Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Coyotes, II

When I was a baby, Mom’s Uncle Henry gave me a puppy named Mike. I’m not sure who named him Mike (I really was a baby) but he was the best dog ever! One of those pets that you just think about and a smile starts way down deep inside you and doesn’t stop until your mouth stretches in a big old smile. He was the best!

We don’t have many pictures of Mike. (My family didn’t often waste film on dogs) but we have this one, courtesy of my cousins’ mom.

mike's-photoThis is Mike. He didn’t have white on his face, and I’m not sure why this picture looks like he did. It might be snow or maybe it’s the way the light hit his face and that old film.

Anyway, we lived on the farm in the Basin outside of Old Ford when we got him. He lived there with us, and when we moved into town where we lived with Grandmother and Granddad, he stayed at the farm. (The house in town was on the highway, so farm life was much safer.)

Mike did come to town every now and then. Once, when Dad went out and got the tractor to do something at the house, Mike followed him into town. Debbie and I were so excited to see him, even though we’d probably been out to see him just a few days before that.

Anyway, Mike lived on the farm where Uncle Frank and Uncle Paul and their families lived. Both families fed him. It’s a wonder he wasn’t fat, fat, fat, but he was too busy to get fat. Whatever was going on, Mike was in the midst of it.

mikeWilma Spess won an award with this picture.

This is a picture of a picture. I snapped it through the glass to share with you. The red on the coyote is my shirt, reflecting in the glass. (Sorry!)

For some reason, this coyote had been prowling close to Uncle Paul’s house, snacking on UP’s chickens. My uncle decided he needed to do something about it, and took the dogs to go after him.

BTW: So you don’t think too harshly of us, in Okie-Land there used to be a bounty on coyotes.

The coyote has turned on the dogs here, ready to do battle. It’s not a fill-you-with-glee picture, is it? So why did I share it?

Because Wilma took a great picture. (Wish you could see the original.)

Because I wanted you to meet my dog, Mike. 🙂

And because I wanted you to see how gorgeous the coyote is.

coyote    He’s a beauty, isn’t he?

I’ll bet nobody had to make him howl! 🙂



Bunny Leaps

Remember our Garden Blessing Bunnies?Not much later (like the next morning) baby bunnies became Bullet Dodgers.

We quickly learned that Yorkshire Terriers like to chase baby bunnies, too. In fact, they were bred for it.

According to my friend, Wiki:

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of terriertype, developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England to catch rats in clothing mills.

I read somewhere Yorkies are famous for controlling mice, moles, rabbits–anything that scurries along the ground, and yeah, that’s our Molly.

Once she saw a mole peep out of its run. She got curious (which is why she so belongs in MY family) dug into the hole and did poor mole boy in.

My apologies to mole lovers everywhere.

(Aside: To keep that from happening again, I now plant Castor Bean plants in my yard to keep moles and gophers from wanting to come for a visit.)

Anyway, Molly noticed the rabbit hole with the baby bunnies in it. She didn’t do much except look in the hole, until the babies started to get more active. One day I came home from work and G-Man said, “I need your help in the garden.”

Since the garden is usually my part of our world, I was a little wary. “What happened?”

“The bunnies were out playing and Molly chased one off the wall.”

The wall is only about a yard high, but we have a fence and no gate out there. Before I got home, my man had taken off the fence hardware so he could get through it, but needed me to help hold it open for him. He squeezed through, went down the wall and started his bunny  hunt.

The property right behind us is a tree filled, which means leaves get there and multiply. Somewhere in all those leaves, a baby bunny was lost from its brothers and sisters, and G-Man couldn’t stand it.

My man took my little hand rake and dug through those leaves until–WOOHOO!–he found it.

We got him back with his sibs.

My man made the bunnies a little protection after that.

This is a box the milk man used in that Small Town to the North. I rescued it along with its brother when we cleaned out G-Man’s parents’ house. He put that over the hole so Miss M couldn’t get to the babies, propped up the box so Mama Bunny could get in to feed the babies and teach them Bunny Tricks.

 Because the Queen of our Castle is able to open sliding doors and squeeze under gates and fences if given a challenge, he put this rock on top to keep her from pushing the box-house out of the way.

