Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Musings.

This is rather a sad musing tale.

The Sorry Drunk in the Trailer House is another one of the sagas I've been following in the 8 years I've traveled my work/home route. Almost to the end of my mountain road - on the to-work end - was a sagging old trailer home. The curtains in the windows were in tatters, the yard was a quilt of bare earth and weedy patches. There was a good-sized Rottweiler chained to the front steps. The inhabitant of the trailer was a character that looked like his blood had been almost fully replaced by alcohol. Disheveled, dirty, he was never wearing clothing that fit the climate that day. He walked down the side of the road to what I assumed was work of some sort. Occasionally, I would see him sitting at the intersection of the mountain road and the main road, waiting. I began to get concerned about the dog when I realized it had no shelter during the day. And no water bowl. And no food bowl. So one morning, I threw a bag of dry dog food in the back of the car, along with a jug of water and two extra dishes. I was a little leery of approaching him (LARGE intact male), but figured I was armed with food and good intentions, so I had a pretty good chance of convincing him I was friendly. I filled the food bowl and the water bowl and put them well within reach. He turned out to be a sweet dog, who was very happy to see the food. I put the bag of food, along with a note, around the back of the trailer and left. This went on for some time - his food dish was filled as long as I provided the food.  I also found out that I had to provide the water.  It dawned on me that this fellow was either squatting or hadn't paid the rent in a very long time and the landlord wanted him out.  Just as obvious was the fact that the dog was there to keep people away.  I am not a fan of keeping dogs chained up all day without shelter, so I brought it to the attention of my friend and neighbor, the local dog warden.  In rural areas, all the dog wardens are pals, so I knew that he would contact the right authority and that the dog would be treated well.

(My god.  This is turning into War and Peace....)

A couple of days later, the dog was gone.  A couple of weeks later, all this poor sap's worldly possessions were put out in the front yard; a sad little pile.  Bit by bit, pieces of his estate disappeared - free piles are a big thing around here.  There was evidence that he wasn't going quietly.  Each day there was a new day of battle between the land lord and Bill the Barnacle (as I came to think of him).  I think at one point BTB was living in the little shed for a while.  Eventually, though, he gave up and moved on.  The trailer was completely gutted and has had a complete renovation and is very spiffy.  While I will never know what happened to BTB, I do know that his dog got a very good home with a family that loves him to pieces.  A happy ending for one of the pair.


Have you ever eaten something that makes your teeth squeak?  I made some lentil/greens soup and decided to put a dash of lemon juice in it.  Geez.  It tasted fine, but it made my teeth feel squeaky.  That got me to thinking about a cake someone made me preGI (gluten intolerance).  It was a very sweet, dense cake with caramel in it.  One bite and it glued itself onto my teeth.  If I had been wearing braces, I would still be dealing with it, ten years later. 

I am having to deal with my Onset Winter Claustrophobia, caused by all the layers of clothing I have to wear.  I sometimes feel like a turtle on its back when I get behind the wheel in office clothes, wool scarf, heavy gloves, heavy coat.  I like cold weather but hate having to pile on all those outer garments.  It's the same feeling I get when I have to mix something with my hands and it sticks to them.  I have to wash my hands ever five seconds or I get the heebie jeebies.  Hmm.  I wonder what Aunt Sweezie would have to say about that.


  1. We had a fellow just like what you described living around the block (country block-5 miles). Vietnam vet. Drunk every day. Big dog chained up. We passed his place every day on our bike rides. Eventually started "chatting"--bits and pieces of his life came out. He was at war with the neighbors....they wanted him out. His place looked like hell--no running water (he got it from a neighbors hose down the road). It was so sad...........on the surface. Eventually, his dog died, and he had to move. Died of throat cancer about 6 months after that. But, he had a lot of friends (including us) that ended up missing his presence. It was all so sad.......

    On to cheerier thoughts--I know what you mean about all the LAYERS. I love winter, love being outside, but sometimes I hate the whole process of bundling up to do anything outdoors. Snowmobile outfits are the worst--especially that helmet. I feel like the Michelin Man-LOL!

