Category: Uncategorized

A tour of Cold Brook on my Royce Union Bike

I still remember the day my mom and dad arrived home with my first two wheeled bike. They had gone to the Hudson’s Bay store to pick it up, while I waited at home. Although I knew I was getting a bike for passing, I had no idea what it would look like. I didn’t care really, as long as it had a Banana seat and those cool handlebars like the bikers on TV had.

Well the bike didn’t disappoint. It was beautiful. One of those things you will never forget. The seat was long enough for two people, although mom and dad warned me not to take on passengers. I can close my eyes and still see the seat in my head, with its black seat covered with gold flake metallic paint. The bike was finished in Gold as well, and it had an emblem on the front that read Royce Union.

I couldn’t wait to try it out. Dad made sure all the bolts were tight, and as soon as he tightened the last bolt, I was off. That thing could fly! The main thing I wanted to do was to ride up to the end of the Cold Brook road where my grandparents lived, then stop off to each house and show off my bike.

When I got to the end of the road, I went in to see Gram and Grap, who had just finished lunch. Gram asked me if I wanted a piece of pie, and even though I loved her cooking, I had no time for eatin’, just ridin’.

I left their house, then with my great grandparents’ house on my right, I waved to them as they sat on their front porch trying to see who that crazy looking kid was, pedaling some strange looking bicycle, hollering like a savage.

To my left was Uncle Maurice and Aunt Kathleen’s house. Uncle Morsey as we called him was my grandfather Teddy’s brother. They were best friends and dad said they never argued once. They had lots of kids, but I mostly played with their grandkids because they were my age.

Down the road from their house was Clayton and Phyllis Morgan. Phyllis was Uncle Morsey and Aunt Kathleen’s daughter. My best friend was Leonard, one of their younger kids who was my age. We had lots of bike adventures, but that’s for another story. Don’t have time to tell you now, got to keep pedaling!

Across from their house was my Aunt Marie and Uncle Dave’s house. They had one son my age at the time, they would later expand a bit with more kids, but for now David was their only kid. We played sometimes. David loved playing with my rabbit Pinky. I think he liked having Pinky for a friend more than me.

The next house, on the same side of the road was my Nana’s house. (I had to stop reminising for a minute because I really miss Nana) Nana lived with my Uncle Brian. She had just lost Grap and everyone still cries when they think of how tragically we lost him. Nana is sad too but she never shows it. She always has cake and cookies made, and when you are a kid that’s real important. I loved my Nana. She came out to see my bike, and said she loved the bright pretty colours. I gave her a kiss and was on my way.

My Uncle Albert lived across the road from Nana. He just built a new house and had a nice car in the driveway. Uncle Albert always loved cars. Dad said when Albert bought his first car, he let it idle all night so he could hear how the engine sounded; he liked them that much. Of course he loved my bike. He said one day he would like to learn to paint cars that would be as pretty as my bike.

My Aunt Rita and Uncle Curn had a little store attached to their house, and as a kid, I spent a lot of time there. Once I went in and asked for a banana fudgesickle,a bag of hostess chips and a coke. When my uncle asked me how I was paying, I said to put it on my tab. Mom said he laughed at that for years. Uncle Curn came out for a look at my bike, and joked he would like to borrow it to go fishing sometime. I hoped he was joking. Me and their son Ronnie fished a lot. Now that I have a new bike, we should be able to check out some new fishing spots soon.

My Aunt Annie lived across from the store. While Uncle Bill was away being a truck driver, she tended to her garden, which was always so beautiful. I didn’t have time for a chat so I just waved as I passed. She waved back. Annie was mom’s oldest sister. She had 3 kids, the youngest being David, who was my age.

Across the road from Annie was Uncle Mark and Aunt Genny’s house. Uncle Mark was mom’s brother, and Aunt Genny was dad’s sister. Cold Brook was a family place, we were all related in some way. Uncle Mark loved hunting and fishing, and when he wasn’t working that is what he liked best. They had lots of kids and we all played together lots of times.

Uncle Alex and Aunt June lived just down the road from Aunt Annie. They had lots of kids, and when they seen me on my new bike, one of them hollered for me to come over. Timmy immediately started making fun of my bike. He noticed the name on the little badge in front and right away he came up with a clever joke, instead of calling my bike a Royce Union, he called it a Royal Onion. He thought it was funny but I didn’t. I didn’t stick around because I didn’t appreciate anyone thinking I rode around on a Royal Onion, whatever that was. Kids can be cruel I guess. Anyway, his younger brothers Tony and Ronnie were cool, they were my friends mostly. Oh by the way, Uncle Alex was my grandfather’s brother.

