Low tide


Don Sweetenham

Times Columnist


Well, at last the so-called holiday season is just about over along with all the political floundering and tomorrow will see the installation of a new president. Maybe then we can all get back to the business of living. None of this has interfered with the day to day lives of the duck population of Swan Lake with the exception of one particular event. It was announced that the powers that be had decided that the water level in the lake would be lowered to allow for maintenance on docks etc, This took a few days to achieve but we now have a very large mud puddle surrounding a few central areas of shallow water. I can understand the necessity for this action but I can’t help being concerned for the wild life who rely on the lake for their food, such as the bass, catfish, and other types of fish that inhabit the lake in addition to the ducks, geese and swans. I try to compensate in a small way by increasing the quantity of Ingles ration-style dogfood that I feed, twice a day, to the ducks. There is always a large gathering around my sea-wall when I distribute their rations and I don’t know if any other lake-shore residents are helping. The wild-life need all the help they can get at times like this. And my duck food budget can only be stretched so far. The food that the ducks might miss when I throw it to them gets quickly scooped up by the other lake residents – nothing gets wasted, believe me!

And now for some really sad news. A couple of weeks ago our little dog Delilah was seriously ill and the result of her visit to the Vet was kidney failure and it was decided to let her go without any more pain. So our other little dog, Samson, who passed away a year ago, now has his running mate with him. They were wonderful companions and we miss them so much. Neither my wife, Millie, nor I can live without at least one dog in the family so, to ease the pain, last weekend we went looking for another BFF. We were really looking for a small rescue dog as both Sammy and Dee had been but after touring several locations and not finding exactly what we wanted, we ended up at Peachtree Peddlers, the Flea Market on I-75. We found a small puppy dealer who specialized in Chihuahuas and, wouldn’t you know it, she had two puppies from the same litter for sale. I guess you could call it love at first sight and before I could drag my eyes away from the two little angels, brother and sister, I turned to speak to Millie. She already had her check book out. “What are you doing,” I asked. She pointed to the two pups that I had been admiring and said, “They’re going home with us.” So, just like that we ended up with two tiny, light brown and white bundles of high octane energy instead of one, fully grown black and white, well-behaved, house-trained copy of our beloved Delilah. What could I say? When Millie makes her mind up there’s no changing it and I’ve always found that it’s more peaceful to just go with the flow!

Somehow we managed the ride home, hanging onto our two new family members. I can’t even remember now the exact chain of events but some time over the next couple of days, we visited Dr. Montgomery at the Berry Hill Pet Hospital where we introduced Jack and Jill to their new doctor. Everyone was very excited and the kids had a great time being the center of attention. I’m sure they will both be wonderful pets, once they get settled in. I just hope that I’m still around to witness that, and still have all my fingers and toes! I really only need two fingers with which to type so we should be good for a few more columns yet. ‘Bye for now from Duck Depot.

D.J. Sweetenham, originally from England, is the author of Bumps in the Road and Bumps in the Road - Part Two, highlights of his interesting and far-flung life. D.J., his wife, and their small dog, live in Stockbridge.