  2. I suddenly have a flashback from the movie, "A Christmas Story" when Randy is "suited up like deep-sea diver" in his winter clothes and he "can't put my arms down!!!!".
    Yes. I love that movie and can quote just about any line from it.

    Interesting the lives we see, but don't really know the nitty-gritty about. Good news about the pooch though :)

  3. Blessings be heaped upon you, dear Susan, for what you did for that dog. I know you would have done the same for BTB if you had had the chance.

    The oxalic acid in spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, etc. will sometimes give that "squeaky" feeling to my teeth. ((Shudder.)) Hate it when that happens.

    The thing about dressing (and undressing) in winter time is that it takes so long! In the summer when I want to dash outside to do something . . . zoom! I'm out the door. In the winter, by the time I've put on all my gear, I'm 'bout too pooped to do what I needed to get out there to do! (Stop whining, Mama Pea! We COULD move to a warmer climate. Nah.)

  4. Our dog Boomerang lived at the end of chain in a former life. A kind-hearted neighbor found him running loose in the road one day and couldn't bear to return him. One thing led to another and somehow he ended up with us. He is a sweet, sweet dog. I can't imagine him living out his days all alone on the end of chain. Your neighbor dog was lucky to a kind-hearted neighbor as well.

  5. I don't know why dogs have to be on the end of a chain day and night.. There is a dog near my house that I'm constantly stopping to get him untangled because he has gone around circles around a pole and his body can't go anywhere... he can't set just stand and wait for someone to come and get him untangled. With cold weather coming I put tar paper all around his dog house to keep the wind and cold out.. His owners probably wonder..Who did this.. I say ~~ if you own a dog , cat or anyother animal it's your duty to take care of it and make sure it is safe.. Thanks for taking care of this dog..I'm sure he appreciated the food and the water.. Have a tiggeriffic day...ta ta for now from Iowa:)

  6. If you are in the hot-flash stage, a wind-breaker will do! And finally, some who feels as I do about mixing-with-hands! Ick!

  7. If only acts of kindness were as routine as brushing our teeth. As it is, I think some of us are born with more compassion than others. Can it be learned? I hate getting dressed in winter and it all seems so much worse if I'm layering over office clothes.

  8. Susan,

    Thank you for doing what you did for that dog. I hate seeing dogs on chains out in the yard with no food and water.

    I used to wear all the winter clothing, coat, scarf, gloves, and hat until I opened the car door to get in. Then it was time to take things off, because you could barely move when trying to drive with everything on.

  9. YAY for you for looking out for the dog! I'm glad he found a good home!
    I make a goat milk Queso Blanco that is squeaky. One of hubby's Hispanic friends actually told me that they always called it squeaky cheese when he was a boy! :)

  10. No dog deserves to live like that. You did right by him. Sorry to hear about the owner. Tough to know what to do sometimes.

  11. I am always surprised at how many dogs live chained to a doghouse. Why have a dog if your not going to enjoy them, they are mans best friend for a reason. I quite enjoyed your tale. I was married to an alcoholic and it is a sad existence but like most human tribulation can be overcome when the person decides enough is enough. Perhaps this event made that change in this mans life. As to foods that sqeak...cheese curds sure do!

    I am now going to read more of your blog post's I am canning Chow Chow and just found your "place" here. Great reading while the stuff boils!

  12. Bless you for feeding the dog. We had a neighbor who abandoned 2 dogs, with no food/water in sub freezing weather, with no shelter. I called animal control and they were picked up. Poor dogs, frozen and half starved....

  13. Susan,
    That dog was lucky that you took action! Bless you! Here in N.C. they use dogs to hunt deer. The hunters have a pack of dogs that are underfed and locked up in a pen until deer and then they are turned loose to run deer to the hunters. Many are left in the woods for days, And some never make it back to the pens! I hate this and the people who do it!