Friday, September 05, 2008

Wilderness Elegance

Nearly 40 years ago, Roy Deskin had a dream. Turn a remote, naturally wooded setting, framed by some of the world’s most beautiful lakes and ski country, into a golf and ski resort.

In that four-decade span, the dream has had a few more “architects” and “caretakers” and became one of the Midwest’s most awarded resorts. Located just off M88 in Bellaire, east of Grand Traverse Bay, Shanty Creek Resorts is completing a $10 million renovation project courtesy of its new owners, Trinidad Resort & Club, and its staff of “turn-around” experts.

“The resort was tired,” said Jon Stultz, vice president sales and marketing. “It needed to be revived. The first phase of the renovation was the lodge — now the South Wing — and the second was the center — now the North Wing.”

Formerly known as the Summit Village Hotel, the newly christened Lakeview Hotel & Conference Center was remade with an upscale “lake house” design.

With the natural mountaintop setting, the designers were inspired to bring the magnificent view of Lake Bellaire, and the hillsides beyond, into the lobby and restaurant with expansive glass walls and tall hardwood ceilings.

The complete redesign features rich wood tones, warm reds and chocolates as well as green fabrics, giving an inviting and sophisticated feeling. Open, airy, relaxing and simply beautiful — the perfect combination for a Northern Michigan resort.

“We are blessed with a company owner (Trinidad) that had the foresight to provide the dollars to do the renovation,” Stultz said. “But now our concentrated efforts are to provide the best guest services to our clients to ensure a return on that investment.”

The renovation covered an entirely redesigned lobby, restaurant, lounge, guestrooms, meeting and banquets facilities — including the 9,600-squarefoot grand ballroom.

Renovate, they will come

Through the years, Shanty Creek was able to slide by on its glimmery reputation alone. After the last few years, though, even that wasn’t enough. But with Trinidad pouring in the right combination of staff and money, architects and caregivers have revived the dream resort.

“We are looking at our service levels, training levels and moving to the next step,” Stultz said. “We’ve been doing that all along, but now it’s a more concentrated effort. Everything’s been put into place and now we just have to utilize it.”

The metro Detroit area has provided nearly 40 percent of Shanty Creek’s business, which continues to offer special golf and other overnight stay packages. The resort also offers packages for meetings and events such as weddings and family reunions.

“We are 25 percent ahead of our pace from last year,” Stultz said. “It’s amazing. With this economy we’ve been having, we are benefiting.”

Pricing for the resort has been aggressive with rates aimed at average income persons across Michigan.

“We’ve been wildly successful,” Stultz said. “An article just ran stating that Crystal Mountain’s golf rounds were down 8 percent. Boyne Mountain down 12 percent. We’re up 19 percent. That’s not us taking their market share. That’s us encouraging people to come up north to Shanty Creek Resorts. We are growing the business for everybody.”

Newly appointed Chief Operating Officer Bill Paterson noted that gas prices and the hassle of air travel have helped.

“People don’t want to fly anymore,” Paterson said. “It’s too expensive to go out of state. So they want to enjoy a resort closer to home.”

It’s a beautiful day

Located only four hours north of metro Detroit, the 4,500-acre resort is actually composed of three properties: Shanty Creek, Cedar River and Schuss Mountain. The $10 million physical renovation, concentrated on Shanty Creek, has helped create more opportunities for guests. Renowned for its golf courses that include The Legend, an Arnold Palmer-designed course, and The Summit, the original resort course, golf packages and renewed interest in the courses have help drive reservations.

“The quality of golf in Northern Michigan is unlimited,” said Brian Kautz, director of golf. “This place has been a secret, but now we are trying to open people’s eyes and let them know.”

Unlimited golf packages as well as under-$100 packages have given the courses more play.

But for nongolfers there is plenty more to do at Shanty. A specialized silent sports curriculum has been created involving such diverse activities as kayaking, disc golf, bike riding, geocaching, bird-watching and even horse and pony rides. Many of these activities are set up through thirdparty providers, and they are happy for the business.