Across the street from Uncle Alex live my Uncle Mike and Aunt Joan. Uncle Mike was my grandfather’s brother, my dad’s uncle. Aunt Joan was my mom’s sister. Geez my family was confusing. It never mattered though, as I really loved going to their house. Their daughter Sharon was my best friend, and they had a black dog named King. I was always up at their house, loved it there. Uncle Mike was the coolest uncle anyone could ever have. He used to take all the kids in Cold Brook for ice cream, whenever we wanted it.

Down the road lived Lawrence and Mavis. Lawrence was my cousin, but I always called him Uncle to be polite. I was good friends with all their kids, and often considered them to be my brothers and sisters. Still do. Uncle Lawrence was really good at fixing cars, and even better at painting them. I think my love of old cars may have come from playing at his house so often. He would always tell me about each car, and how fast it could go. He liked the paint on my new bike, and wondered if he could paint his car the same way.

My Uncle Collie and Aunt Lillian lived across from Lawrence. Uncle Collie was my godfather and has always gave the nicest toys for my birthday. He looked pretty busy, so I never went in, and hurried on my way.

Mom and Dad lived across from Collie. Dad built our home by himself, with some help from his dad. I was the only kid for awhile, so I got all the attention, and the coolest bike. Mom urged me to hurry with my ride, as supper was almost cooked. I had a little brother named Henry, but he was only born in March, so he couldn’t ride bike with me yet.

Uncle Ralph and Aunt Josie lived in a road next to dad’s house. Ralph was one of my dad’s younger brothers. Aunt Josie was always so kind. She was that kind of aunt every kid wanted to have. She really liked my bike. I offered to take her for a ride, but then remembered what mom said, and decided against it.

My Aunt Patsy and Uncle Wayne lived across from mom and dad’s house. Aunt Patsy always had freshly baked cake and pies that I loved, so naturally I stopped over for a chat, in hopes of getting a slice. Uncle Wayne loved my bike, and took me into the garage to show me his new car. I think it was an Oldsmobile. Shiny black with the inside of the car the same gold color as my bike.

Uncle Frank lived in the next yard to my dad. He and Aunt Vivian waved as I passed. I couldn’t stay to chat because supper was going to be cooked soon and I was starving. That piece of orange cake from Aunt Patsy was good, but wasn’t enough for a growing boy like me, especially one who could pedal his bike as fast as I could.

Stan lived next to Uncle Frank. Dad called him ‘Little Stan’ because his dad was also named Stan. Little Stan was always working on cars. He could fix anything, and for that reason there was always nice cars parked in his driveway. He liked the VW Beetle, and often made dune buggies from them, then sped up the road, seeing how fast he could go. He was too busy to look at my bike, and with supper ready soon I couldn’t stop.

Little Stan’s father, Old Stan lived in the house just down the road from him. Old Stan spent his time cutting firewood and selling it to widows in the area, who had no way of getting wood. Old Stan was always a person who could tell a good story, and it would be nothing to have Stan knock on your door at any given time to share a few tales. Stan was married to my Grandfather’s sister Magaret who I called Aunt Maggie.

Uncle Harold and Aunt Lean lived next door to Old Stan. Although they weren’t my Aunt and Uncle, I called them that out of respect. Harold was Old Stan’s son. I played with all their kids, but mostly Ricky. We had a ton of fun because we were kids living in a place where everyone was family. Life was simple. Ricky came out of the house screaming when he seen my bike. He was so excited and said he would have to build himself one like this. I never doubted he could if he set his mind to it. He was a smart kid who didn’t know he was smart. Another story for another time. Got to get going, the next house is down over the hill.

At the end of Richards’ Hill, Mikey Gabriel and Aunt Zita lived. Mikey had a sawmill and was busy a lot. My Aunt Zita, another daughter of Uncle Morsey and Aunt Kathleen was sick a lot those days. Mom said she and Aunt Zita were best friends ever since they first met.

My Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Roddie lived in the next house. Aunt Evelyn was my dad’s older sister, and according to Gram, the two of them got into plenty of trouble when they were little. Aunt Evelyn was my favourit aunt because she always had a funny story of her and my dad and because she always had fresh baked goods at her house. Being a skinny kid, I loved visiting her, where she always had me a special treat.

