Tiffany and Handel Lamps

In my previous life, before writing, one of my side businesses was antiques.  I had partners but my favorite and kinda specialty was glass of any type. I absolutely love glass antiques, so when I came across an article about Tiffany and Handel lamps, I knew it would be the subject of today’s blog.

The first Tiffany lamps with domed shaped stained-glass shades were made in 1895.  They became very popular and very expenses.  In December of 1980 Christie sold the “Pond Lily” created in 1903 for over Three Million Dollars.

Because of their popularity, other lamp and glass companies adapted the idea of how the Tiffany lamps were made and began producing less expensive reverse-painted glass shades colored glass and metal-trimmed shades and copies of the originals. None are as expensive as the original Tiffany lamps today, but some of the wider produced are considered important and sell for thousands of dollars.

One of the first to produce less expensive replicas was Phillip Julius Handel who made lamps in Meriden, Connecticut, from 1893 to 1933, and his reverse-pained shade lamps are now selling for upwards to $8,000.00. Almost all of his lamps are signed on the inside of the shade and on the metal lamp base. Its worth is determined by the design on the shade and the shape of the bronze base.  Recently, a Pennsylvania auction house sold a signed Handel “Elephantine Island” table lamp with a bronze base held by three winged griffins (shown to the left).  The shade is a painting of the ancient Egyptian ruins on Elephantine, a small island on the Nile. The lamp sold for over Five Thousand Dollars.

I don’t have any Tiffany lamps but love vases and other glassware and have lots of it.  My business partners where great to me because I’d buy something and then my heart wouldn’t allow me to put it on display for sale, so it’d come home with me.  Every time I go near a garage sale, I slow down but turn my head the other way as a reminder that I have way too much antique glass now.  So far it’s working!

Now I ask you, do you have a favorite item you collect?  Do you have anything special that has been handed down for generations that you want to share with us? 

To two readers who leaves a comment, I will give them

an eCopy of Out of a Texas Night.

A Promise Made; A Promise Kept

       Charles Goodnight

Last week I wrote about Lonesome Dove.  This week we’ll take a look at the inspiration for the book.

In June 1866, former Texas Ranger Charles Goodnight and cattle rancher Oliver Loving went into partnership to drive cattle to western markets.  Settlers, soldiers stationed on forts and Navajos recently placed on reservations were all demanding food supplies, and the two men took a chance that their venture would be profitable. 

They planned to drive 2000 Longhorn cattle from Texas to Wyoming on a trail that later became known as the Goodnight-Loving Trail. That meant passing through dangerous Indian territory. But given Loving’s knowledge of cattle and Goodnight’s background as a Texas Ranger and Indian fighter, the two men were confident they could succeed. 

Not only was their venture a success, but it also led to an amazing act of friendship that inspired the Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Lonesome Dove.

                    Oliver Loving

Things went well for the two men until their third drive in 1867. Heavy rains slowed them down.  To save time, Loving went ahead of the herd to secure contracts, taking a scout with him.  Despite telling Goodnight that he would travel only at night through Indian country, he rode during the day. 

That turned out to be a bad decision as he was trapped by Comanches along the Pecos River.  Though he was shot in the arm and side, he managed to escape and reach Fort Sumner.

His injuries were not life-threatening, but he developed gangrene.  The doctor at the fort was unwilling to do an amputation and Loving died.  He was buried at the fort, but that was not his final resting place. Before Loving died, he turned to his good friend Goodnight and asked that his body be returned to Texas.  He did not want to be buried in a “foreign land.”    

Goodnight promised Loving that his wish would be carried out, and that was a promise he meant to keep. But honoring his friend’s request couldn’t have been easy.

A Promise Made: A Promise Kept by Lee Cable shows Goodnight taking his friend home to Texas.

Credited with inventing the chuckwagon, Goodnight arranged for a special wagon and metal casket to be built. With the help of Loving’s son, Joseph, he had his friend’s body exhumed and carried him 600 miles back to Texas—an act of friendship matched by few. 