Bill Tuttle, owner of Coyote Bill’s Ranch, said the partnership with Shanty Creek has increased his business.

“We get around four to six more customers each week,” the former Detroit area resident said.

Georg Schluender, director of silent sports, has been working on the diverse program for guests for the past three years.

“Where else can you experience a resort with such a natural setting?” he said. “It’s wilderness elegance.”

And more.

Guests can experience first-class dining including an award-winning Sunday brunch that won’t dent your wallet. There is also plenty of water fun at their Beach Club on Lake Bellaire. A concierge can assist you to make provisions for a day on local area lakes for swimming, fishing and skiing. With Shanty Creek’s new mantra, “Now more than ever,” the resort combines first-class service with first-class amenities.

If you go

Shanty Creek Resorts, a destination four-season resort, offers three hotels and villages with 36,000 square feet of state-of the-art conference and banquet venues, four golf courses with 72 holes of championship play, downhill skiing, 21K of Nordic ski trails, 7 miles of maintained mountain bike and nature trails, snowboarding and tubing park. Located on 4,500 acres 30 miles northeast of Traverse City, Shanty Creek Resorts pampers guests with award-winning dining, live entertainment and a full-service spa. For more information, visit or call (800) 678-4111.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Silent Sports at Shanty Creek Resort


In late June, time seems to stretch out miraculously in the lake country of northern Michigan. Mornings come early, evenings can linger well past 10 p.m., and nobody seems eager to go to bed.

One group of outdoor enthusiasts seems determined to pack as much exercise and adventure into the three longest days of the year. They've designed a three-day festival of noncompetitive outdoor activities from cycling and hiking to kayaking and river rafting in the thickly forested Chain of Lakes district east of Traverse City.

Known as SOLSTICE.08, the event will take place June 20-22 at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire, just 30 miles northeast of Traverse City. Its organizers include sport clubs, community groups and businesses who share a common commitment to outdoor recreation and a desire to initiate more people into their favorite pastimes.

"There are lots of events out there for people who are already practiced paddlers, cyclists and hikers, but we wanted to make these experiences available to folks who may never have tried them before," said Maia Conway of the Traverse City Record-Eagle, one of the event's sponsors. "This is designed for the entire family. We're bringing together the best in gear and instruction for a weekend of outdoor exploration and a celebration of our favorite outdoor pursuits."

The three-day extravaganza will feature such activities as an early-morning kayak tour of the famed Grass River Natural Area, a moonlight paddle down the Jordan River, mountain biking and hiking expeditions through the hill country near Schuss Mountain, as well as more arcane sports like disc golf and geocaching (where teams of participants follow clues and GPS coordinates to locate hidden treasures) and a KIDathlon for young athletes.

The festival also has a few features designed for more experienced adults -- such as a 100-mile bicycle ride around Torch Lake, celebrated as "the third most beautiful lake in the world" and a long roster of presentations by outdoor instructors and outfitters. At the end of the day there are also a few sit-down events, including a wine reception, an outdoor film festival, and a bonfire with Michigan poet/storyteller Terry Wooten at his acclaimed Stone Circle performance center.

The first SOLSTICE event was held in 2007 in Traverse City, on a much smaller scale, but was so successful that organizers began looking for a larger venue where the festival could be allowed to grow. They found a ready partner in Georg Schluender, director of Shanty Creek's innovative "silent sports" program. The resort was pleased to be named base camp for the event, and responded with a series of reduced price packages for participants (as low as $79 a night).

"We're trying to make this as affordable as possible for families who want to get out for a weekend of outdoor fun -- all gear, guides, and good times included," said Schluender.

Cost for SOLSTICE.08 is $42 per person, and includes a free wine reception, a t-shirt and bag, one of four paddle trips, plus two other adventures of your choice, and a boxed lunch for the Saturday outing.