Only a few houses left. My Aunt Mary and Uncle Eddy lived next, and they were the last house in Cold Brook at the time. My Aunt Mary joked that I would be too tired to pedal all the way home, and she was right. My Uncle Eddy boosted my new bike into the bed of his Chevy Truck and I sat next to him in the cab while he drove me home, right in time for supper.

Nothing like growing up in a community where everyone is your family. A trip through the community now is quite different as most of my uncles and aunts have since passed on, their kids moved to bigger and better things in places far from Cold Brook. I feel fortunate I still live in the community, with my beautiful wife, all our pets, and even better, with my wonderful parents just down the lane from us. I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane in Cold Brook on my Royce Union bike.

best date for deaf guy

Back a few years when I was young and single and hard of hearing

I met this missus

at a bar.

She wasn’t bad so I asked for a dance and we hit it off so I asked her out on a

date

She said yes so the next day when I picked her up

and made small chat, I asked her what she did

when she said she was a Veterinarian I said

Wow.

Now I am thinking I hit it big because Vets make lots and we can go to all those expensive places

a poor boy could not afford.

So I took her to a great place I knew was expensive just to

impress her.

When I pulled up in the Steak House parking lot she said what the hell

and slapped me in the face

at first I thought it was okay but then after two or three not so much

so I asked what was wrong, then discovered

what happened

damn my hearing, the old brain substituted

what she said for something that sounded like it

she didn’t say Veterinarian

but Vegetarian.

The date was over, my face hurt. I brought her home, not a word in the car except for some advice

she said get a damn hearing aid

damn.

quotes from my dad

My dad will be turning 85 in May. He hates to think about it, as he has always hated birthdays. I figure in his 85 years in this world, he would have plenty of advice for the younger folks out there. Here are a few:

“Who wants to celebrate getting old? ”

My dad always hated admitting his age. I remember when he turned 50, he didn’t want to talk about it. Now at 85, he asks we just treat his birthday like every other day, with cake.

“Why admit to something you did even if you did it”

My dad never admitted to anything in his life. Whenever mom would question him on something he may have done, he would deny it, so she stopped asking him. Words to live by for sure.

“Walk lightly”

Dad and I used to cut firewood in winter when I was younger. He would break a trail on the deep snow by walking and stamping down on the snow until it was hard packed. When I tried to walk on the trail, I would always sink up to my waist in the stuff. He would look at me and say I was walking too heavy.

He also used this saying when mom was scolding us, or if he knew we did something wrong. “Walk Lightly Son, don’t admit to anything”

My biggest nightmare in school…fitness awards.

Photo courtesy of cbc.ca

Just looking at those badges brought me back to horrors of grade school gym classes. I was the skinny, nerdy kid who sucked at sports, so much that I constantly made up excuses to miss track and field day, to no avail, as I never missed one day of school from Kindergarten to Grade 11.

All the ‘Alpha Kids’ were there, raving how they would take the top awards. All I wanted was a bronze medal. For years I was forced to compete in those events, only to receive just the plastic participaction pin at the end of every event.

The only ‘good’ memory I have of Track and Field Day was in Grade 7, which took place the first day of school. I had taken a big growth spurt that summer, and when returning to school, I was the tallest kid in my grade. This would be my big chance to take home a medal.

I still remember that day. The gym teacher lined us up across the playground behind the school, I scanned my competition, a bunch of kids I had lost to every year since the event began; a crowd of kids shorter than me. I really believed I had a chance to take home my first medal. This day was like a dream to me. Finally, a medal. I didn’t care which one I won, most kids tried for the Gold, Silver, or the Award of Excellence, not me though, I would have taken any of them.

I envisioned my mom proudly sewing the badge on my best coat, brimming with pride, and me strolling into school, the envy of all the kids, showing off my beautiful bronze patch.

When the gym teacher hollered GO, we tore across the grassy field, headed for the finish line. I was actually ahead of everyone, a good twenty feet ahead of the second place kid, when I thought I heard something in the distance, a voice, yelling “Watch out Teddy, Watch out for the ….”

All I heard was Teddy Teddy…I thought it was my friends cheering me on.

Of course I ignored all this, as I was too focused on winning a medal. I held my head high, looking forward to the finish line. I was there, nobody near me, just the wind in my face, and the ground beneath my sneakers, I could taste victory and it was good. I was going to win my first prize ever in track and field; when all of a sudden I brought up solid into a…

German Shepherd. That darn dog from across the street was always wandering around the school yard. I ran right into him, and landed face down on the ground. The other kids ran around the dog, who was now licking my face; and while I licked my wounds, I realized I would never win the event, never have that precious medal sewn to my favourite jacket. I knew eventually the other kids would grow to my height, and beat me in the races. It took me a while to get up, but when I did, I seen the three kids who were behind me proudly line up for their awards. The gym teacher rushed to my aid, and handed me my Participaction Pin.