Loving is buried in Weatherford, Texas.

What is the truest form of friendship that you’ve experienced?

 

Doing the Wood

Our winter wood arrived late last spring. We get it every three years. The wood comes in on a logging truck, and generally consists of wood that is harvested as a sort of tidying up of the forests

to decrease the amount of tinder during fire season–deadfalls or smaller trees growing too closely together.

The wood is offloaded into a pile which delights the cats, because now they have an excellent hideaway. This year it also delighted a (photo shy)  cottontail bunny who has taken up residence. He and the cats get along.

After the wood is unloaded, it has to be cut and split, then stacked. My husband used to use a chainsaw to make his living, so he’s pretty good at cutting the logs into rounds. The amount of work is measured by the number of times the chainsaw gas tank is filled. He’s taking it easy after back surgery, so he usually buzzes one or two tanks then stops. On a big wood cutting day, he’ll do up to six.

My job is to chuck the wood–toss it out of the way, thus giving room to roll another log off the pile and start cutting.

Note the excellent wood chucking…:)

After the cutting we split, which is my favorite part now that we have a wood splitter. then stack. When we have enough wood for winter, we stop and the log pile remains a playhouse for the cats and a home for the bunny. 

We are fortunate to have the technology–insulated walls, an airtight stove–that allow us to heat efficiently with wood. This was not always the case and American houses in the 1800s were cold, drafty places before the adoption of the enclosed stove, which I will talk about in my October blog.

I do love the log pile and miss it when it’s gone. 

Boot Scootin’ Favorite Book

“Yesterday’s gone on down the river and you can’t get it back.” -Lonesome Dove

One of my favorite books is Lonesome Dove, which was made into a TV mini-series.  Written by Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove is about two retired Texas Rangers, “Gus” McCrae and “Woodrow” Call who drive a herd of cattle from Texas to Montana.  

 The Pulitzer Prize-winning story is loosely based on the true story of Charles Goodnight’s and Oliver Loving’s cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Goodnight and Loving were close friends. Before Loving died, he asked that his body be returned to Texas.  He did not want to be buried in a “foreign land.”  Charles Goodnight and Loving’s son, Joseph, carried the metal casket 600 miles back to Texas.

In Lonesome Dove, Gus dies and Call (played by Tommy Lee Jones) hauls his friend back to Texas as promised.  If this doesn’t make you cry, I don’t know what will.  

“I guess this’ll teach me to be careful about what I promise in the future.”

McMurtry originally wrote the story as a short screenplay named the Streets of Laredo.  It was supposed to star John Wayne as Call.  But Wayne dropped out and the project was abandoned. 15 years later McMurtry saw an old bus with the phrase “Lonesome Dove Baptist Church” on it.  He rushed home to revise the book into a novel and changed the name.  (Ah, inspiration.)

The book went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. The mini-series also won many awards, including a Golden Globe.  It was cheated out of the Emmy for best mini-series by War and Remembrance.  Considered the “Gone With the Wind” and “Godfather” of Western movies, Lonesome Dove has sold more DVDs than any other western.

“It’s been quite a party ain’t it?”

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Robert Duvall as Gus, but he was actually offered the role of Woodrow Call, and turned it down.  His wife had read the book and told him, “Whatever you do, don’t let them talk you into playing Woodrow F. Call.  Gus is the part you should play.”

James Garner was also considered for the role, but he had to turn it down because of health problems. 

McMurtry said that he wrote Lonesome Dove to show the real hardships of living a cattleman’s life vs. the romantic life many think they lived. Some think he failed in this regard. Instead, many readers and critics see Lonesome Dove as a celebration of frontier life. 

What is your favorite western book, movie or TV show?

Now on sale for $2.99

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In From the Storm with Janice Cole Hopkins

The Scots who came to settle the mountain regions of the United States were a hardy lot, especially those who hailed from the Scottish Highlands. They felt at home settling in these areas few other immigrants wanted – areas like the Appalachians or the Rocky Mountains. A large amount of my heritage can be found among this group. Eighty-three percent of my ancestry come from the British Isles with a mixture of Scot, English, and Irish.