Lodging packages at Shanty Creek are priced as low as $79 per person per night for a group of four. For reservations visit or call 1-800-678-4111 and use reservation code SOLSTICE08 to secure the discounted rate.

To learn more about specific activities at SOLSTICE.08 visit the event's official site at

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shanty Creek Resort - Northen Michigan Jewel

Four Season Place To Be

Finding a long lost treasure in your closet—Memories flood your brain, relationships attached to the treasure warm your heart. You’d do anything to recapture that time and place.

That’s how you want to feel about each and every one of your vacations, winter or spring breaks with your family and friends.

Fortunately that lost treasure has been dusting itself off—Bellaire, Michigan’s Shanty Creek Resorts. As a vision in the 1960s of founder Roy Deskin, the property became a world-class customer service resort peaking in the 1980s…But then quietly falling into the “forgotten friend” category as several different owners failed to recapture the glory.

Northern Michigan Paradise

“I don't want a fast car
Don't need a four lane highway
There's not another place I'd rather be
Cuz out here in the country
Bluebirds sing for nothing
And the shade comes free with a tree
Yeah the shade comes free with a tree

The tree came with a mountain
Right beside the river where the ground makes one heck of a scene”

Shade-Joe Nichols Country Artist

Deskin never met Nichols but his popular song could have been spun in this Northern Michigan paradise. When Deskin thought about the high, tree-green hills and curving valleys surrounding Bellaire in Michigan's Antrim County, he envisioned a challenging ski and golf resort, satisfying for everyone. He labored toward that dream, overcoming a typical run of obstacles, from the early 1960's until his death in 1969. His estate then ran the resort until 1977 and in 1978 the Hilton Chain bought Shanty, consisting of the main lodge, golf pro shop, four chalets, and more than 480 acres comprising the Shanty Creek golf course and ski area.

One Mountain Over

Already dreaming about his mountain, Chicago stockbroker Daniel Iannotti's envisioned a ski and golf resort patterned after those in Colorado—one that closely resembled a friendly European hamlet. In December 1968, his village, "Schuss Mountain,” became a reality. Golf was added in 1972 with a nine hole followed by nine more holes in 1977. An eatery, Ivanhoff Restaurant (now called Ivan’s) was added and in 1982 the famed SchussyCats began their annual summer run, staging song and dance shows.

Club Resorts Inc. purchased Shanty Creek in 1984 and Schuss Mountain in 1985. In 1986, they merged the two resorts, in essence doubling the recreational opportunities and amenities of both beautiful destination resorts. Two-thirds of the four season paradise was now complete.

Add Another Mountain—Cedar River Village

In 1997, Shanty Creek broke its ties with Club Resorts Inc. and became a privately owned property with individual investors at the helm.

The ownership change allowed Shanty Creek to embark on the multi-million dollar Cedar River Village expansion project with more skiing, a fourth golf course and an 85-unit upscale suite hotel with surrounding condominiums. Even Golfing legend Tom Weiskopf designed an 18-hole golf course (opened in 1999), the Cedar River Golf Club.

But the cornerstone property, Shanty Creek, even with an infusion of building in the surrounding area had become a forgotten wonderland that many owners had tried to breathe new life into but didn’t have the cash flow to fulfill the project. Then this past spring, Trinidad Resort & Club bought the resort and has started restoring it. Trinidad has a
wealth of experience in ski and golf resorts as well as real estate development. Their marketing and operational expertise developed the popular Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado. Their desire is to bring Northern Michigan new ideas and programs and quality opportunities.

The restoration process and new ideas are a welcome relief to many long-time Shanty Creek employees. Golf Pro Roger Gieseck, who began as an apprentice at Shanty in 1984 says, “It’s nice to come to work and focus on my job of helping folks learn to play golf and improve their game. Not worrying about where I can find a broom to clean something up.”

Refreshed and Improved

If you can’t remember your last trip to Shanty Creek or if you’ve never had the pleasure, the resort and club is a great place to vacation or base your vacation out of as there’s plenty to do in Northern Michigan.

