Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
Life is complicated when you have a wife and a couple of girlfriends.
It's a juggling match for sure. Especially when one of them is black and beautiful and the other is blonde and beautiful. Mischievous too.
I took the girls for a walk one recent morning while we were at the farm. It was possibly the first hard frost and they were nuts. Crazy dogs crashing into one another. Japh and cousin dog - Gilligan - were visiting so they were along for this walk as well.
I want to remind my 81 readers that when the dogs go for a walk on the farm (not in Tosa) the human walker is always armed with either a sidearm or a scattergun. Why is this? Porcupines, possums and raccoons need to be reckoned-with. They are efficient predators of ground nesting song and game birds.
Moreover, you might bag something for breakfast or a cocktail hour snack.
A quarter mile into our foray Girlfriend halted and went into one of her weird, rare, Labrador retriever points.
I waved Japh to the side and cautioned - Wait.
With that the black dog lunged - flushing a doodle bird which darted and swerved though the trees. Gun up - I took a swift poke and missed.
Dude! What's that all about. Thomas! You are going to ruin my hearing!
Japh is not accustomed to gun-toting dog walking. Nevertheless, the dogs, including Gilligan (who has previously manifested a fear of pistol fire) were ecstatic.
Can you tell I love dogs?
The blonde Lab (Sister) - at seven months of age - has gained in stature and is pushing 50 pounds. The veterinarian says she'll likely plateau around 55 pounds. The black Lab (Girlfriend) hovers around 78 to 80 pounds. I had previously figured that Sister would grow to the size of her auntie - but as the runt of the litter that apparently is not to be. Girlfriend can still, and probably for some time in the future, best her at racing the four wheeler and crashing through heavy underbrush.
Long legs and bulk out-pace shorter legs. Girlfriend is still Top Dog.
Nevertheless, Sister makes up for her pint-sizedness with sheer spirit and determination. She is also my favorite morning cuddler. We try to get about 15 to 20 minutes each morning sitting on the floor with a big cuppa joe and the papers. And get some quality belly rubs in. I only wish I was feeling up to spending more time with her this fall working on her upland bird studies.
We can catch-up on that next spring following rehab.
Just the other day it occurred to me that a smaller Lab means we maybe won't have to pitch the GMC Acadia in favor of a Yukon. Another benefit of size. A large dog crate and a mid-size dog crate still fit in the back. Add another dog and you realize savings.
As charming as the blonde cuddly one is she has some additional endearing attributes.
She and Girlfriend brought Jill the forelegs of what was likely a coyote-killed fawn. A yummy tag-team fetch. This is a good sign. She has also exhibited the same propensity as Girlfriend for the most outrageous of Labrador retriever flatulence you can imagine. Possibly worse. In close quarters (such as the truck or the den) this proclivity can make your eyes water. On top of that she is a champion snorer.
Stinky, working dogs, scarfers of disgusting things - gotta love 'em...