The Window

Originally written February 20, 2016, this article has been lounging around in a folder while I gathered the courage to publish it. I guess it’s time.

Imagine a room: it’s a comfortable room with big windows that allow in light. But because the windows are tinted to keep out the summer heat, opening the windows makes the room brighter. And the fresh air invigorates the room with the scent of flowers and pine trees.

About three weeks ago a window opened up in my being and allowed the full sunshine and scented air to come in, and I became exceptionally happy. Not that I’m grumpy, but now I was feeling an extra something that caused me to be humming or whistling a lot: which annoyed the dogs but gave me a brighter outlook on everything.

Three days into this improved outlook I was fixing breakfast and preparing the little cups for our daily pills. I picked up a bottle that I’ve picked up every morning for over 20 years, and as I reached to unscrew the cap, the Holy Spirit within me said, “You don’t need that; put it away.” Continue reading “The Window”

The Gatorgate Incident

Mom’s house

I was working on a plumbing problem at Mom’s house (which is on a corner of our property) and needed a tool from my shop.  Blondie, Cochise and Gator were out in the play yard.  As I walked up the shop driveway Gator was shadowing me inside the fence.  I got the tool and went back to Mom’s house.  When done under her sink I looked out her kitchen window in time to see Gator scampering up the hill toward my house OUTSIDE the play yard fence.

I ran outside and called Gator, who ran back down toward me — until he caught sight of Blondie standing at the end of the Judge’s driveway across the road.  Then he took off to join her and they skipped merrily up that driveway together. Continue reading “The Gatorgate Incident”

Valentina Steele – Notes on a rescue dog


This is a foster dog diary post.  Updates will be added to the end of this post to keep all information on Valentina in one place and in chronological order.

This post was last updated March 23, 2017

Valentina Fast Facts

  • Intake date: February 14, 2017
  • Breed: English Blue Tick Hound (likely full-blooded)
  • Sex: Female – unspayed, has welped at least a couple of times.
  • Age:  ??  Young ??
  • Intake weight: 47 pounds.
  • Health: Fair.  20 pounds underweight and severely dehydrated at intake, but no other issues apparent.  Valentina was innoculated and wormed at intake.
  • Temperament: Gentle, submissive, friendly.

Valentina’s History

Valentina was found, immobile, alongside a local road.  The woman who found her scooped her up, put her in the car, took her home, and cared for her for a day or two. Valentina had no collar.  That’s when Steele Away Home – Canine Foster and Rescue was called in to help her. Continue reading “Valentina Steele – Notes on a rescue dog”

Speak! Do Dogs Talk? Understanding Dog-speak

Will you help save us? dogs talkWhen us dogs talk, most of what we say is not said vocally. Some of what we say comes through body language: the position of our head and body, how we hold our ears, the shape of our eyes, things like that. But some of us are quite expressive vocally as well, even when it comes to communicating with peoples. Many peoples don’t understand the unvocalized parts of our communications, so we have to use what they do understand to convey our desires and affections.

Buster is a funny little guy. While he was here, he didn’t bark much, but if he was lonely he’d do whale song to get our attention. When he was joyful, he’d get happy feet. He is just full of personality.

Others were not so conversational, but had their own distinctive style of verbal expression. King among these had to be Malachi. He had a unique bark that led HairyFace to poke fun at him with this video: Continue reading “Speak! Do Dogs Talk? Understanding Dog-speak”

The Foolishness of God

The Bible makes many references to God’s wisdom. Some compare it to the wisdom of mankind. Ours tends to come up looking like foolishness in this comparison. Sometimes, as in 1 Corinthians 1:21, the wording is confusing: but that just makes it all the more fun to tease out the meaning.

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

cross salvation18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”[]
20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

First, a little background on foolishness

Continue reading “The Foolishness of God”

The Great Crate Swap

Crate scrubbing
Cochise, on crate swapping
Cochise tells the tale

The weatherguessers were saying it was going to get cold. Too cold for Spencer to be outside: he needed to come inside with the rest of us for the night.  That is not a problem, but it does mean some rearranging needs to be done.  Spencer is a big boy and needs appropriate accommodations.

Retriever brand crates
Large and Medium crates

We have three Retriever brand transport boxes that we use as crates. There are several reasons for that. Continue reading “The Great Crate Swap”

The Nose Knows Fear and Stress

The nose knows fear and stress
This nose knows

Below is an excerpt from an article by Jaymi Heimbuch on Mother Nature Network. In it Ms. Heimbuch discusses how the sensitivity of canine noses is being used to screen human patients for a variety of medical problems including cancer, hypoglycemia, narcolepsy, seizure, and others. Today we want to focus on the part that discusses how service dogs are used in preventing P.T.S.D. attacks by sensing building fear and stress levels. Continue reading “The Nose Knows Fear and Stress”

Invisible Salvation

good works, helping hand

The Question

If someone accepts Christ but their lifestyle shows no change, what does that mean and what can we do?

The Assumptions

Christian lifeTo answer this question briefly we must assume several points:

  1. That we knew this person before and after conversion well enough to have seen whether their life changes. If this is someone we only see at church, it is nearly impossible to judge their actual life. If this is someone we have known only after they have claimed to be Christian for 10 years, we may have no idea what they were like before.
  2. That this person is in need of a drastic lifestyle change. Someone who was raised in church, never developed bad habits or speech, and talked frequently of God and Jesus – just had not made the commitment – would be difficult to assess as being in need of guidance.
  3. We are in a position where this person knows and trusts us enough to listen if we try to help them. And we ourselves must be living a surrendered life so we can’t be shown hypocritical by accusing another of hypocrisy.

What Does it Mean?

Continue reading “Invisible Salvation”

Spencer Steele – Notes on a rescue dog


This is a foster dog diary post.  Updates will be added to the end of this post rather than as a myriad of separate posts so all information on Spencer is right here and in chronological order.  This should help potential adopters and rescues easily learn about this dog.

Last updated: February 20, 2017

SpencerSpencer Steele is a black Labrador mix.  Mixed with what is unknown: Mastiff?  Bear?  Clydesdale?  Something  big and sturdy!

He is 8 to 10 months old right now.  We have been told he is active.  Maybe too active.  That makes him hard to handle.  That makes him unadoptable.  So he’s coming to Piney Mountain for a little behavioral modification.

Spencer’s Background

Continue reading “Spencer Steele – Notes on a rescue dog”

Drifting Through Life

rowboat driftingImagine, if you will, a pair of 10 or 12 year old boys happen upon an old rowboat washed up on the shore of a river. There are no oars, but the boys decide to push it out into the river and go for a ride. While drifting along they joke around and tell each other tales of adventure as riverboat captains, or pirates, or brave explorers. After a while they begin to hear a sound; faint at first, growing louder. Their eyes grow wide when they recognize it: THE RAPIDS! If the decrepit old boat goes into those, it will surely break up and they could drown. They paddle frantically with their hands and manage to get the boat close enough to shore to jump out into water shallow enough to walk safely to shore. They watch from the shore as the boat is tossed by the white water, beaten against the boulders and smashed to bits. What started out as pure fun nearly ended in disaster.  This story serves as a metaphor for life. Continue reading “Drifting Through Life”