This is what happens in Mountain Storms, the first book in my In from the Storms Trilogy. Ian MacGregor was wounded in the Civil War and left Maryland to hide away in a mountain cabin in Wyoming Territory. He had been rejected because of his war wounds and wanted to move from society. Aileas Campbell stumbles on the cabin in a snowstorm after she runs away from unwanted attention. Neither suspect the adventure they’re about to begin or the changes God has in store for them.

The family saga continues in Past Storms. Jeannie MacGregor, at seventeen, feels imprisoned in the secluded mountain cabin with her taciturn brother, so she runs away and goes back to her aunt in Maryland, hoping to have a social life and find a suitor. But nothing turns out as she expected, and within a few years, she finds herself on a train back to Wyoming with her young daughter in tow. The unexpected interest of three men there surprises her, but only one man makes her heart beat faster. However, he’s the new pastor, and what would a man of God want with someone like her. He could hardly find a more unsuitable wife.

In Dust Storms, Brady Sharpe, Aileas’s stepbrother, wanders his way to Texas after Aileas refuses to leave with him. He tries ranching and becomes a foreman but never feels he truly belongs. After catching some cattle rustlers, he decides to leave but discovers a young woman in desperate need of help. He does his best but ends up deciding to take her back to Wyoming and get Aileas to help her. In their journey, they battle many storms, including a major dust storm and storms of the heart.

I loved writing this trilogy. Originally, I hadn’t planned to write Dust Storms, but when I finished Past Storms, Brady said I needed to tell his story, so I did. This has happened before in my character-driven novels. Readers seem to like this series, too, because these books have been my best-sellers for months.

I would like to offer one of you the chance to win a free copy of Mountain Storms. In addition, as long as they last, I would also like to give free codes for audible editions of one of the 3 books to any who have an Audible account (which is free but required to redeem the code). You can email me at janicecolehopkins@gmail.com, and I will send you the code for the book you request. Have a blessed day, ask me any questions you’d like, and I hope to hear from you soon.

 

13 Fun Filly Facts to Celebrate our 13th Birthday!

Yep! 13 years ago on August 13, 2007, we launched our very first blog, amateurs that we were. In that time, 35 bestselling western romance authors have called themselves fillies. Of those, 10 were founding fillies, and of those, 3 of us still remain. 

Linda Broday   ~   Pam Crooks  ~   Karen Kay

Want some more stats? In 13 years, we’ve had:

6,743 Posts

127,559 Comments

1,639,080 Views

That’s ALOT of activity on Petticoats & Pistols, and you, our dear readers, have shared yourself with us over and over again. We’ve become friends. Sisters, almost.

And that got us to thinking.

 

Guess which Fun Filly Fact goes with which filly! 

#1 – I was born in a tent to homeless parents and have twice seen that same situation since. My husband and I rode out an F-5 tornado inside our Texas home, lying flat in a hallway over our three little ones then shifted from place to place for nine months trying to survive. With only a high school education and pure grit, I will reach a publishing milestone in April 2021 with my 30th book that kicks off a new series.

#2 – I skydived when I was younger. Yep, jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. I highly recommend it (if you’re not afraid of heights). The thrill is stupendous, the view is amazing, and the accomplishment lasts forever. I quit after my 5th jump, when my chute didn’t open, and I had to throw the reserve. Oh, and you have great stories to tell your grandbabies!

#3 – My life is a musical. My husband and I were both band nerds in high school, but after one semester of band in college, he convinced me to join choir. We sang all through undergrad and graduate school and even with an adult chorus that took a European tour. Our children grew up singing Disney, Wiggles, and VeggieTales songs, playing in the band in school, and on any given Sunday our pew sports all four parts in acapella style. Once, when my kids were little, we had a lady from church babysit for us. She said it was like watching the Von Trapps.

