Category Archives: Pets

Lilly (2013-2016)

I think one of the greatest things about pets is that they are clueless to the world outside of our four walls. They don’t know a thing about a certain religious group that would like to see me dead. They know nothing of the events in Nice, Orlando, Dallas, wherever. They’ve never heard a thing about climate change, a tough economy, corrupt politicians, or any of the other countless things that plague our world. Have the heat and air working, some water and food in a bowl, and everything is just fine. And I’ve always been able to feel that “just fine” feeling when I cuddle up with one of our furry children.

Lilly came to us on a brutally cold December night in 2013. I found her near the porch – just a few days old. We brought her in and wrapped her up, but I figured there was no way she would last through the night. It took about a month of bottle feeding, and many trips to the vet to battle a host of health problems, but she made it. She was partially blind, but quickly learned to navigate our house with ease. No pet of ours has ever acquired so many nicknames. Lil’s, L-bomb, Lilscomb, Lil Bill, Lilbillie, Chatter Bug, and occasionally, Monster to name a few. Hot on my heels everywhere I went, she quickly became my little buddy.

The vet had long time concerns about her future health if we didn’t have her fixed. So, on July 14th, we went ahead with the spaying surgery. I’ve never had such a powerful gut feeling to stop something, but with her long term health in consideration, we continued on. With no real good explanation as to what went wrong, she didn’t survive the surgery. A shooting star in our lives, I’m sure gonna miss my little buddy. Time to cuddle with a couple of golden retrievers and find some of that “just fine” feeling.

King (2003-2015)

It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of one of our beloved pets.  We said goodbye to King during the morning hours of May 14.

King came to us in 2010 from Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue.  And if there was ever a case of a dog needing rescue, this was it.  You could easily tell that the boy had been through some rough times.  He came to us hard of hearing, trouble seeing, and already weak legged.  Most of the hair was missing from the back half of his body from medication that regulated his thyroid.  His stay looked like it might be a short one as he repeatedly tested our patience with escape attempts.  We figured out that he had issues with abandonment and anytime we were gone, it was time to go.  Once he figured out we would return, the desire to escape went away, and he settled in nicely.  With a regulated diet and supplements, the hair came back as full as ever.  His stability improved and despite not seeing or hearing great, he got to spend a good number of healthy and happy years with us.

Over the last year, his activity gradually slowed down as atrophy in his hind quarters resulted in less and less muscle mass.  What was a slow down for many months became accelerated over this spring.  It was becoming quite the chore for him to move between his food bowl and his napping place over the last few weeks.  Over the last few days, he refused to stand and on the 13th he was showing us his first real signs of serious pain.  The decision was made quick to keep him from enduring anymore pain than he had to, and I was with him through his final moments.

Getting an animal that is already well into his adult years means that you don’t get to have them for very long.  But we wouldn’t change a thing about being able to give him some very good years to finish his life with, and we will always remember the good times he gave us.  Rest in peace, King boy.

A Golden Day…

The high temperature today (16th) in Okarche was a record setting 70 degrees.  This breaks the old record of 64 degrees which was set in 1996.  A cold front will be bringing much cooler air into the area by Midnight and the high temperature on Tuesday will struggle to reach 40 degrees.  Afterward, we will be heading into the teens on Tuesday night.  Not to worry, warmer air will return by the weekend and we will likely see temperatures well into the 60′s.

Work, holidays and unpleasant weather when we were off work had set us behind on several outdoor activities.  There was a lot of projecting to be done which was finished up with a garden watering as the sun set.

The dogs enjoyed the sunshine and I took the time to grab a few pictures of our GR’s: King (7 1/2 years) / Vegas (7 years) / Duke (3 years).  A Golden day all around….

The youngest - Duke returning a Penguin Vegas having a turn...

King never got the message that he was a retriever... Pretty boy King

Vegas giving the squirrel a fair shot. King and Duke enjoying the sunshine.

Pretty Vegas! Vegas showing her age a little bit... but still good to go.

Duke at rest... King with a little company...

A motley crew.