Shanty Creek offers golf on several challenging levels with courses designed by Arnold Palmer, The Legend, Weiskopf’s previously mentioned Cedar River Golf Club, The Summit Golf Club and Schuss Mountain Golf Club. Golf Magazine rated a Silver Medal Resort and the Best Family Golf Resort in the Midwest by readers of Great Lakes Golf Magazine.

“We have four of the best golf courses, not only in the state, but across the country,” Gieseck says.

After you’ve played these courses, many more are within driving range just down the hill as the Chief and Bellaire Golf Clubs offer plenty of challenge and fun. A little further toward Traverse City are more professionally designed courses as well as many more cities in Northern Michigan.

Shanty Creek offers lessons and hosts the Shanty Creek PGA Classic tournament each summer. Last year’s purse was $16,000.

I’m Hungry

A new Executive Chef, Andrew Reh, has signed on to the Shanty staff. A Traverse City native, Reh has spent time in the Washington D.C. area working for the Ritz Carlton before working at the White House during the Clinton Administration for State Dinners and foreign diplomatic visits. With his Degree in Culinary Arts and wealth of experience, Reh came back to Michigan in 2004.

As he is just getting acclimated to the Resort and its menus, Reh does plan to put his stamp on the food offerings there.

“I have a passion for food and I’d like to bring a fusion of flavors to our menus,” he says.

One of Reh’s passions is ice carving and he has competed in many ice carving competitions state wide and nationally.

“I’d like to bring a competition here to the resort,” he says. “It draws a crowd rather quickly and is fun to watch and compete in.”

With a stellar resume and experience at hand, Reh seemingly has the resort’s menu in capable hands.

Work Off The Guilty Pleasures

If you feel those calories clinging to you or if you just want to work out, keep in shape or pamper yourself, Shanty has a full service Fitness Center complete with Wellness Spa, Nautilus equipment, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room, manicures & pedicures, tanning and massage.

Guest can enjoy the spa facilities at Shanty Creek year round for the ultimate in relaxation. Within the spa guests will have access to the separate men's and ladies' locker areas, steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools, and fitness center.

Family Affair

Each person in your family is an individual. Shanty Creek understands that and offers plenty of action or rest for each member. Named the Best Family Golf Resort in the Midwest by Great Lakes Golf, Shanty Creek offers an unforgettable summer experience for everyone in the family.

Shanty Creek keeps kids busy! Camp Gandy for 5 – 12 year olds include activities such as swimming, hiking, games, arts and crafts and much more. And they don’t leave out the younger bunch. For the 2 month to 6 year olds, Shanty Creek’s Children’s Center combines quality care with creative play. Children in the center will experience a nurturing, playful and safe environment that includes stories, free play, art, music, outdoor play and rest time if needed.

While the kids are at play, parents can indulge in some fun of their own by teeing off on one of the resort’s four championship golf courses: Cedar River, The Legend, Schuss Mountain, or Summit Golf Club. Dad can iron out his game by spending the day at the Shanty Creek Golf Academy. Mom can treat herself to some well-needed pampering at our Wellness Spa with a soothing massage, or kick back and relax poolside or check out one of Shanty Creek’s several on-site retail shops.

Once the parents and kids are reunited, Shanty Creek offers a host of family-friendly activities. Families can explore Northern Michigan’s majesty by taking a guided hike through the resort enjoy a family campfire at Terry Wooten’s Stone Circle, where the renowned poet leads storytelling and songs. Goofy Golf, a Shanty Creek favorite, allows kids of all ages the chance to play a goofy game of “putt putt style” golf with crazy challenges and prizes. Families can challenge each other to a game of disc golf or head to the Summit Village outdoor pool and catch the Summit Splash pool party, pool games and more. It’s rare to find a resort that captivates kids of all ages - but Shanty Creek fits the bill with activities sure to please everyone in the family

Let’s Get Wet!

An indoor pool—an outdoor pool—a beach club—Shanty Creek has plenty of ways to get you wet—indoors and out.