#4 – I worked in the deepest mine in North America at the time. My level was 6900 feet underground. My pard and I loaded muck from ore chutes into mine cars and hauled it to where it was dumped in a larger chute to be hauled up out of the mine during the graveyard shift. I know what the blackest of black looks like. I’ve also been underground in the Arctic. The most amazing ice crystals grew in the mine there—giant snowflakes about 6 inches across.

#5 – I was in my 40’s when I was adopted into the Blackfeet Tribe in Northern Montana. Chief Old Person adopted me into the tribe in July of 2001 in a ceremony during the Indian Day’s Pow-wow.  The Chief gave me an Indian name that I won’t share here because one doesn’t speak their own Indian name. (It’s considered boasting.)  I was adopted into the Tribe because of my work with them on literacy, and my life was changed forever…always yearning to be in Montana on the reservation.

#6 – While I was hunkered down in a London air raid shelter during the war, someone gave me a teddy bear and said, “May God protect you.”  Thinking “God” was the name of the teddy bear, I took him everywhere.  One night, while my mother and I were racing through the streets to the shelter, I realized I’d forgotten God. Doing what any self-respecting four-year-old would do under the circumstances, I threw myself on the ground and had a full-fledged temper tantrum.  Not knowing what else to do, my poor mother took me back to the house to retrieve the teddy bear.  As we were leaving the house, a bomb went off at the end of the street where we would have been had we not gone back. So,  just as the stranger promised, God had protected me. 

#7 – When I was about six, I was at my cousins’ house and they had a horse! Everyone was getting a ride but my mom said I couldn’t, I was too little, unless a grown up was out leading the horse. Well, the grownups went inside and left me with some terribly irresponsible children. So I begged and whined and finally convinced them it’d be okay if one of them led the horse. And I got up on what now seems to have been a huge animal, and walked along, and whoever was leading the horse let it slip out of their hands and the horse went trotting toward the barn and I fell off and broke my arm.

The only good part of that was, my two big sisters and my cousins got in Terrible Trouble.

#8 – I worked full time in the legal field, while co-owning two antique shops. With a business partner, I purchased the oldest barbeque cafe in town. That had me not only working full time in a demanding profession, having a wonderful husband and two teenagers, but owning three businesses. Then came along the acquisition of an ol’ timey Texas honky-tonk. I learned the bass guitar. Strange fact, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and couldn’t play that well; however, only at closing time my partner allowed me to join the band … most likely to clear out the customers before closing time. Thinking back, it was during that period I took my first writing course.  Fun, sweet memories!

#9 – While working as a newspaper reporter, I used to get sent out to do many agriculture related stories. One day, I went out to interview a couple that had sold their herd of beef cattle so they could turn their place into a “buffalo ranch” and sell the meat commercially. The husband was busy when I arrived, so the wife and I climbed in their big pickup and drove out to the pasture so I could get an up-close look at the animals. We reached the bison but they soon went from docilely grazing to agitated in seconds. The wife realized her husband had left a butchered carcass in the back of the pickup. The smell of that drove the bison wild and they stampeded. The wife swung the pickup around, hit the gas, and we bounced and jostled our way for the gate we’d left open, hoping to beat the bison there before they could escape. It was summer, the windows were rolled down, and one big ol’ boy stuck his head right up in my window. I could have counted his eyelashes if I hadn’t been scared witless. Then the wife said, “When we get to the gate, jump out and throw up your arms. I think they’ll stop.” I looked at her and told her she was crazy if she thought I was jumping in front of a few dozen beasts thundering straight at me. Thankfully, her husband appeared just in time to head off the bison and we made it safely out of the pasture. If I ever decide to include a stampede in story, I have first-hand experience! 

