Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Tender Story

This is a little tale about Annie Oakley...

Every morning, the dogs and I go out "to work."

Just announcing that it's time for work puts everyone into a tailspin of excitement.
Oh, how they love to run!

I head to the barn and the dogs run ahead of me.

Soon, Annie and Oakley...or Annie Oakley as they have become...

With 140+ acres of woods and fields, there is much room
for canine adventuring...and this pair takes full advantage of the acreage.

Sam, on the other hand, prefers to hang with me...
knowing that there are cat food cans which will need cleaning,

and piles of fresh manure to inspect,
 not to mention a couple of cats to bother.

I have wondered how these adventure runs of Annie and Oakley proceed.
You might remember that when Annie first came to us,
Oakley was terribly jealous and a little depressed.
He stopped eating for a couple of days and I had to entice him with 
chicken and bison meat, etc.

But, as time went along, he learned to tolerate her presence and with each passing day
returned to his old self.

We named Annie for Little Orphan Annie...
since she was found abandoned in a shack in the woods.

But in my mind I saw the Annie Oakley connection.

It wasn't until Dr. Becky shared a tale with me yesterday that I truly understood
how deep that connection had become.

It seems that Annie and Oakley (having disappeared from morning chores as usual)
were off in our 88 acre woods near our outdoor arena.
These are great woods for hunting adventures and are crisscrossed with lots of trails.

Apparently, Dr. Becky was riding Sid in the outdoor arena,
when all of a sudden Annie came out of the woods heading straight for them.
She stopped in her tracks and turned on her tail running, scared, back into the woods.
Oakley, who had been at her side continued on for a second.

Feeling something amiss, he stopped and looked over each shoulder.
Then, realizing that Annie was not with him,
turned around and went to find her.

She was still within Dr. Becky's line of vision.
Oakley went and got Annie and took her another way around the arena,
giving the arena wide berth.

You see, Oakley looks after Annie...takes care of her...
keeps her safe and secure from the scary things of the world,
just like a big brother should.

I am so proud of this strong, silent man...
this Oakley dog of unknown origin, unknown past, unknown age...
who has the capacity to love and care and nurture.
He is the best of what we all should be...
holding each other's hands when the going gets scary.

Dr. Becky commented that in all her years as a veterinarian,
and a lifetime dog owner...
she has never seen a more tender scene between two dogs.

Don't let anyone try to tell you that dogs are not capable of complex emotion
and critical thinking.


On occasion, I get comments about my photography.
Let me tell you, first... I am a complete novice.
I have a very good camera and a great lens.
I thought I would share a few tips with you for improving your photography...
just a few things I learned along the way.

#1  When you wish to take a photo up close, use a zoom lens and stand further away.
This is how you get a clear, crisp subject with everything else blurry.

#2  Don't be afraid to get down on the level of your subject.
You will notice that the photo below is much more engaging than the photo above.
Get down and get dirty!

Many of my photos are taken with me lying on the ground!

And always beware of photo-bombers!!
Silly cat.


  1. what a sweet story! i always think that animals are probably smarter than humans. i love the photo bombing cat. today is the big day!?

  2. What a kind dog he is. I think dogs bring so much love and happiness to their families. Heart warming for sure.

  3. How sweet is that?!!! Everyone needs a big brother like that! So glad they have each other.

  4. You could turn the story of Annie and Oakley into a children's book. Have you ever read John Brown, Rose and The Midnight Cat? It is a picture book about an old woman and her devoted dog, who becomes jealous of a stray cat. It is written by Jenny Wagner.


  5. A & O are best friends! The cat is a riot! Our dog "helps" us around the yard too! LOL. Have a great day!

  6. Ya pulled at my heart strings with this story . Oh my has Annie ever grown WOW !! Yes dogs do look out for one another and others at times to ! Yup good tips for your photography I am a passionate novice to and sometimes I like to use my macro lens for good close ups it lets in more light then my zoom ! Thanks for sharing wonderful post and photos ! Have a great day !

  7. Such a sweet post.."Oakie" has taken over for Maddie..Very heartwarming..Brought a tear to my eye..Your pictures are usually perfect..You can tell that there has been thought put in to them..I hope your day brings new and fun things to you...

  8. Very sweet story . . .
    There is no doubt . . . that there is some sense of thought and feeling, protection and even joy . . .

  9. I think your photographs are wonderful, I look forward to seeing and hearing about your farm adventures every day. On behalf of all of us who follow your blog, Thank you for taking the time to share with us! I feel like I know you and your farm animal family. Todd

  10. Kayaking is amazing and very zen like. I have never seen a bald eagle up close and personal or in it's natural habitat. Beautiful country you live in. I have so much catching up to do after my week long staycation.


We welcome your questions and comments. Questions very often become the subject of a later blog keep those questions coming!! I read each and every comment...they are often the highlight of my day! Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us.....


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