On the lower level of the Summit Lodge the indoor pool with a maximum depth of five feet and a hot tub built in beside are a great place to hang out if there’s inclement weather or you need to hide out from the sun burn you’ve accumulated. And for added benefit, use the house phone and order some poolside food and beverage service. Towels are provided and there are plenty of snack and beverage vending machines just outside of the pool. Oh, and bring plenty of quarters for the miniature arcade and be sure to loosen up the animals in the crane game for my next visit.

Just outside the Summit Lakeview Dining area is the outdoor pool. Once glance at this beauty and you’ll swear Esther Williams filmed a movie there. The 60s era beauty has plenty of deck for sun worshippers and plenty of water for everyone else. Be warned, the pool is solar heated and you are in Northern Michigan. But it’s never been too chilly to not get in on a sunny summer day. And again, take advantage of the poolside phone to order your favorite Lakeview snacks and drinks.

And if the lakeside is what you need, head down to the Shanty Creek Beach Club on Lake Bellaire. Plenty of sandy shore and a nice warm and extremely shallow lake provide a grand setting for swimming, relaxing or playing on the beach. There are picnic area and a snack area with restrooms available.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

There’s plenty of outdoor winter fun at Shanty Creek also, two separate alpine areas, 49 downhill runs, two Terrain Parks, 10 lifts, 30 km of Nordic trails, Nordic Center, tubing runs, two full service rental shops, snowsports academy, and snowsports seven nights a week. And there are plenty of incredible snow ski and snowboard instructors whether you’re six or 60. They’ll get you up and skiing like a pro in no time.

Silent Sports

Any sport that doesn’t involve a motor—that’s the definition of silent sports. And Shanty Creek Resorts has hired a Georg Schluender to direct the area.

“We are committed to making this Shanty Creek a leader,” Schluender says. “We just put fifteen thousand dollars into our mountain bikes and accessories. We’ve got seven miles of multi-use trails ready.”

Schluender has worked all over the country as an outdoors guide from the West coast to the East coast and many spots in between. His enthusiasm for these sports and his dedication to creating the best atmosphere for resort guests should make Shanty Creek the place.

“We want to partner with the best outfitters and not just charge our guests $35 bucks an hour and throw them in a kayak. We want to teach you how to kayak and then take you on a guided tour of the amazing chain of lakes.”

Their growing list of sports also includes disc golf and they are pursing a relationship with the Professional Disc Golf Association

Working for the Weekend

A great way to enjoy the amenities of Shanty Creek—plan a business meeting there. The helpful staff offers 26 meeting rooms that provide over 35,600 sq. ft. of meeting space. And they can accommodate meetings of up to 1,000 people. You have your choice of The Lodge at Cedar River with state-of-the-art conference facilities. Complete audio/visual services and a fully equipped business center available. Or set ups at The Summit can handle your business meeting needs.

If you’ve just escaped for a weekend of work without your business friends, you’ll be able to relax in resort comfort and take advantage of Shanty Creek’s free wireless Internet.

Providing high-speed Internet access is a growing trend for some resorts – many at a fee. Shanty Creek now offers high speed Internet across all three villages, including guest rooms, lobbies and meeting pace.

“Offering this service at Shanty Creek is important to us because we value every guest,” says Scott Maison, Director of Lodging at Shanty Creek Resorts “We strive to provide the tools necessary for our guests to be comfortable at their home away from home.”

Local Flavor

And if your seeking to hit the sights and wonders of Northern Michigan, Shanty Creek Resorts can be your hub as it sits within a half-hour of Traverse City fun and about 90 minutes from Mackinac Island. There are plenty of places to play in Traverse City as it handles all the needs of tourists and locals alike. Miles of beaches with swimming, kayaking, para-sailing and much more available are open during the summer months.

Nightlife, shopping and even minor league baseball can be found easily in this Northern paradise. For more details on the area, log onto the Traverse City’s Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Website at, www.