#10 – Have you ever been an unwitting participant in an FBI bust? I was! A lowly secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor, it was my job from time to time to man the front desk and screen guests. Imagine my surprise when, one day, a man came in, and when I asked, “May I help you?” he flashed his FBI shield at me with an “official” glare. “Quiet,” he said.  At that point, he went right on back to his intended target, a claims examiner who was taking money under the table to process black lung claims more expeditiously–and the black lung claimant, who was wearing a wire as the money was changing hands! Four of the six claims examiners were led out in cuffs that day and placed in a nondescript white cargo van, and Mr. FBI told me, “Don’t leave town. You may have to testify.” That was probably my most exciting day at work–ever.

#11 – I was lucky to have some fabulous and very interesting summer jobs during high school and college.  They included working as a data entry clerk for the local water works company (great first job with an interesting cast of characters), as an assistant at a library for two summers (Best. Summer. Job. Ever!),  schlepping backstage and ushering at the New Orleans Repertory Theater during their production of Three Penny Opera (Mack The Knife anyone?) and working as a computer science intern at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (awesome place with some incredibly smart and dedicated people).

#12 – I was an opera major with a flute minor in college and belonged to the top 15% of musicians in my age group on the west coast. I played my way into college (quite literally, winning a scholarship to a conservatory of music with Mozart’s Concerto in G). I have taught flute over the years, helped with my local high school music and drama departments, and was getting ready to join my local concert band (just to keep in practice) when the pandemic hit. As soon as the chaos is over, I’ll sign up!

#13 – As a young girl, I wanted to be a nun. Being from a devout Catholic family, my uncle was a priest, and my aunt was a nun. I remember going to visit her at the convent while she and the other nuns roller-skated in the basement, their habits and veils trailing behind them. They were laughing and having such a good time while they went around and around that small room. It made me think it would be fun to be a nun, too, and my aunt, who was only fifteen years older than me, did her best to convince me I should be one. 

Obviously, she failed.

#14 – BONUS FILLY FACT! – I turned to fostering dogs four years ago when faced with an empty nest. After seeing a post about an adorable female black pup (my weakness) needing a foster, I responded. While that pup had already found a foster, I took a tri-colored male mix puppy named Rowdy about to be euthanized, and a crusader was born. Since then, my family and I have fostered over 25 dogs or puppies. We’ve dealt with mange (zombie dogs are the best!), heart worm treatment for HW positive dogs, Parvo, and have loved every animal we’ve fostered. When I’m asked how I can let them go, I respond “Every one we let go makes room to save another.”

 

It’s our birthday, but you get the gifts!

  • Guess which Fun Filly Fact goes with which filly! 
  • Be sure to number your guesses in the comments.
  • You’ll be eligible to win a $13 Amazon Gift Card.
  • Check back on Sunday to see how many fillies you guessed right.
  • And if there’s any fun fact about YOU you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear it!

Happy Birthday to us!

A Tribute to a Dear Friend

Every so often a person comes along that deeply touches our lives. Glenda Kinard was that and more. An avid reader, she was a devoted follower on P&P who always chose to see the bright side of things even after she almost died in a horrible car wreck a few years ago. She spent months in surgeries and rehab and escaping into books helped her deal with the constant pain.

Glenda was a dear friend to us Fillies and to me in particular. She was always quick to comment on whatever the subject was on P&P. She loved learning and told me often that she’d learned more through blog posts than she ever had in school. A real treat came for me when I was able to meet her in person in Atlanta at a Romantic Times book convention in 2017. I dearly enjoyed spending time with her, her girls, and cousin. In fact, that was the highlight of my trip. I saw her enthusiasm and passion and knew I’d found a kindred spirit.

A Southern lady to the max, she had a sweet, awesome spirit and was so appreciative of everything anyone did for her. I will deeply miss her. In fact, I’m not sure how I’ll fill the hole she left behind. 

Rest well, my precious friend. You’re with the angels and your beloved daddy now.  You are loved.

 

                   

SETTING is a Character ~ by Tracy Garrett

It’s always a special day when one of our fillies return to the corral!  We’re so happy to have you with us again, Tracy!

