Just a little something, only slightly heavy–ten or twelve pounds, I reckon–to roll around the backyard of your mind on this stormy Sunday afternoon. (I wrote this Sunday afternoon, April 15, 2012)
Posts Tagged fences
June 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm · Filed under Random Thoughts, Some truth to it, Stories ·Tagged author, Charles L. Mashburn, dog, dog's point of view, family, fences, fences around our lives, good old days, keep them out or us in, story, walls with no windows, writer
A few hours ago, I repeated a post iIve put on this blog twice previously called, Fences-Another Dog Tail. This is a follow up on that post and what it has to say about the fences we build around not only our property but, our lives. The thing is, it seems to me, it’s more than just fences. Read the rest of this entry »
June 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm · Filed under Random Thoughts, Some truth to it, Stories ·Tagged author, Be Still.... and know that I am God, Charles L. Mashburn, children, dog, dog's point of view, family, fences, fences around our lives, funny, good old days, humor, keep them out or us in, Pennies From Heaven, story, writer
I’ve posted this before, but I was reflecting on the design of the houses in our neighborhood recently, and felt I should post it again then follow it with some added thoughts later this afternoon. This story is told from a dog’s perspective, and it’s funny in places, but addresses a more serious subject, as well. Throughout the story, the dog wonders why we (us humans) have put up fences; fences not only around our yards, but around our lives… Read the rest of this entry »
May 25, 2011 at 9:00 am · Filed under Random Thoughts, Some truth to it, Stories ·Tagged author, Be Still.... and know that I am God, Charles L. Mashburn, children, dog, dog's point of view, family, fences, fences around our lives, funny, good old days, humor, isolated, keep them out or us in, Pennies From Heaven, story, tinted windows, writer
I wrote recently about the ways people seem to be gravitating toward isolationism—wanting to keep their distance from their neighbors. I touched on the aspect of fences in my story, Fences – Another Dog Tail, and then talked about the similar way tinted windows on our vehicles seem to serve the same purpose. My premise on the latter being the darkened windows give us the illusion of not being seen by those we encounter. Read the rest of this entry »
May 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm · Filed under funny stuff, Mostly true, Stories, Weird stuff ·Tagged author, Be Still…. and know that I am God, Charles L. Mashburn, children, dog, dog’s point of view, family, fences, humor, isolationism, keep them out or us in, keeping to ourselves, Pennies From Heaven, story, tinted windows, writer
Along the lines of tinted windshields, and smiling and waving at your neighbors, I had a funny thing happen one day last fall. I was, as I do twice most every day, walking the dog. We were traversing our normal route, which takes us westward along our street along the sidewalk that runs in front of the park on the corner of Southern Plantation Drive (our street) and Victoria Avenue. Read the rest of this entry »
May 24, 2011 at 9:00 am · Filed under Mostly true, Random Thoughts, Stories ·Tagged author, Be Still…. and know that I am God, Charles L. Mashburn, children, dog, dog’s point of view, family, fences, humor, isolationism, keep them out or us in, keeping to ourselves, Pennies From Heaven, story, tinted windows, writer
In another story of mine, Fences – Another Dog Tail, I look at the concept of fences around our yards. It’s written from the view as a dog might see it, dealing in a not so serious manner with something I think is very serious; our tendency toward isolating ourselves from those around us. Most of us tend to want to be left alone, figuring there will be fewer problems if there is less interaction. That’s pretty sad if you ask me. Read the rest of this entry »
May 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm · Filed under Random Thoughts, Some truth to it, Stories ·Tagged author, Be Still.... and know that I am God, Charles L. Mashburn, children, dog, dog's point of view, family, fences, fences around our lives, funny, good old days, humor, keep them out or us in, Pennies From Heaven, story, writer
This is another story told from the dog’s perspective. It’s funny in places, but addresses a more serious subject. Throughout the story, the dog wonders why we (us humans) have put up fences; fences not only around our yards, but around our lives… Read the rest of this entry »
April 16, 2011 at 8:30 am · Filed under Random Thoughts, Some truth to it, Stories ·Tagged author, Be Still.... and know that I am God, Charles L. Mashburn, children, dog, dog's point of view, family, fences, fences around our lives, funny, good old days, humor, keep them out or us in, Pennies From Heaven, story, writer
This is another story told from the dog’s perspective. It’s funny in places, but addresses a more serious subject. Throughout the story, the dog wonders why we (us humans) have put up fences; fences not only around our yards, but around our lives…
There weren’t many fences when I was a pup. A dog could roam the whole neighborhood back then without much care or fear. It was a simpler time. But, things change. No way to stop it I guess. Life goes on and the humans that control things seem to have a way of taking the good things out of life a little at a time.