Heading north and east will take you on a fun drive through Petoskey and other storied Michigan cities and towns on the way to Mackinac. Wildlife and man co-exist in these hamlets that offer fun in the sun and plenty of places to hang out with family and/or friends. At Mackinac City you have the option of playing on either side of the five-mile long Mackinac Bridge. Both ferry services offers rides from both sides of the bridge and plenty of fudge, sundries, water parks and restaurants to entice you. But it’s worth the five dollar round trip to venture over the bridge to the upper peninsula and get the sight of where Lake Superior and Lake Michigan come together. And there’s a bridge museum where you can get the full story on this historic landmark and see photos of the building process.

Once in the UP you can hop on either ferry and be on Mackinac Island in minutes. Step back in time and enjoy fudge, carriage rides, biking, shopping and much, much more.

Closer to Shanty Creek and Bellaire is Torch Lake. If you’ve got the itch to fish or swim or just cruise the world’s third most beautiful lake, then head to Butch’s Marina. He’s got plenty of rental boats available along with everything you need to enjoy yourself on the water. And be sure to call in your broasted chicken order, folks drive for miles around to snatch up this delicacy and you don’t want to be left out.

All around Shanty Creek there are fun things to discover. U-pick cherry orchards and farms, charter fishing on larger lakes in the area, trout farms where you can catch your own, Bellaire Smokehouse for the best bacon and smoked whitefish anywhere (and they’ll smoke your trout for a small fee) and plenty more. Northern Michigan is a paradise waiting to be discovered everyday and Shanty Creek Resort is your first step in rediscovering this land.

Nichols seems to sum up Shanty Creek Resorts and the founder’s original dream:

“The mountain counts for something, the view is worth a fortune
And the shade comes free with a tree
I never had a dollar that could buy me what I'm feelin
But I'm feelin bout as good as I can be
I need to be reminded when I'm lookin for a bargain
Not to overlook what's right in front of me

I'll never make a killing tryin to make a living
But I make enough to raise a family
I bought a piece of heaven off county road 11
Where the shade comes free with a tree
Yeah where the shade comes free with a tree

I never had a dollar that could buy me what I'm feeling
And I'm feeling bout as good as I can be
I need to be reminded when I'm lookin for a bargain
Not to overlook what's right in front of me

I don't want a fast car
Don't need a four lane highway
There's not another place I'd rather be
Down county road 11
There's this little piece of heaven
Where the shade comes free with a tree
Yeah, where the shade comes free with a tree

Yeah, the shade comes free with a tree.”

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Thursday, May 08, 2008


City creating its own ‘Field of Dreams’
Special to The Oakland Press

Kevin Costner’s field of dreams was a fictional drama brought to life in the imagination of a screenwriter. But for Pat Kelly and his Makos Football team, the dream of a home field would come from their own imagination and sacrifice. While the city of Auburn Hills is building a multisport athletic field, Kelly did something a little “crazy.”

“I put in a zero bid to build the concession building,” Kelly said.

The regular bids had been around $175,000 to build that portion of the dream field. Seeing his heart and dedication to the kids, the City Council awarded the bid to Kelly, a local contractor — and told him he was crazy to do so.

“The field thing has always been in Auburn Hills’ master plan,” Kelly said. “I had been eyeballing it because we had been playing all over the place for home fields. So when the city decided to build it, we wanted to be a part and really make it our home field. We just thought it was something we could make happen.”

The Civic Center Multisport Field is at Cross Creek Parkway, behind the community center. Kelly actually was inspired by a team similar to his in Boise, Idaho, that had developed a 20-acre area into their field of dreams. Working in construction, Kelly had the know-how and a few connections, so he decided to “be crazy and go for it.”

“I started putting out feelers to my suppliers and the response was overwhelming,” he said. “Everyone
seemed to be on board and wanted to do something like that.”

Kelly started taking donations of anything from a single screw to bricks to help with the project. He put in his bid to the city and won the opportunity to build the concession stand.

