October 17, 2018
Good morning. The Guardians have been busy in the wilderness and have now put together more secret missions for their second collection of stories.
Wait, you say. Where’s the first collection?
Well, it’s a week or two away as of this date. The final edit is done and very soon the first collection will be available as an eBook from Amazon or as a soft cover from our website. With luck we will soon have a calendar available from the website too!
Thanks for your patience.
Good morning. The smoke from summer’s fires is now receding and the air is cool and crisp. It’s a great time for the Guardians of the Trails to return to the wilderness!
Our first chapter book (Guardians of the Trails: Top Secret Agents Revealed) is being assembled by the designers now. They will arrange and format it for e-books initially and for hard copies later.
The Table of Contents is on our homepage and we anticipate copies will be emailed to eager youths in a couple of weeks.
We hope you enjoy reading the stories as much as the Guardians enjoy patrolling the wilderness.
Blog May 12, 2018
Best Laid Plans
Well, the” short cartoon” I planned for my blog mushroomed into a full story. I believe the wait will be worth it, though.
Now I wanted to comment on something else. I plan on making an effort to make kids really aware of the fascinating canine abilities.
Dogs are really different. As you read this you’re using your eyes, the dominant sense for humans. Not so for dogs. For them it’s their noses, and it results in some interesting abilities.
Smell is a dog’s dominant sense. It gives them a,” 3-D” sense of time looking backwards. They can tell not only who visited that large tree trunk but how long ago it happened. It would be like us being able to watch what happened yesterday.
My first standard, a wonderful blue, was a sight-hunter with a lousy nose when we were running trails. I thought maybe poodles, being raised as duck retrievers, had been bred for sight over smell. However, I found that Bella has a fair nose, and Peaches is even better.
But Crazy Lil’ is the champion, hands down. She can smell a potato chip a half a mile away.
On the story front, progress is being made on the publishing. Stay tuned, and be careful of ticks this time of year when you’re out in the fields with your dogs. They’re going to be very bad. I’m going to be trying some herbal tick repellents that are totally non-toxic over the next month or two. I’ll let you know how it works.
April 8, 2018
My dear departed father, an Air Force pilot, commented that, “…close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Unfortunately I wasn’t even close.
My estimate in the last blog that we would publish in two weeks was not accurate. The revised “chapter book” format with multiple stories meant I needed more finished stories right now. And I didn’t have them.
So while we are making good progress, publication is still a ways away. The good thing for the Guardians and for their readers is that the chapter book will contain some of my favorite photos.
This image of Peaches near Tumalo Falls is from one of the new stories. In the next blog we have a preview of our story near Broken Top.
There was a recent TV ad in which the lady said her dog was, “family”. It occurred to me that the term, “family” applied to a dog or other pet probably differentiates the Dog People from the Non Dog People. If you’re reading this and have a non-canine pet I suspect the same principles apply.
There are those of us who look at our dogs like teenagers who deeply love us and who want to be with us all the time. Heh. While we may not encourage a sudden, wet, sloppy tongue in our faces, it’s occurrence doesn’t send us to Urgent Care.
Non Dog People left this discussion long ago.
So, welcome aboard. This website is all about dogs and people who think dogs are nature’s greatest gift to man. We hope the kids will be so interested in the story they won’t even realize they’re learning about the animals and environments in our forests and wilderness.
We’re trying to finish publishing in two weeks. Stay tuned.
First let me apologize for the delayed publication of the stories. I’m working with a children’s book designer and they feel the stories would give readers better value if we published seven to ten stories in a single ebook volume. I agreed that it will be a great deal for the readers, but I wasn’t quite ready to publish all the stories at once.
So, work continues on the stories and I’ll also be sending out some FREE mini-stories for those of you who provided your email. The first should be out very soon.
Thanks for your patience.
Growing up I spent my summers living with my aunt and uncle so I could work on a farm outside Eugene, Oregon. They always had one or two dogs, sweet souls with questionable breeding, usually obtained from a little girl sitting in front of a Payless Drug Store with a cardboard box that said, “FREE PUPPIES”. Despite their checkered pedigrees, these dogs were usually some mixture of retrievers and hounds and consequently were good hunting dogs for a young boy who spent all available time in the woods.
As fate would have it, I fell in love and married a woman who is deathly allergic to animals. Deathly allergic means multiple trips to the Emergency Room for adrenaline so she could breathe after exposure to animal dander. Needless to say, I realized my dog days were over.
However, to her everlasting credit my wife one day said the kids needed to learn to live with a dog, and she suggested we get a…Standard Poodle.
A poodle, huh…? I was initially skeptical but she persisted, pointing out that they were actually bred in Germany as hunting dogs called pudels.
I waivered. Maybe it would be ok. And since they have hair instead of fur and don’t shed, there would be no fur or dander throughout the house to trigger an allergic reaction.
The big, black female turned out to be the best dog I’d ever had. For thirteen years she was my close, intelligent companion, at home and on mountain trails. She proved herself to be a fearless and intuitive protector of the family one day when our daughter was home alone and terrible danger threatened. The day I held her for the last time was one of the saddest day of my life.
Today, two Standards and a Miniature maintain their pack in our home and share my desire to explore the wilderness. So yes, poodles. I love most dogs, but poodles have a special place in our family.
Welcome to the first blog for Guardians of the Trails. Most of you probably have a dog. A much smaller group will have a pair of pups, and that group will agree the complexity increases a great deal with the addition of another dog.
Three dogs was, for me, surprisingly different. Three dogs develop their own society, their pack, so their human lives in an intersection of their society and ours. To make it more interesting, their world is predominantly represented by smells that are undetectable to us. And theirs is a society where pack bonding, the licking of each other’s faces with sloppy, slurping noises, is a fundamental event every day.
“I’m sorry I growled at you today.”
” No worries. I love you and I’m glad you’re here.”
We hope to shed some light on the trials and tribulations of living with a pack.
The Guardians are fortunate to live in one of the most wild and beautiful areas in the country, where the high, dry desert of Central Oregon meets the Cascade Mountains. The area features many hundreds of miles of scenic wilderness trails.
We hope these photographic stories excite the readers about how important and fragile our wilderness ecology is.