I remember back when we could run and play all day, then come home in the evening and lay under a tree until dinner time. Dinner was always fun back then. All the kids laughing and talking about the things they’d done. The big guy and the missus smiling and laughing at some of the things the young ones would say.
They let me in the house, but I was smart enough to know not to sit near the table and look hungry. That made the big guy mad. No, I’d lay over by the big guy’s easy chair and look over toward the front door like I was watching for trouble. I knew patience would pay off. After the family had all they wanted, the rest would go to the big dog. That’s me, the dog.
Yes, I was big right out of the chute. I remember hearing the big guy say on more than one occasion, if I’d grown into my feet, they would’ve had to buy a bigger house. His other favorite line was the one about him having to get a second job just to feed me. That one always made me feel a little guilty. Shoot, I just ate the stuff they didn’t. I guess he was just poking fun.
But, anyway, things have changed. We still live in the same house, but the little ones have gone off to parts unknown and now it’s just the big guy, the missus, and me. The missus is cool. Always makes sure she cooks a little more than her and the big guy can handle, so I get a pretty fair meal out of it.
Getting back to the point though, the worst of the things I’ve seen over the years are the fences. I remember the first one in the neighborhood like it was yesterday. The one around the front yard was short—I could’ve jumped over it easy if I wanted to—and was made out of wood. Narrow slats of wood, painted a nice cool white color, with a point at the top. I heard the big guy telling the missus about it. He was like me, kind of confused as to why the Johnsons needed a fence around their yard, but the missus seemed to think it was a good idea. Something about how the only dogs that could go in the Johnson’s yard now were the ones they wanted to go in it. I thought it was more about humans coming and going than the dogs, but that’s just how I see things. Oh, and the back fence! It hurt my neck to look up at the top of it. And, no room between the boards! Good grief! I didn’t even want to see what it looked like back there! Makes me shudder just thinking about it.
No, that confused me. I had no idea there were people in the neighborhood that even cared where we went, much less where we “went”, if you know what I mean. It wasn’t something I’d ever given much thought, to be honest with you. Heck, I just went when I needed to and wherever I happened to be. Of course, I was usually in someone else’s yard. But, what’s the big deal? The stuffs going to dry up and then when that lawnmower thing hits it, it’s history. Bodda boom, bodda bang.
So, next thing you know, the Smith’s put up a fence–another picket job. Then here comes the Jones’s and the Henshaw’s. That one—the Henshaw’s—really got us all to thinking. It was the first chain-link. Those picket one’s weren’t too bad. I mean, you could see through them if you stopped and looked between the boards, but it never really hit you there was another dog in there—one you used to run with—that couldn’t get out. But this chain-link stuff! I mean, there it was right in front of you, but you could see everything on the other side, like it wasn’t even there. It was awful.
Poor Spike—the mixed breed that lived with the Henshaw’s—was a wreck. He paced along the front of that fence, sniffing around the bottom of it, trying to find a way out. Some of us would sit on the street and watch him. Heart breaking is what it was. And, why? That was the scary thing. Spike was a little guy—kind of looked like a dachshund with a greyhound’s legs—and to my knowledge never caused even a little bit of trouble for anyone. But there he was, behind that fence.