“We’re going after it,” he said. “Superior Block has donated upwards of 3,000 cinder blocks for the project. We’re going have guys working volunteer labor and we’re going to fundraise whatever we have to pay out of pocket.”

Kelly plans to pay for the needed expert labor through donations for the key parts of the construction, but looks to handle most of the project himself while his co-workers handle his day-to-day responsibilities at his own business.

“People ask what we’re looking to get out of this, and really it’s nothing more than having a home field for our kids,” Kelly said. “But just to know that long after we’re gone, this club will have a place to play. We just want to give back more than anything else.”

And Kelly’s ideas don’t end with the concession stand — he has plans for locker rooms and much more. But right now, it’s one cinder block at a time for his “crazy” idea. Construction is expected to begin in May and be completed by late summer. All monetary and labor donations made to the Makos Football Team are tax deductible.

Makos Football is a youth football team competing in the Northern Youth Football League. The league was created in 2005 for kids ages 7-14, to promote youth football, cheerleading and pom pon. The league has 12 teams in eight franchises. The Auburn Hills, Clarkston, Birmingham, Lake Orion and Waterford franchise carry two teams at freshman and junior varsity levels. The Brandon franchise does not have a varsity team.

The league is a nonprofit organization managed by its franchises. More than 200 kids participate each year.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Turn the Other Cheek

I've been told traumatic events can effect one's physical body. I can't smell. Unless a herd of skunks has taken up residence on my feet with their southern extremities aimed at my useless nostrils, I might get a waft of something. I caution those of you reading this. This secret for more than 20 years. Until I felt this silly burden to unload this lifelong secret to my wife, thinking only two would ever know.

Ha!I am now the "story du Jour" of just about any friendly gathering. I allow you to continue without my dignity intact.A country boy's best friend is his dog. I raised several, but my favorite was a cross breed named Patch. She was part walker hound, part beagle, but all mine. We were inseparable. She ran like the wind ahead of my bike and I taught her how to swim and she bailed me out of many a leftover at dinner time. Patch was cool and smart as she would scratch the door to go in and out of the house and every night she took her portion of my bunk bed.

This is where my life changed, at least my senses.Iv had gone to bed and had neglected to maintain Patch's routine of going outside before bed. I was tired, she could hold it, my 10 year old brain reasoned. Ten year olds, especially tired ones, should not make decisions of this magnitude. But, I did. About 2:00 AM, I felt something scratching and digging me. It was Patch, gently reminding me that we had not followed proper dog owner procedure before procuring sleep time. I pushed her away and rolled over.

The next time I awoke to her digging, I felt pinned down to the bed. Four dog legs were straddling my body as I slept on my side. I couldn't move. I didn't outweigh Patch by a whole lot. I kind of opened my left eye to gather information and it immediately reported a hairy item towering over the area of my head. An immediate request was put infor the right eye to confirm and identify this item.

Opening widely, the right eye confirmed that my loving pet had pinned me to the bed and was straddling my head with her rear in the proximity of my forehead."Uh, brain, we've got a problem," left eye screamed. "The tail is in the air, I repeat, the tail is in the air!" "Move, now!" my brain screamed to the rest of my sleepy body."I can't!" the hands responded. "We're trapped.""There's nothing we can do," replied the legs.

Looking up at a lifelong friend, straining above me to relieve her situation, unable to move, I turned my head as far as I could. In these particular situations, you can’t get far enough away.

In what seemed like an eternity but only took only nanoseconds, my whole world changed. Innocence was lost. A friendship altered. My sense of smell permanently removed along with some body hair.My faithful friend had pooped on me. On my head!But that's not all. She had diarrhea. I didn't know that diarrhea is hot.

I am now an expert. It is hot.

I don't recommend doing research on this fact.

Just take it as fact. Please.
It's hot.

No one asked me the next day why I was washing sheets and bathing at 2:00 AM and I didn't tell. The wonders of smell may forever escape me, but walking the dog never will again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Ramblin' Penguin Posted by Picasa