I was at a yard sale once, a few years back, when I came upon a treasure. No, not the gigantic bag of very desirable marbles, but something even better. A large box, labeled Participaction Track and Field Awards, and guess what? The box was filled with hundreds of medals, everything from the Award of Excellence, Gold, Silver, to the Bronze medal. There were also bags and bags of Participaction pins. I was in my glee. Now if I only had a time machine, I could go back in time, get Mom to fill my jacket with those medals, to the point the entire jacket would be made up of just medals, and I would be the most popular eight grader in the entire school. Oh to dream.

sledding a career?

Just watching some of the olympic events this weekend, and I have to say, after watching Luge, Skeleton, and the bob sledding events, I realized how popular sledding really was if I knew sliding would be an olympic event, I would have continued sliding on my Krazy Karpet!

What fun we had as kids, sliding on ‘Grappy’s Hill’. The hill was a twenty minute walk to get to the top, but the ride was well worth it. The narrow trail, created by my grandfather as he hauled firewood with his old Ski-Doo Elan, wound up a steep hill, through trees and brush. In the middle of the winding trail there was a giant rock with sharp edges that us kids somehow avoided even though we flew down the hill. some kids made it a challenge to see just how close they could come to the ‘Big Rock’. Luckily, none managed to hit it.

In the spring when the weather got milder, we used to build ski jumps at the bottom of the hill. We just used snow, and brought water from the river to pour on the jump, and make it icy. We used K-Tel Mini Skis, which were short plastic skis with laces for bindings. They strapped to your boots.

It is hard to believe none of us got killed, as we soared down the icy hill, onto the icy ski jump, and head first into the fields beneath the hill. I had gotten quite good at jumping, but as we got older, we all grew out of sliding and moved into other things, like girls.

My first sliding adventure was the time I visited my older cousins, who lived down the road from me. My oldest cousin Raymond spent hours removing the hood from his father’s ’52 Chevy truck. The thing must have weighed over a hundred pounds, and was slick and shiny from the numerous times his dad polished the thing. He would have killed us if he thought we planned to make a sled from his pride and joy.

We attached a piece of chain to the front of the hood, and the three of us hauled the thing up the steep hill across the road from their home. When we got to the top, the thing felt like it was exited to take off. Given the weight of the thing, the slippery surface, the steepness of the hill, and the enormous push my cousins gave the sled, one could only imagine how fast we flew down the hill. We thought we had prepared for everything when we realized there was no way to stop this thing, as it hit the edge of the hill, and flew across the road, and onto the driveway. We continued sliding at an enormous speed until we brought up solid, into the side of the old truck.

I ran home the minute we stopped, leaving my cousins to deal with their dad and his now badly damaged truck. I think he grounded them for a month.

By the time I seen them again, it was summer, and they had moved on from sledding to cars, but that is another story.

Red Blooded

When I was a kid, growing up in a tiny community in Newfoundland, I thought the world was a great place. I was raised to believe that if you were honest, believed in God, went to church, and listened to your parents, your teachers, the police, and anyone else who were supposed to be telling you the truth, you would be a good person.

I was a curious kid, always asking questions like “Who are we?”, “Where did our family come from?”, to “Why is our skin so dark?” and the biggest of all, “Grappy, are you an Indian?” Which was quickly silenced by my Grappy, who got very insulted by my question. I really didn’t want to hurt his feelings, I just wanted a simple yes or a no. He could give me neither.

I used to wonder why these questions were so bad. Why was it so bad to ask if we were indians? I know in the westerns we watched on Uncle Roddy’s tv, the Indians used to scalp innocent cowboys, kill their kids and do bad things to their wives, so I guessed that was why my grandfather didn’t want me asking him, or accusing him of being a savage like them people in the westerns.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder how he was so good at doing stuff. He farmed cattle, pigs, chickens. He had horses, planted gardens, cut and harvested hay. In the fall he would slaughter the pigs, and a cow or two, so he could provide fresh meat for his now grown adult kids. He would waste nothing. He used the skin, to make hides, which he sold, the bones to make handles for knives, he even used pieces of cow hide to make hinges for the shed doors. He made all his own farm equipment. He hunted rabbit and moose, and partridges and other animals to provide food. I used to wonder how he learned all this stuff. he would always say he just knew how to do it.