He’d whimper a little bit when we’d watch him, but he never howled or raised a fuss; except when those darn cats would torment him. Oh, he hated cats. I never could understand that. The best I could figure was maybe it was a small-dog syndrome or something. But Spike couldn’t stand the cats. Thinking back on it, maybe that was what got him behind that chain-link. I remember a couple of times when Mrs. Elmore was pretty mad at Mrs. Henshaw because Spike had chased her cat into the Johnson’s tree. Of course Mrs. Elmore didn’t know Tabby—dumb name, even for a cat—had snuck up on Spike while he was sleeping and pounced right on him. Say, I bet that was it. Tabby probably drove little Spike crazy and that was when he went to hating cats. I never thought of that before.
But then after they got the fence, it wasn’t just Tabby anymore. Oh, no, that wasn’t torture enough. Tabby would show up first thing in the morning with—no exaggeration—every cat in the neighborhood. And they would sit. That’s it, just sit. Right there in front of that chain-link fence and stare at Spike.
The Henshaw’s had one of those little flappy doors on the back door, so Spike could go in and out of the house when he wanted to. I guess they figured it was easier than getting up to let him out when he’d go stand by the door. That’s the way I do it. The only time it’s a problem is at night when the big guy and the missus are asleep. And even then it’s normally not a problem, because I can wait until morning; except on taco night. Man! I don’t know what she puts in those things, but they hit me hard about midnight!
We lived two doors down from the Henshaw’s, but I could hear that little doggy-door slap shut from inside the house and if the sound of the door was followed by an incessant and agitated barking from Spike, I didn’t even have to go investigate. I knew it was Tabby and her gang of misfits. I made that word up, by the way. It’s a combination of the sounds they make and I always get a chuckle out of it.
So, things just seemed to go downhill from there and it seems like everyone has a fence now. I’m old and don’t care much either way, but it doesn’t seem fair to the young ones coming up. I mean, what kind of life is that? Confined to a fifty by one-hundred lot your whole life. I can’t even imagine it.
And, the sad thing about it is it seems like the more fences that went up, the less the humans got along. Why, I remember when folks used to walk around the neighborhood; smiling, laughing and stopping at this house or the other for a chat with a neighbor. I used to tag along with the missus and big guy. I’d wrestle with my buddies in the grass while the humans would visit and talk about how funny we were. Those were the good old days.
But, like I said, it seems like the fences slowly separated not only the yards, but also the people. Things got edgy. Maybe at first, they put up the fences to keep the dogs in, but then after awhile, whether they realized it or not, the fences were keeping them in. And another funny thing was; I heard Mr. Jones say one time the fences were supposed to keep dogs, cats and even other humans out of their property. What? I honestly thought he was joking. I mean… why would you want to keep people out of your yard? The dog thing, now I came to understand that a little more as I got older. Well, let’s be honest. I figured it out one Saturday after taco night. Big guy was mowing the lawn and stepped in a fresh pile I’d deposited first thing that morning. I never saw him so mad!
No, things were never the same after the fences came. People seemed to lose sight of the fact that they all had a common goal. Life used to be about getting along and helping each other and, well, just living. But as the fences spread to eventually surround every house, they seemed more like walls. Folks didn’t visit anymore. Hardly anyone walked the streets. I could if I wanted to, but I kind of lost the urge. Besides, I really don’t know if I could jump the dang fence anymore. I’m not the pup I used to be and these old legs have lost a little of their spring.
I just lay around the house and the yard these days, pondering the fences. Wondering where it all went wrong. What do you suppose made the humans think the fences were to keep the dogs in or out? I think it was just an excuse they used at first. The thing they really wanted to do was keep each other out, and that just doesn’t make sense to me. What they did was build a wall around themselves. That probably wasn’t what they wanted to accomplish, but it was what they got.
There’s no neighborhood here anymore. You can’t have a neighborhood without neighbors. A neighbor is somebody who lives next door or down the street. Somebody you know by name and can leave your house key with while you’re on vacation. (Somebody’s got to feed the dog!) Nope, those days are gone, I’m afraid. The humans don’t go out unless they have to and they seem happiest if no one comes in. Kind of a selfish and senseless way to live, if you ask me. But, hey, I’m just the dog.