The Bunny Hole is empty now. I’ve put away the Bunny House (milk box) and the rock. Molly still goes out to the garden and stares into the Bunny Hole, hoping to find a new challenge.

And the bunnies? 🙂 I saw one or two of the babies on Saturday. I don’t know if the others moved on to another yard or found free falling from the wall so much fun, they couldn’t resist another go.

But I’m hoping they acted like “Peter Rabbit” , squeezed through our fence and found Farmer McGregor’s garden. If they did, I hope McGreg is blind to them. And doesn’t have a dog.

G-Man was a little disappointed we couldn’t bring them into the house and let Molly mother them. He thought they’d make a great YouTube clip with her flock of babies at her side.

Maybe next time. 🙂


Dog Has Kittens for Lunch

I love this video, especially the last part. Is it nature that makes animals (and most humans) love babies? Or God?

I had a professor once who said, “Humans have no instincts.” He acted as if it were a fact, not just his opinion.

Of course, I had to take exception to his remark. (I never have been very good at keeping my mouth shut.) As a mother, I knew God put an instinct in me.

I never was a girl who played with dolls. And even as the #1 daughter, I didn’t mother my siblings. (Thank goodness Sister Debbie was there to handle that job.)

But when my babies were born, I adored them. When they were tiny, I couldn’t stand to have them away from me–even across the room. If my sister came, took my baby from my arms and moved to a different couch to hold him, I just naturally followed along, as if there was something that connected me to him.

There was (and still is!) something that ties us together.

Love. 🙂


Molly to the Rescue

4:00 a.m. The Shay abode was attacked by a wild herd of maurading monsters. I know this because Molly, our guard dog (aka Yorkie)

exploded in a fit, barking her shrill, I’m-risking-my-life-to-save-the-world yap and rushing from the front door to the back door in a dead run. (Her tiny tootsies beat our wood floor like a drum when she’s excited.)

4:03 a.m.–Molly scaled the stairs in record time (she practices everytime anyone goes upstairs and usually does a victory spin at the top when she beats us) and flew into our bedroom, where she spun and barked and spun and barked.

I fell out of bed, put something on and stumbled down the stairs to the back door where the mean hound was whirling like a dervish.

I let her out and she ran around the side of the house, where I have no doubt she leaped over the fence to do battle out front.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Ten minutes later she came back in the house, but didn’t settle down at all. She patrolled downstairs, then went up to make sure things were all right before coming down to start another circuit.

When I go to work, I fully expect to find a pile of wild monster bodies, lying in the front yard.

I’ll send pictures.


Must Obey the Queen!

Molly has a new goal in life.

She’s our rescue Yorkie, and as I’ve mentioned before, she’s the Queen of the Castle around here. For some reason, Queen Molly noticed G-Man going to bed before I did the night of the big snow storm. She must have decided it was too cold for me to be up, so she barked. And barked.

Not her soft little whisper barks, either. They were sharp, “Get with it!” barks. 

And every night since, she’s sharpened her approach.

Last night G-Man headed up, and I watched Ms. Queenie, who was snoozing on the couch. She heard the doggie gate close and came instantly awake. Jumping off the couch, she stalked around a moment, circled, then started telling me what to do.She circles and barks, “Time to go to bed.”


As soon as I get up, she dashes for the gate.

Where she circles some more. (Makes you wonder why she doesn’t get dizzy, doesn’t it?)

She gets very serious. Very, very serious! “If you don’t open this gate and go to bed right now, I might bite you on the ankle, and in a week or so when you notice that bite, you could get really upset.

So I open the gate and she flies up the stairs, moving too quickly to get a pic. First she stops in one of the boy’s rooms and eyes the bed. I tell her, “No way, Jose!”  

This is Madame Queen in her “bed” I made for her upstairs from a towel. Apparently it doesn’t make her happy enough, because when I got up this morning at 4 am, I found her downstairs.

Doing this–

Back on the couch where she was when all this started, taking a royal snooze.

Does anyone else let their critters take over and rule their homes? Are we the only people who have a pooch who is the boss and thinks she should be the TV star?

Are we the only people in the world who believe it when their dog tells them they’ll be sorry if they don’t obey???