As my curiousity about indians grew, I asked him more questions, to the point I think he drove me away. “You must be an indian, Grap” I would say. I remember his response was to warn me to never ask those questions, and most of all, never tell anyone he was an indian.

What great shame it must have been for this man, so skilled at so many things, secrets passed down from his father and mother, them from theirs. Secrets of how to live off the land, how to survive the impossible. The stories of his forefathers, their struggles, all in his mind, too shameful to share with his kids and their kids. He was ashamed to even believe they could be true. All because of one man. A man who claimed he saved the province from poverty and how just one little lie meant the province could join a nation called Canada. No sacrifice too large to ask, just deny who you are, who your parents are, where you came from, and in some respect, where you are going.

When Joey lied to the Canadian Government, and told them there were no indians in Newfoundland, this lie caused a ripple effect across the province. With that little ‘white’ lie, everything about my family’s past was swept under the carpet, so to speak. Being indian meant a great shame, as indians were portrayed as lazy drunks, instead of the hard working people they really were. I wonder if, before 1949, if someone looked at my grandfather and asked if he was an indian, would he have been proud to say he was, brag about his skills and his love of the land, instead of hiding his head in shame?

Could he have given me better answers about who he was, and who I was? Could he have shared those skills with me, and even more important, could he have shared the secrets with me? The stories passed down through the ages, of a time when his people lived off the land, and survived on their own without government handouts and government lies?

I wish my grandfather was alive today. I wish he could witness the pride felt by his descendants, knowing we can hold our heads high, knowing we are

Indian.

The Luge run

Being a kid back in the 70’s, we found things to keep us occupied. I grew up in a small community, surrounded by family and friends. I was never at a loss for a buddy, or in this case, a side kick.

Ricky was my best friend. He was a different kid, who at just ten years old, could do almost anything. He could weld, he could build anything out of wood, I even seen him fix cars with his uncle. He could do everything except school stuff. Reading was a challenge, so he never did it. A lot of the kids picked on Ricky because he had a speech impairment, but it never bothered me. I found him cool.

Anyway back to the kid olympics of the seventies. We actually built a luge for the summer. We just didn’t know what a luge was, or that it was meant for sliding down steep icy tracks in winter.

When I said ‘we’ built a luge, I meant I came up with the idea, Ricky put it together. We were always building go carts (I mean Ricky was always building them) and on this occasion, we didn’t have a lot of things to make a normal go cart, but Ricky’s dad had a garage with a ton of junk out back. We took a piece of plywood, a few boogie wheels (part of an old Ski-doo suspension that consisted of small rubber wheels), a few pieces of pipe, and a two by four.

Ricky fashioned the pieces together, making a device that resembled a garage creeper. We would have used a garage creeper, Ricky’s dad had one, but he would have killed us for taking it. Using the two by four and the pipe, Ricky fashioned a steering mechanism controlled by whomever was driving the thing at the time. All you had to do was push either end of the two by four to steer. It was fail proof…or was it.

anyway, we couldn’t wait to try it. The thing sat less than two inches off the pavement. (Did I mention we just got our road paved?) Kids everywhere on makeshift go carts, sailing down the hill leading to the community. We were going to do one better with our new cart. Here is a drawing of the go cart. (I am a better writer than artist, so I used Paint to do the drawing)

We hauled the thing to the top of the long hill. I got on back and laid down, Ricky got in his seat, laid on back as well, with his head tilted so he could see where we were going. “Hang on for the made in voyage” he stuttered, as we pushed off and headed down the steep hill. We must have been doing quite the speed when we both realized we forgot one very important part of our cart, BRAKES!!!

A bread truck was headed up the hill the same time we were flying down the hill. Two ten year old kids, lying on a piece of plywood on wheels, no brakes, and basically hauling ass, went right under the truck! I can still see the driver’s eyeballs as we drove under his truck. He slammed on the brakes but we were ok, and we kept hauling down the hill despite his curses for us to stop. Hell, we never had brakes. I think I seen the devil on the way down that hill, my adreneline flowing as fast as the wheels on the cart, as we coasted to a stop nearly a mile from where we started.

“Whatta rush! Let’s do it again” Hollered Ricky, as I vomited on the road side. “No thanks,” I said, still shaking from the ride. While Ricky couldn’t wait to tell his brothers and sisters of our adventure, I swore him to secrecy, as our parents would have surely killed us for almost getting killed.

