Loyalty

Monday, November 05, 2012

Saturday afternoon... blue sky, fluffy clouds, one of the last shorts and t-shirt days left in the year before cool weather sets in until March. Boo and I had finished planting some crepe myrtles along the drive and some other shrubs and trees we'd rooted over the summer. I planted, he tried to dig them up or chew on them while Ms. Luci and The Sparkster stood sentry duty or lounged in the sun. Work was done for the day so we were all just taking life easy. The Boys were rough housing in the grass as puppies are wont to do.

Luci and I were scoping out a spot we're clearing out to have a quiet place, a cool place under the trees next to a branch to get out of the summer heat.

Then she decided she wanted to go on a little adventure. She'd walk toward where she wanted to go, then walk back to me. When I ignored her signals she nudged me. She was insistent. She wanted to go over to the creek. We hadn't been in several weeks, not since I had to have Suzzi put to sleep because, well, I just couldn't go over to Suzzi's favorite place. No matter how badly Suzzi felt, how much her rheumatize hurt, all I ever had to do was ask "You want to go over to the creek?" and she was ready. She'd walk all the way over and all the way back by herself, then be miserable for a couple of days. But she was happy while she was prancing around in the water, then she'd go roll around in the nastiest, scuzziest mud hole she could find. I guess she thought that was good for her complexion.

The summer solstice of 2012 was not a happy day at Yonder Mountain.

It's easily 2 or 3 hours to hoof it that short half mile or so over to the creek that separates our little piece of dirt from the folks to the east and back. We have to dig up some moles. We have to bark at squirrels and chase some rabbits. If there are deer around... no telling how long the trip will take. But no matter how far afield they hunt, Luci and Sparkimus always come back around to check on me and Boo to make sure we're okay. Boo is still too young and stays pretty close by my side.

As they played, I mean worked, I got to thankin'...

I've learned a lot from my dogs, especially the past dozen years or so when I've paid close attention to them, critters in general, and how they interact with one another, with people, and how people interact with them. Watching, observing, it isn't difficult to extend some of their behaviors to people, actually, in many respects. Although there's a reason for the saying that dogs have owners and cats have staff, even cats have their good points.

We speak of leadership, a subject many of our politicians like to speak about, to shove in our faces, especially around election time. They speak, too, of loyalty. They want us to be loyal to them, to The Party, which ever party they belong to, to their ideals, and what they tell us their goals are. Because it's good for us, like spinach and okry... boiled okry.

But what do they show us in return?

Do they show us loyalty in return as our military, cops, and firefighters do daily? Take, for example, the most highly decorated unit in Marine Corps history. Several years ago it came time for them to redeploy and rotate back to their familiar digs; Ramadi, Iraq. It just so happened at the time that over 200 of their most seasoned, battle hardened NCOs were within shooting range of ending their enlistments, some were even what we called "1 digit midgets" back in my day... they had less than 10 days left before the end of their active duty. The First Shirt called them all in and asked if they would consider extending their enlistments so the new guys would have the benefit of their experience. All but a small, very small, handful of them did exactly that. Keep in mind an extension of one's enlistment does no qualify for any additional money, no re-enlistment bonus. But these men went back into harm's way just so their younger, inexperienced Brothers in Arms could benefit from their experience.

The Book tells us "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." How true is that? To this I would add countrymen.

I have a lot of favorite Budettes. One of my favorite favorites I call Birkie, a babe in Birkenstocks who gives back to her community, often in ways nobody ever sees. But boy howdy don't ever try to get between her and her family, or do what isn't right for the community either. That's an easy way to discover all about what our neighbors to the south would call La Tigresa. I once gave her an American made, Nicholson, 10 inch mill bastard file... not to bust out of jail, but for those occasions when someone attempts to make his rights superior to the rights of other citizens so she can sit there batting those baby blues, smiling, as she files her claws, perhaps a fang or two.

Another favorite is a teacher, a real hard a... um, sweet lady who happens not to take any guff, from anyone. Oh, she likes to play tough guy. But as soon as she finds, and I have this on good authority, a load of jackets, or books, or nifty little gadgets to make her classroom and lessons a bit more interesting on her doorstep she just goes all to pieces. With one of those Juris Doctors, she could easily be a ScheissterBabe, accent on the babe, but what does she choose to do? Teach other people's little heatherns, their precious progeny. Get between her and them and there might just be some hissing and spitting and gnashing of fangs to contend with. Try to do what isn't right for the community, or society in general, and the same might occur too. She has minds to mold, and wings to make strong so they can soar like the eagles, or hawks, they truly can be.

Personally, my preference would be to teach them to soar like hawks. Hawks eat only live prey and, as my favorite TreeHugger once commented, it's sad to think our national bird might choose to be a dumpster diver if it's easier.

But, you see, because they, Birkie and TeacherBabe, refuse to fall into lock-step with them, politicians and their political hack myrmidons will tell us these mild mannered kittens aren't capable of pouring, um, wee-wee out of a boot with the directions written on the heel. They're merely girls, after all, and don't have the experience necessary to tend to the needs of the community like men do.

These are only two examples of many, both men and women, who are daily besmirched and denigrated by our political elites, because they just don't understand that Big Picture. They don't understand infrastructure, or bailing out big businesses, or the theory of money, or Keynesian economics, or municipal bonds, or government funding of private real estate ventures, or government investment in unproven technologies, or government investment in what some consider art, or government investment in any private enterprise. But someone whose primary claim to fame is working at a buy-here-pay-here car lot is? Not owning the joint, mind you, just working there... one of those places with only a dozen or so cars out front at any one time, not even a very large car lot. Or someone who hasn't been very successful at any income producing, non-governmental venture?

