The Caliche Times    Vol. 5  No. 2       2-3-07


Dear Cousins,


  Chester takes his throne and Sinbad passes.

Hope this finds you well and in good spirits.  I have been limited on spirits since I was diagnosed with esophogitis.  I was just beginning to enjoy margaritas when the doctor said no more of that.   He said cancer of the esophagus is an ugly sight to behold.  I’ve been dry every since.  I have tried to get our preacher to serve wine at the Lord’s Supper like they did in the old days.  He said he had been tempted a few times but didn’t want to see our congregation getting a buzz except from his sermons.  Guess we will just stay with the grape juice.


As I write this morning from the breakfast table, I am looking out over a hoarfrost-covered yard at 26 degrees.  Down in the south pasture I see heifers lying down in the frost covered grass trying to stay warm. 


I don’t care for cats but Lou Jane has this cat my brother in law named “Chester.”  I have a few other names for him but I won’t publish them.  We got this cat in the same way we always get our pets; someone throws them out on the county road and they come straggling into our yard about half starved.  Sometimes we are in need of a pet when they show up.  Our cat Chester (I call him King Chester cause he always gets his way) keeps bouncing off the porch shuttling the sparrows from under the porch.  They act scared of him but should know he couldn’t surprise them jumping off the porch through bushes the way he does.


 A very smart dog named Sinbad came to us after being dumped.  I said, “Lou Jane we can’t keep that dog, that is the ugliest dog I have every seen.  Friends won’t even get out of the car when they come to visit if they see that dogs face and hear it bark.”   Sure enough, I would have to walk out to the car and tell him and the visitors it was ok for them to get out.  We kept this dog and found out he was very intelligent.  He never considered chasing cars or doing anything stupid.  At night nothing ever bothered him except raccoons.  They would come up and want to share his food.  When he faced off with them they would growl and he would catch them by the neck and snap it.  He would put the raccoon in the front yard for our approval.   When Sinbad had enjoyed it for several hours I would then carry it off to our “road-kill graveyard” and for our local buzzards.  I kept wishing Sinbad would get mad at our “yard-hogs” but he never did.  Armadillos could “root” circles around him and he would just watch out of one eye. 


Now Sinbad finally began to get old after 12 years.  He always had this habit of crawling under the travel trailer when a thunder storm came along.  Thunder storms can be very scary when you don’t have one very often.  Poor ole Sinbad the older he got the more deaf he got.  The only thing he could hear was a loud noise like a clap of thunder.  More than once Lou Jane and I had to crawl under the travel trailer and drag him out from between the axles because with his arthritis he couldn’t crawl out by himself.  He would just lie between the axles and whimper until we got him out.  His health got so bad; couldn’t hear, couldn’t see very well, had trouble walking and crawling and couldn’t kill raccoons that kept coming around bugging him.  When the quality of life becomes almost unlivable for an animal you know we have to have them put them put to sleep.  It was a sad day when the decision had to be made.  The dog with the loudest bark, ugliest face and the sweetest heart, and a member of the family, had to be put down.   On the last day of his life, he was under the travel trailer when I noticed there was a squirrel in the tree overhead.  I got my gun and killed the squirrel and it dropped a few feet away from the trailer where Sinbad was.  I picked up the squirrel and threw it over the fence out of the way.  Well the sound of the gun signaled Sinbad that I had probably killed something.  He managed to scooch out from under the trailer and began to look around for what I had killed.  He found the place the squirrel had hit the ground and looking rather disappointed that he couldn’t find anything but the smell where it had hit the ground.  He kept looking and sniffing around so I decided to crawl over the fence and retrieve the squirrel for him.  Sinbad was very pleased to get the squirrel back and picked it up and proudly toted it to the front yard.  He had the though of burying it but when he tried to balance with the squirrel and dig he would just topple over.  He finally gave up the burial and just carried it to the front yard where he guarded it the rest of the morning for his last day.


Sinbad used to have this pen pal girl friend named “Blue Dog” that was on her way from Dallas to see him.  Someone will need no let “Blue Dog” know of Sinbad’s passing.  You can read about Sinbad’s romance with little “Blue Dog” on the home page of the Caliche Times under the title of Sinbad the Chow Dog.