I hear the driver of the truck retired after that incident.

Archie: A Dog’s Story, or What’s in a name?

Volunteering with our local SPCA has certainly changed my life. At first we got involved because my wife wanted to foster pups, and I was reluctant to get too involved. Fast forward almost five years, I am president of the organization and my wife is vice. We have fostered at least ten or more pups, over 1000 kittens (yes, you read that right), three Guinea pigs and several bunnies. We keep busy. We built a room in our basement to allow pregnant stray cats to give birth to their kittens, Though the SPCA, we get the mom cats spayed, the kittens spayed or neutered, then find homes for them. Busy life.

A life like this is not without its highlights, and lows. I like to focus on the highlights. One such highlight is that of a dog named Archie.

One evening we got a call from a lady who needed to rehome her small dog. My wife and I also intake dogs for our SPCA. Small dogs adopt quickly, so I never said no. She lived alone in a remote community. Her husband had passed away suddenly last year, and now she is sick. She said she wasn’t strong enough to keep her little dog, whom she cherished.

My wife and I drove out to the community after work. It was still summer so it was still light when we got there. While my wife was busy with the paperwork involved in surrendering animals, I was focused on a rather large and very dirty dog tied out front of the home. He looked like a lab mix, but it was hard to tell because he had just finished rolling in mud. He had a giant log in his mouth, and his tail was wagging hard enough to take him off the ground. No doubt a friendly pooch.

“What’s the dog’s name?” I hollered. “Buddy” she said. “He is five, and we had him since he was a pup,” She added. She said Buddy was her husband’s hunting dog. Of course I wanted more information. “What you doing with him?” I asked. She said she found it hard to let him go, as he was a reminder of her late husband. Apparently Buddy and her husband did everything together, ride the skidoo, the ATV, hunt, walk on the beach; right up until the day he died. She was too weak and sick to do any of that stuff, so she left him tied outside. Buddy had a fine doghouse, lots of food and water provided, so he didn’t do without a lot, other than being walked, and living indoors.

“Why is he outside” I had to ask. “He finds it too hot in the house. We let him in during winter storms but he isn’t comfortable” she replied. Upon entering her home I could see why. She had a wood stove in the corner, and it was RED HOT! This was August, I can only imagine how hot it would have been during the winter months.

“Can I have him? Can I find him a home for you?” I asked. She said her late husband’s best friend wanted Buddy for hunting. “What will he do with the dog when he isn’t hunting?” I inquired.

She said he would tie Buddy outside. That didn’t seem right to me. I asked her to check with him, see if he really wants the dog, and when. She agreed. I called her once a week, asking how she was, and how Buddy was doing, until one Tuesday evening, she called me. She said she got her tests back, and she wasn’t doing well. She asked if I could take Buddy.

Myself and another volunteer made the trip to get Buddy. All the way out she questioned why I was so adamant on getting this dog, and rehoming him. I asked her to be patient; I said she would have no questions once she sees him.

We almost drove past the home, but she made a quick turn into a driveway. “That the dog? That Buddy?” she asked, as she nearly hopped from the vehicle before it even stopped. It was love at first sight, as it always is when we rescue animals.

Buddy was all cleaned up, still holding that damn bone, tail still wagging. The lady came out, and the three of us all went over to the dog. Although he was almost 85 pounds, he never jumped on us. He was so excited to have someone visit him, you could see it. I clicked a leash on his collar and he proceeded to drag me to the back of the car. He hopped right in, then peed on the speaker in my volunteer’s car. Great first impression.”Don’t forget the log, my husband made that for Buddy before he died. Buddy doesn’t go anywhere without it” She said.

After tears were shed, and conversations ended, we bid goodbye to Buddy’s owner. I asked her to stay in touch, let me know how she is doing. Then we were off. we worried he might eat the car, but once we started moving, he settled quickly.

Buddy was at our shelter for a few weeks, as we worked on his manners, and had him neutered. We were going to post him for adoption when one of my volunteers mentioned how the last few dogs we took in were all named ‘Buddy’. We decided we would rename him. One of my volunteers asked if she could pick a name. Bear in mind none of us knew the owner, I never even shared the name of the owner to my volunteers.

After three days, she came back with a name. She said she had searched out baby names, baby books, the Internet, friends, and she kept coming back to the same name. Archie. So we named him Archie. He responded to the name immediately, even better than he responded to Buddy.

We posted Archie for adoption, and received hundreds of applications. Everyone fell in love with his story, and with his picture. He is one handsome dog for sure.