A comment was recently made here on Chattanoogan.com; "If you're all so smart, why do you have to run for elected office to get rich?" I like that. It has a rather catchy ring to it. It goes right along with what Mom used to always ask when I was a kid, "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?"

Will Rogers once said "If you start thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around." Or try ordering a cat, or kitten, around at all.

But the Big Dude created both men and women. I believe he did that for a reason. It takes two to, um, tango, so to speak, but it also takes the influence of both a man and a woman to raise a child from an infant to a responsible man or woman. That's been shown time and time again. Every time it's studied, in a legitimate and scientific manner without some preordained outcome, it's shown to be true all over again.

What does government do to ensure that boys and girls have a daddy in their homes? Do they pay women to have more and more children they won't take care of just so they'll have more and more children? Why pay someone to do, um,"it" if we aren't going insist that woman can name her BabyDaddy?

But there are also men around the community who aren't going to wait for government to step in. No sir. They'll be like that cop and his accomplices in Red Bank who revitalized the Boy Scout program, a program that was all but defunct until they stepped up and stepped in to do what they felt they needed to do. But what are the schools doing to help out? Churches? Government officials? Do they encourage involvement in Scouting programs? How many sponsor them? How many troops are around Chattanooga that could use some assistance, someone to plug their programs from time to time at community gatherings?

I understand there's a retired Jarhead, not a term of endearment to be used by those who haven't been there, and some cat who's retired from the railroad who are trying to rebuild a troop over Tellico way just like the gang in Red Bank. One must wonder if they receive the same lack of support as Red Bank, if they're having to go it by themselves for the most part. How many others are out there?

There are also explorer programs where older kids, boys and girls, can explore careers of all different shapes and sizes. These are run by cops, military, engineers, peddlers, printers, plumbers, tinkers, tailors, and candlestick makers... all of whom give of themselves to do something positive for their communities, and include both men and women.

Only to have politicians take more and more and more of their personal resources to do with as they, those elected politicians and their appointed, not elected, functionaries, wish instead?

We hear Republicans blame democrats and democrats blame Republicans for the sad shape of our nation at this moment. Republicans are blaming the President for all of our ills. He's been writing checks, to be sure. But who is it that gave him the power to do so? Congress authorizes all, that's like A-L-L, financial expenditures. If Congress, not the gang of baboons, although there are some similarities, doesn't authorize the money, el presidente can't spend it. It's sort of like if Maw locks up the checkbook and credit cards, Big Daddy can't go buy tools or other toys... or beer if he leans that way.

But we have a collection lawyer who can't say "yes sir, Mr. Speaker sir, how much what color and where do you want it, sir" enough and a doctor whose money can't even get him a date.... no he has to bring his prescription pad, if his past, um, lady friends are to be believed. Then both of these will insult our collective intelligence by telling us it's those dastardly democrats who are totally to blame. Two years ago the Democrats were. What have they, our local congressmen and Mr. Speaker sir, done for the past two years to correct that situation?

I think there's a breakfast cereal named for that... Nut 'n Honey.

I'll leave Richard alone... for a change... but just this one time...

They make all sorts of noise about Benghazi and the lack of effort to secure our citizens, the lies that have been told, the coverup being done. They make all sorts of noise about ineptitude concerning the conduct of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but what do we hear of African involvement and the multiplicity of actions there? Congress ended the Vietnam War by simply defunding it, if that's what they want to do.

But we also have situations such as when Captain Roger Locher calmly asked "Guys I've been down here a long time, any chance of picking me up?" of a flight of American F-4 JetJocks on 1 June 1972 after he'd been hiding in the jungles of North Vietnam for 22 days. Then on 2 June 1972, Air Force General John Vogt quite literally stopped the entire war to retrieve Captain Locher. But today our government will not even provide adequate security for State Department employees.

Voters, those who truly care about what's happening to this great nation, the greatest nation to ever grace the face of Planet Terra, might want to remember that it's always easier to remove a first term incumbent than it is to remove someone who's been there a while. The philosophy of "Uncle Charlie might like little girls, but he's our uncle and we have to keep that inside the family" just doesn't work, with families or politicians. Just because he's ours doesn't mean that he's any less responsible for perverting our government than the next one. A pervert is still a pervert.

I've learned a lot about loyalty from my dogs. Like the time we were picking blackberries and Ms. Suzzi snatched a snake by the back of the neck and killed that dude... DED, right there. Or the time I had a little confrontation with a crackhead in the parking lot and while he was walking closer, and I was saying to myself "Dude, like, did you just let your alligator mouth write a check your hummingbird [tushi] might not be able to cash?", she sat at my right side, Ms. Luci sat on the left, and they both started smiling at him... big, toothy grins that showed all of those pretty white toofies. He walked away, fast.

I've learned it doesn't take an Einstein to understand that a dog, and not even a very big dog, has a mouth full of teeth that can rip flesh and break bone... if it wants to. But they don't, and will not, if they understand their companion is going to return the same loyalty they show. But that loyalty must go both ways. When it doesn't there can be problems as we've seen in the news from time to time. And even though we're told not to, sometimes we have to wade right into the middle of that dog fight to protect our own.

I've learned I must agree with another Budette, that if people don't like critters and don't think dog hair is a condiment, well, maybe they don't need to hang around much.

I've learned there has to be a chicken and egg causality dilemma where the B-word is concerned. Ms. Suzzi always had to sleep up in the bed with me, touching me, and most mornings I would wake up with a wet, cold nose on my cheek, her head on the pillow next to mine. As sweet and good natured as Suzzi was, it didn't pay to make her mad and I could always tell when she was. I stated most mornings.

The other mornings, the ones when she was telling me she was mad at me for something, it wasn't her head on the pillow...

Royce Burrage Jr.


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