said gently.  He just wanted to look at it.  “It has a broken wing,” he observed.  He watched it run up the hill, towards the comfort of overhanging brush.

“I feel bad for that bird,” he said, turning back towards me.

And then I knew that there was nothing wrong with him.  That he was just a normal seven year old boy.  Maybe he didn’t experience his emotions the same way that day with Rascal, but he was capable of caring about others.

I asked him about that day with Rascal, why he didn’t cry. “I just didn’t understand why were crying over that,” he said.  “Were you sad?” Yes, he had been sad, he said, but it made sense.  Rascal was hurt, and then he wasn’t hurting anymore.  He misses him, but it made sense.

Now, my Aussie, who had spent the whole sum of his life as well (except for a few months as a pup) next to Rascal, also had been adjusting to life without his dog brother.  The Lab as well had lost her life partner, our other Lab, last fall.  The past six months, we’ve seen their relationship dynamic changing.

At this moment, it was sinking in to the Aussie that the Lab, as well as two of his people, were on the other side of the retention pond.  As much as he didn’t like swimming, and had resisted thus far on the walk, he finally couldn’t stand the separation from her, and jumped in to swim towards her.  She saw him, and jumped in to and swam out to him.

They met in the middle, nosed each other, and then she swam with him back to the side where J and my older son were, being his moral support for his swimming fears.  It was the sweetest thing.  I tried to get a picture, but all you can see here is the sun setting.

The sun setting on the sweetest thing you couldn’t see; a bird escaping to live another day, a boy who really was just a boy, and two dogs who’ve learned to love and support each other after their respective partners have passed away.

Buescher State Park: Lost Pines

On Saturday, we drove up to Buescher State Park to hang out with our friends.

Okay, so we got a “smilie” for it, too, since it was a geocaching event.  An event, for those of you who don’t geocache, is a gathering of other geocachers.  Usually our events in the Houston area are hosted in restaurants, but some are at parks.  Some of them revolve around a common interest or activity.  We passed up a dog park event and a canoeing event this weekend to come to this.  This one was a camping event, and it is the eighth camping event our group (usually Diane, gsguru, specifically), has hosted in the past couple of years.

Anyways, after much back and forth, we decided not to camp, but to hang out for the day, go for a nice hike with some of the group, and participate in the potluck dinner.

We stopped on the way to grab the cache at the location I talked about in the previous entry.  Then, we stopped again for lunch at Hruska’s.  If you are ever on 71, you have to stop there!  Delicious treats abound.  Apparently, they have been using the same polish recipe for their kolaches since 1962.  They have 16 different varieties.  The hamburgers are also outstanding, and so are their specialty fruits and nuts.

The wildflowers along the drive were putting on quite a show.  Not many bluebonnets, but at least a dozen other varieties.  Finally, we got to the park and checked in with our friends.  For a while, dogs outnumbered people at our campsite (eight furry folk in attendance!)  After some time, we left the older boy with Diane and set off on a four mile hike with our dogs and two other ladies:  “Gigi and JoJo”, from Austin, and Arlene, of “davarle”, from the northwest side of Houston.

The hike we were doing was primarily motivated by the desire to find a series of Harry Potter themed caches in the back of the park, but in the end, it was really the therapy of the woods and letting the dogs have a fun romp that was our reward.  Here are pictures from along the way:

The Finding of the Pond


One Giant Leap for Dog-Kind

Follow the Leader

Gigi and JoJo


Arlene laughs


The trail continues


Along the way
Happy Breeze


Me and my shadow, Raine

This hike really carved this park into our hearts.  The terrain was awesome and the woods calming and beautiful.  We want to come back when the ravines we saw have water flowing through them.  We want to come back and rent one of the nice little mini-cabins (#3 specifically) and stay the weekend.  It was less than two hours from our house, and even better than Lake Texoma SP.  Come see for yourself!