That night I called the owner. I wanted her to know her dog was doing well, and that we had changed his name to Archie. She grew silent on the phone.

“Of all the names in the world.” She paused, “Why Archie?” She asked, a shudder in her voice.

She added, “My father died 21 years ago. His name was Archie” she said. I was dumbfounded. What a coincidence, or was it a coincidence? Was this meant to happen? Was it a sign?

She began to cry. She said it was beautiful how this happened and it may be a sign of good fortune. She said her daddy must be up there, smiling down on her, and on Archie.

We received hundreds of applications for Archie. We finally decided on adopting him to a young family from another town. The family consisted of a mom, dad, and four year old daughter. We set up a meeting between them and Archie. When Archie seen them he ran towards the husband and wife, past both of them, and to the feet of their four year old daughter. They have been close every since. Archie, or ‘Arte’ as she calls him, are always together, perfect fit. Archie only had one accident in the home, the first night, since that, he has been perfect. Archie is a family dog, a friend, but most of all he is a companion and protector for the little girl, always by her side; meant to be.

I keep in touch with the former owner, sharing pictures and stories of the latest adventures of Archie, and his new family. She says it is all that keeps her going those days. We are more than animal rescue, we rescue people too. Volunteering with the SPCA rescued me too.

Help us help the animals. Donate to your local humane society or SPCA. We do all this work for free, we spend all our available time saving the helpless, so they can become family members. If you would like to be involved, contact your local SPCA.

Nature’s Judge

Duct tape, or as he referred to it, ‘duck tape’ was his weapon of choice. He came to town a few times a year, to stock up on the stuff, along with a few other items. An animal lover at heart, it hurt him when he seen how cruel people could be towards the animals they took as their own and called them ‘pets’. Sometimes he cried for those creatures, other times he reacted, and fixed things.

When the story of an Ontario man who tortured his dogs came popular on the news, the man felt it was his duty to punish this person. God knows, the courts couldn’t do their job. The judge let him off with a fifty-dollar fine.

Finding this man was easy, as he did several newspaper interviews, some in his own home, boasting of his power of persuasion. “The story was wrong, the dog starved because he refused to eat.” he boasted. Most knew the difference.

Apprehending the man chose to be the biggest challenge, because his ego would not let him go alone for long. He always had some foolish young thing on his arm. He had money, that was all that mattered. The man was patient and waited until the house had gone quiet. It was late, but he was skilled. He could mimic any animal, sounding like the burdened beast who starved to death while tied outside was no challenge.

After a few whines and howls, the torturer came outside. He yelled for whatever disturbed him to be quiet, so he could return to bed. He never got the chance to find that comfort. A sharp crack to the back of his neck was the last thing he felt.

Then next thing he remembered was the chill of the forest, and most of all, the roughness of the tree bark against his naked back.

Duct tape was wrapped around his head, tethering him to the tree. as the savior of the wild creatures worked to bind the man to the tree, he recited several chants, when he finished, the cruel man was wrapped like a mummy, to a tree deep in a forest. Just his eyes and nostrils emerged from the tight sticky wrapping, and he gasped to catch his breath, almost choking. He quickly discovered how to breathe through his nose.

Without the gift of speech, he calmed. He knew he would not escape this time. The man who loved dogs spoke to him, reminding him of why he was here, tied to a tree in the middle of nowhere. He heard howls in the distance, as fear moved up his spine.

“You left your dog starve to death, while tethered to a tree with a short cord. That dog loved you, he worshiped you. That is how you repaid his love.” The evil man squirmed in his tightly wrapped prison, knowing this may be the end.

His eyeballs bolted to the left, then right, as he attempted to break free. “I remember seeing your poor dog do the same, as he writhed and attempted to break free. I remember the electric fence that surrounded him, keeping good people from helping him. I remember having to watch a creature shrivel and die from starvation while you entertained the young ones with your money and your drugs and I remember how the only just thing done for this animal was removing him from the rope, and burying him next to his torture spot. You will remember too, I assure you. There will be no judge, no jury, only the chill from the forest, and maybe the drool from the tongues of the wolves who will avenge their brethren. You won’t suffer long, not as long as the little dog, but his death will be avenged a thousand times before you draw your last breath. I assure you of this, as sure as I stand before you, this will be so.”

With that, the man walked away and disappeared into the thick brush, leaving nature deal with the cruelty of society and of this man who stood, taped to a tree in the middle of nowhere, unable to call for help, with nothing to eat or drink, until he draws his last breath.