Heat and Duke…

Meet Duke…

We brought Duke home about a week ago… adding to our “pack” of Golden Retrievers.  King was a rescued dog that we picked up about a year ago.  We believe he is the oldest of the group at around eight years old.  I have had Vegas since she was a pup and she will be turning seven in December.  Duke was found by a lady roaming with another dog in far northwest Oklahoma City.  She spent over a week exhausting all efforts in attempting to find his owner.  We believe he is about two years old, and it is also believed by some that he may be a tornado dog that became loose after the Piedmont, May 24 tornado.  While in good enough shape to have had an owner at one time, he has shown a few weeks of road wear which matches up to about that time.  At any rate, he is a beautiful dog that so far is trouble free…and it should be noted that he is our daughter’s dog.

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The high temperature today in Okarche was 111 degrees which set a record for the date.  The previous record was 104 degrees which occurred in 1998 and again in 2003.  The overnight low temperature of 82 degrees set a record for the warmest low temperature on the date.  The previous record was 77 degrees set in 1995 and 1997.  This is the first time that we have had four days of 110+ degree temperatures in a summer.  Previously, three times occurred in 2000.

Record cold and an improving King…

Well, 2010 started off cold and we seem to have fallen into the same situation here in 2011.  We had a couple of days with record low temperatures in Okarche… reaching six degrees on the 11th and 12th.  Afternoon highs only made it to 23 degrees on both days.  Again, we are starting in a hole with regard to temperatures which can be seen on the departure chart:

Today, the arctic air let go for a bit and we made it up to 44 degrees.  Which felt like spring given the past several days.  I took the opportunity to get outside for some photos of our dogs.  The main focus was on King.  When he came to us from the Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue four months ago… he was looking a little thin in the skin.  Sunken face, ribs showing, not much hair on his back, tail or legs.  This is not a jab at SGRR which had him in much better shape than when they received him.  The photo below was taken the first day we got him home:

King in September 2010

King in September 2010

Four months of living with us and he has shown a wonderful turnaround.  Bottom line, he has put on some weight – grew a lot of hair back and is now looking like a healthy dog.  We are quite proud of his recovery over the past four months.  Today’s image (along with a little remaining snow on the ground):

King on January 13, 2011

King on January 13, 2011

Hopefully, after being shipped around over and over and not treated the best in the past… he has found his final home with us and will remain healthy and happy for many years to come.

Back on the cold weather topic… there is more than one way to tell that arctic air has taken up residence around your home.  The outdoor readings were most obvious… but our plot of indoor temperature also tells a story.  I just noticed tonight that our indoor plot of temperature was starting to look normal again where you are able to see each time the heater kicks on and off and the resulting change in temperature.  It was a battle for a couple of days where despite the heater running all the time… the temperature just kept falling through the night.  Our bedroom temperature was closer to 62 degrees for both of the coldest nights which resulted in some extra blankets required.

Indoor Temp Plot - can you find when we were under the grip of arctic air?

Indoor Temp Plot - can you find when we were under the grip of arctic air?

King Lightning

We are winding down the Summer lightning season, but before we call it good – we have what appears to be several chances of activity this week.  Including last evening when a supercell storm formed near Watonga and moved slowly southeastward.

I totally misjudged this event and should have been out the door an hour earlier.  Still, I was able to see some decent cloud to ground lightning and anvil crawlers before the storm rapidly weakened.

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Part of what caused my distraction this afternoon was dealing with an addition to the household.  Meet “King” -

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More images of King can be found at

It’s Been Over 7 Years…


The second severe winter storm of the season hit Oklahoma on January 28th and 29th.  In many ways this system was more damaging than the blizzard which struck Christmas Eve.  As much as ten inches of snow fell in the Enid area… and an ice storm affected the southwest quadrant of the state resulting in over 150,000 people being without power at one time.  It looks as if ten’s of thousands of people will be without power for many days to come. 

For Oklahoma City… there was ice to deal with on day one of the event and as much as six inches of snow on days two.  In Okarche… the storm total of 5.7 inches included 1.1 inches of sleet on the 28th and 4.6 inches of snow on the 29th.  The 4.6 inches of snow was last topped in a single day on November 30, 2006 when 4.8 inches of snow fell.  The storm total of 5.7 inches was last topped all the way back on December 23 and 24, 2002 when 9.6 inches of snow fell. 111 [800x600]

That was fun… now it can go away please…