Dog Days

The Sepia Saturday Photo Challenge this week featured a shaggy Old English Sheepdog. Our family album yielded a variety of dogs and even a young coyote. Since I’ve written about most of these before, I’ll be brief this time.

I wish I knew more about the photo of Gail Lee McGhee holding a coyote pup. It looks like the photo is from her teen years and that’s her little sister, barefooted Carol Jean, with her. The soil looks sandy and dry. In the distance, there’s an oil tank or perhaps a grain storage bin. Maybe they went with their dad while he was working one day.

Bushton, Kansas has only a few hundred residents these days. Probably there are still coyotes about that rural area. The coyote appears to be someone’s pet as it has a harness on and he seems comfortable being around people.

Unknown Man With A Large Dog On His Head (Sepia Saturday 525)

 

Our Family Dog Stories

The McGhee Sisters and the Dogs

Our cousin Bob surprises us now and then with a “new” old picture. Here’s one we hadn’t seen before of my mother (Gail) and her two sisters. I need to find an incentive to get Bob to scanning all those photos he inherited from his mother.

mcghee-sisters-and-puppies

The McGhee sisters – Carol, Melba, and Gail

Our cousin group on Facebook had all sorts of questions like whose dogs were they, what were their names, and what was the location of the picture?

My Aunt Carol, the littlest girl in the picture said, “I have no idea whose dogs, names; I would suppose it was our yard. I never saw this photo before! Pretty much no memories from this age.
However, after studying on the locale, this may be the lease northeast of Madison, where we lived when I went to first grade in Madison. Then we moved to the lease where I attended Seeley School until mid-6th grade when we moved to the farm.
I don’t remember us having more than one dog at a time.
One memory: I remember Gail and I going into the Madison school, she would go up the stairs to the 2nd floor, and I would go down the hall to my 1st-grade room. I would look back, Gail would wave, and I would then continue, comforted that she would be there when it was time to go home.”
My comment was that I looked like my Mom at this age. My sister commented on that too.
Cousin Bob shared what he knew, “Mom wrote the location on some of her pictures but nothing by this one. There are some good ones of you, Carol, I’ll have you scan some of them for you. Our best guess judging by other photos around this one is 1938 or 39.”
If it is 1938 or 39, here are the ages to go with the girls: Melba – 18 or 19, Gail – 14 or 15, Carol – 4 or 5.
oops duplicate post
This photo is posted in response to the Sepia Saturday challenge. Here’s the challenge for September 14 that inspired this post.

Carol’s Christmas Cats

Gail Lee Martin’s sister has had some awesome cats over the years. Recently, she shared the Christmas photos that she’s taken of the cute kitties. I just had to share them as I know there are plenty of cat lovers reading this blog.

Here’s what she collected in her photo stash over the years:

Over time, many cats enjoyed napping under Carol’s holiday tree. She decorated it with ornaments she collected and even with a seashore theme when she lived in Seadrift, Texas.

It wasn’t until 2016, that one of the cats toppled the tree onto another. Don’t worry, no cats were harmed in this scenario. Here’s her description of the catastrophe: “Graycie managed to bring it down, on top of Fraidy in the recliner. The heavy part missed him, just lots of branches, so he was only startled.”

2018 Christmas Cat!

Here’s an update from Carol with a 2018 Christmas photo, “I spotted Bits sweetly posed by the Christmas music video I’d found on the TV! Just about ready for Christmas dinner with family in Andover.

Yesterday, for my contribution, I got all the cranberries, apples and nuts chopped with Lola’s delightful little chopper, stirred them together with crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and in the fridge to chill. This morning folded in the thawed cool whip, then back in the fridge to stay chilled. Just now, put the Krusteaz buttermilk cornbread in the oven.

Nice day out–cold but sunny and, wonder of wonders, no wind! Merry Christmas everyone!”

CJs Little Bits cat xmas

Carol’s cat kindly posed by the Christmas scene on the television.

 

Puppy Love – 1938

This photo was shared on Facebook by a cousin (his mom is the middle person in the picture, Melba Harlan).

mcghee-sisters-and-puppies

The McGhee sisters – Carol, Melba, and Gail

CJ GarriottI have no idea whose dogs, names; I would suppose it was our yard. Never saw this photo before! Pretty much no memories from this age.