A few days later the old man returned. He was not surprised when he found the tethered man dead, head hanging, eyes focused on the ground, where wolves chewed at his ankles and shins as he watched. He knew the man had suffered, possibly of thirst and of food, mostly of fear from not having the opportunity to escape; much like the dog he called his ‘pet’.

Nature had taken care of itself, it fixed what needed fixing. He decided to do the humane thing, bury this creature in the ground next to his torture area, the same care given to the small dog. The tape came off easily, with the weight of the man leaning forward, it only took one swipe with the knife before he dropped into the six by six hole beneath him.  The ground was soft and easy to spread, as the old man covered the body, leaving it to the underground beasts to feast on. A sprinkling of white dust was sprinkled on the area where the body was buried, and a ritual of prayer was performed upon the site.

When he was finished, the soil reclaimed him, his body sinking beneath the scattered leaves, into the moist soil, only to be resurrected when he was needed, to avenge the souls of tortured animals.

I am back…sort of

After months of not being able to log in or have access to my posts, I finally had time to tinker with my wordpress and here I am, back, ready to start scaring you with my outlandish stories.

The first story I will tell you is of the sci-fi nature.

Imagine you wake up in a hospital. You are alone, no doctors, no nurses anywhere. That’s right, this is the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Care System. Joking. on with the story….

You leave the room and begin to wander around the hospital. You notice it is chilly then also notice you are wearing one of those flimsy hospital gowns with the ass out. There is no heat in the place, and most of the lights aren’t functioning. (I begin to think Budget cuts!!)

You do see bodies, all dead, laid in piles in abandoned rooms. There are signs everywhere, warning of something called ‘social distancing’, whatever the hell that is. You call out, and the only thing you hear back is the echo of your own voice.

The silence is deafening. You start to remember things, little things, like laying on a bed, everyone around you, all the people you love, all praying you come out of the coma. Nobody here now, too bad, you are definitely out of the coma, but you wonder where you really are.

You find a door and go outside. Nothing. No cars moving, but they are there, parked on either side of the road, Garbage is strewn everywhere, buildings look dark, no lights anywhere. More signs about this social distancing. What the hell?

You decide to try to find someone, maybe find out what the hell is going on. You imagine zombies walking up and down the street. That would not be so hard to believe at this point, You walk up to a house, knock on the door. Kids in the house peer out the window at you. They are wearing masks. Someone is coming to the door. A man. He points up the street, and yells at you to mask up and get lost. What the hell? ‘Mask Up?’ What is that you wonder. He tosses you a cheap looking mask. You take it, reluctantly

You begin to think the world has suffered some kind of nuclear disaster. That is the only thing that makes sense to you. That must be it. You put the mask on, and continue your search for something that makes sense.

You see a billboard on the ground, fallen. On it there is a picture of a man with a large head, and bad hair. The slogan says “We won the election” It looks like someone has hauled it down and desecrated the thing with spray paint. You pass by a church. The place is abandoned, the door left ajar, and swinging back and forth, creaking.

Finally, you see a line up of people, all wearing masks. Walking towards you. They have signs they are waving. They are yelling something. “We took the needle, now we are doomed!” the crowd repeated the last part…”We are Doomed, We are doomed!” They continued their chant as they walked past me, like nobody noticed me standing there, in my hospital gown with the ass out. They are old, or look that way. They look like old people with kids bodies. What the hell. I decide to follow, distantly.

The crowd approaches a few more people, again kids with old faces. They too are chanting something about the needle. The crowd joins with the others, chanting loudly, some cussing, some not. I keep my distance, but by now I have to know what the hell is going on.

The line stops at a clinic. Red Cross vehicles everywhere. There is a line up. People who look somewhat normal, albeit pale faces, are entering a building. Suddenly the once peaceful but chanting lineup turn into a violent mob. They began swinging their signs, knocking people down. “We got the needle, we are doomed” they chanted, as they pushed their way into the building. The mob were quickly escorted out, as armed guards pushed each person out the door, threatening them with a hand gun. The man himself didn’t look so good, again, he resembled a young man, but with a drawn and craggy, wrinkled face. He looks at me, as if I have some sort of disease. He then points his gun at me, the confused man in the hospital gown with the ass out. I try to run, but that damn gown. Frigging cold too. He doesnt take long to catch me, but longer than it should have taken him. He puts on gloves and hauls me inside.

COVID-19 VACCINES MANDATORY IN ST JOHN’S NEWFOUNDLAND

TO BE CONTINUED……