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Have you ever noticed how the setting of a book is an essential part of a story? There may be exceptions, but I don’t think you can pick up a story and drop it into another place—state, landscape, town versus farm. It just wouldn’t work well.

 

When I started writing JAMES, I decide to set it in Nebraska for several reasons. First, I needed the town of King’s Ford to be close enough to a mining area that my heroine could make the trip, but far enough away that it would be dangerous for her. Since there was gold mining in the Black Hills of the Dakota territory, I grabbed my atlas (yes, I still have one) and looked for the path she would have to take. It led me to a place near Chadron, Nebraska, a real town in the northwestern corner of the state.

 

The location gave me a wagon route to Cheyenne, Wyoming, that a wagon train might take, and a grassland that would support a yearly cattle drive to the railhead in North Platte. Perfect, I thought.

 

Trout Ranch near Chadron, NE
Chadron, NE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I’d been through Nebraska once while on a tour with my college choir. We sang in Lincoln, then lit out for Colorado. All I really remember is that I could see the Rocky Mountains coming for hours and hours—it felt like days!

Eastern NE is flat!

So, my memory of Nebraska is flat. Research, however, made me realize that wasn’t the case for the area I’d chosen. Back to editing.

 

JAMES is set in the rolling hills of northwestern Nebraska. And those hills come into play in the story. So does the weather, but that’s another blog.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think? Do you care where a story is set or does it not really matter to you?

Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of two electronic copies of JAMES.

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JAMES by Tracy Garrett

After five years leading the Lord’s flock in King’s Ford, Nebraska, The Reverend James Hathaway is used to the demands on his time. But nothing could prepare him to find a baby in a basket on his front step. He always expected to marry before becoming a father. Then a young widow agrees to help him learn to care for the child and he wonders if he hasn’t found his future.

 

Widow Esther Travers is still reeling over the loss of her newborn baby girl when she’s asked to help care for another baby. Vowing to get the little one off to a good start, she doesn’t plan to fall for the very handsome preacher, too.

EXCERPT

“Reverend! Reverend Hathaway!”

James heard Tad shouting long before he reached the cabin at the north end of King’s Ford, the town he’d called home for nearly five years now. The seven-year-old ran errands for many folks in town, though most often it was for the doctor. If Doctor Finney was sending for a preacher this early in the morning, it couldn’t be good news. James buttoned his vest and pulled on his frock coat then glanced in the small mirror hung beside the front door to be sure his collar was tucked in properly, then studied his face.

He looked tired. A wagon had creaked and rumbled past his home well before dawn and the noise had dragged him from a sound sleep. He’d been sitting at the table since then, trying to write his Sunday sermon, but inspiration hadn’t gotten out of bed with him. Ah, well. It was only Tuesday.

James glanced around his small home. The parsonage, if you could call the drafty, poorly lit cabin by so lofty a title, sat at the far north end of town. The church sat to the south of the parsonage, which meant the larger building did nothing to block the winter winds that howled down from the Dakota hills thirty or so miles away.

Deciding he wouldn’t scandalize any parishioner he passed, he lifted his hat from the small table under the mirror and opened the door. He was so focused on Tad that he nearly tripped over a basket left on his stoop.

“What on earth?”

“A basket.”

“Yes, Tad, I see that. Who left it here?” He immediately thought of the wagon that had awoken him. “Why didn’t they knock? I’ve been home since nightfall.”

Tad crept closer, lifted a corner of the cloth covering the contents, and jumped back like there was a snake inside. “Baby!” Tad yelled.

“Don’t play games, Tad. Tell me what’s…” James didn’t jump away, though he wanted to. “Merciful heavens, there’s a baby in here.”

BUY on Amazon!

Ebook – https://amzn.to/3cBUP2I

Paperback – https://amzn.to/2Uxodkz

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Tracy

Bison Facts

 

I’m lucky to live close to a bison ranch and these are photos I took as we drove by the other day. They are impressive creatures and when I hear about people having close-up encounters with them in nearby Yellowstone National Park, I always wonder what they are thinking. These animals are powerful!