However, after studying on the locale, this may be the lease northeast of Madison, where we lived when I went to first grade in Madison. Then we moved to the lease where I attended Seeley School until mid-6th grade when we moved to the farm. I don’t remember us having more than one dog at a time.

I do remember Gail and me going into the Madison school, she would go up the stairs to the 2nd floor, and I would go down the hall to my 1st-grade room. I would look back, Gail would wave, and I would then continue, comforted that she would be there when it was time to go home.

Posted 12/29/2006 by Gail Lee Martin 

Didn’t we ride the school bus from the oil lease west of Madison? I seem to remember your teacher was Miss Fankhouser. Oh, how I hated those stairs and how the farm kids disliked us oil field kids. One time the wheel came off the back driver’s side of the school bus and went rolling down the hill faster than the bus. 

CJ Garriott – Posted 12/30/2006

I think we did ride the school bus, that year of first grade before we moved to the country school where I walked those 5 years.

Bob Harlan – Our best guess judging by other photos around this one is 1938 or 39.

(Gail would have been 14 or 15, Melba would have been 18 or 19, Carol would have been 4 or 5)

 

 

Gail’s Pet Badger

A Pet Badger

I’d never think to have a pet as ferocious looking as a badger. They have fearsome claws and are noted for their digging. My mom was given a baby badger back in the 1930s and she raised it and kept it as a pet.

She tells some remarkable stories about what it was like to have a pet badger. Here’s more information about the American badger and more about her pet badger.

Mom took this photo at a museum. She said it reminded her of her pet badger, Jolly.

Mom took this photo at a museum. She said it reminded her of her pet badger, Jolly.

An Unusual Pet – An American Badger

Young Gail McGhee in front, center. The shed in the background might be the wash house that the badger lived in, where he dug tunnels in the dirt floor.

Young Gail McGhee in front, center. The shed in the background might be the wash house that the badger lived in, where he dug tunnels in the dirt floor.

Baby Badger

Gail Martin describes in her book how they raised the badger as a baby. This video shows a European baby badger, but it would have looked pretty similar to this.

Great Video of a Badger 

Note that it has a harness. It also digs just like my mother described her pet badger digging in their potato patch. A collar didn’t work for the badger as it would just slip off over its head.

G Is for Ghost Cat – Little Cat and TC

The last cat that lived with Mom and Dad was called Little Cat. I’m not sure when Little Cat came to live with them, but my sister Shannon and her cat were still part of the household. Her earlier cat was TC for Top Cat, a beautiful long-hair tabby.

Shannon wrote to me about coming home from college and told me the following story. Her day off was Thursday. Mom reported that when Thursday came around, TC would sit by Shannon’s door until Mom would open it. Then he would sleep on her bed until she came home. The rest of the week, he wouldn’t pay any attention to her room.

When her schedule changed so that she came home on Tuesday, her cat would wait by the door both Tuesday and Thursday mornings. He’d get quite huffy when Mom didn’t open it because Shannon wasn’t coming that day.

My sister, Shannon Martin, with her cat, TC.

My sister, Shannon Martin, with her cat, TC.

I thought of Mom as a cat person, but Dad always considered them a nuisance. Little Cat converted him. Dad would demonstrate Little Cat’s tricks and tell his latest exploit. Little Cat’s name was usually pronounced Lil Cat, not bothering to include the “t”.

Dad is carving the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Lil Cat looks on hopefully.

Dad is carving the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Lil Cat looks on hopefully.

After the cat died, both Mom and Dad said they noticed his spirit was still around and would jump onto the bed at night. They had a ghost cat.

Gail's sister, CJ Garriott, took this photo of Lil Cat.

Gail’s sister, CJ Garriott, took this photo of Lil Cat.

Several other people noticed the activities of the ghost cat over the years. Both my aunt and my sister experienced the cat jumping on the bed when they visited. Here’s my sister’s memory of it:

“I remember her ghost visiting when my daughter and I stayed there. On our first trip back from India, we were sleeping in Shannon and Dave’s popup camper in the driveway. Mom and Dad had gone to Prescott this particular time. A big, scary thunderstorm hit in the middle of the night, so my daughter and I ran inside and finished the night in the folks’ bed. Little Cat jumped up on the end of the bed, walked around a bit, and then curled up at my feet to sleep.”