Here are a few bison facts:

Bison are the largest mammals in North America. (Which is why you shouldn’t try to get close to them.)

Historians believe that bison are called buffalo in North America because boeuf is the French word for beef. 

Bison have lived continuously in the Yellowstone National Park area since prehistoric times.

When a bison’s tail is hanging down or switching, it’s calm. If it’s up or standing straight out, it’s about to do something aggressive. (I’m sure that tail can go up fast, so I wouldn’t use the hanging tail as a safety barometer.)

Bison can run up to 35 miles per hour.

The average life span is 10 to 20 years.

Bison ancestors came from Asia over the land bridge during the Pleistocene. The Asian ancestors were much larger.

Bison are near-sighted.

Bison calves are reddish and are called red dogs.

Bison can be pronounced with an “s” or a “z” sound. The “s” is standard, unless you are rooting for North Dakota State University. They use the “z” proudly. 

 

 

I Kinda Want to be a Vet! By Pam Crooks

My husband and I are addicted to veterinary shows. Other than taking our pet dogs to the vet down the street for their yearly check-ups and vaccinations over the years, we’ve had very little interaction with the profession. Besides, living in the city makes the vets around here mostly small animal–cats, dogs, rabbits, etc.–anyway.

So our fascination with vets who treat horses, pull calves from cows, and pluck porcupine quills from inquisitive hunting dogs plunges us into a new world. We get to know the star veterinarian’s staff as if they were favorite characters in a sitcom. We see them get poopy and bloody. We witness surgeries that can be as intricate as one done on any human.

Kinda makes me want to do that, too. Pulling piglets and puppies from their mothers after difficult labors would be incredibly gratifying. Besides, those babies are so cute, right? Veterinarians make a real difference in animals’ lives and that of their owners. Of course, I’m too old to take on a new career like veterinary medicine, but sometimes, I think “What if…?”

Since I have to live vicariously, here are our top two favorite shows:


Heartland Docs DVM on Nat Geo Wild
I was instantly taken with this show as soon as I saw the first advertisement. The stars, Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder have their clinic just a few hours away from where I live. http://www.cedarcountyvet.com They’re young and modern and tend to use more high-tech equipment like ultra-sound machines in the field when treating animals.

Ben and Erin are a loving married couple devoted to each other and their profession. It’s a given Erin will cry when an animal couldn’t be saved despite their best efforts. They’re teaching their two teenage sons to care and treat animals, too. They’re articulate, fun-loving, and so personable, you can’t help but like them immediately!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ve just announced a third season–yee-haw!–and you can bet we’ll watch each one.

 

The Incredible Dr. Pol on Nat Geo Wild

This is the show that got us hooked on veterinary medicine. Dr. Jan Pol is in his 16th season with Nat Geo Wild, and he’s had over 20,000 patients in his career. Like many clinics, it’s a family run operation with his wife, Diane, heading up the office. Their adopted son, Charles, is credited with the idea of featuring his father on a show, and it was such a success, Charles ended up being part of the cast.

Dr. Pol is as old school as Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder are modern. He still uses the old mercury-type of thermometer and his clinic is dated, cluttered, and could use a good sweeping sometimes. Ha! But at 77 years old, he is unflappable, common sense sharp, and his clients love him. He’s not above stripping down to his waist to treat the messiest of animals or clomping around mud-and-manure filled corrals to see to his patients. The man isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon, though admittedly, Charles is a big help in adding strength when pulling calves, or if nothing else, running back and forth to the car for needed supplies.

Dr. Pol is generous in donating his services at fair time. He’s a firm believer that kids need to learn responsibility toward animals at a young age, and it’s so enjoyable seeing him tutor the kids, doing their best to earn that coveted blue ribbon.

Space and time doesn’t allow me to mention two more of our favorite shows. But check them out. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as we do!

 

Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet, also on Nat Geo Wild.

Dr. Jeff, Rocky Mountain Vet on Animal Planet

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