Story of Tank the Dog

Tank Dog

Tank the DogThey told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street. But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn’t hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn’t look like “Lab people,” whatever that meant. They must’ve thought I did. But at first, I thought the Dog Name Tank shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.
 
See, Reggie and I didn’t really tank or reggie the dog hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike. I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. “Okay, Reggie,” I said out loud, “let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.”
 
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To Whoever Gets My Dog:
 
story about tank the dogWell, I can’t say that I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner. I’m not even happy writing it. He knew something was different. So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you. First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he’s part squirrel, the way he tank the doghoards them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn’t done it yet. Doesn’t matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after them, so be careful. Don’t do it by any roads. Next, commands. Reggie knows the obvious ones —”sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel.” He knows hand signals, too: He knows “ball” and “food” and “bone” and “treat” like nobody’s business. Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows. Finally, give him some time. It’s only been Reggie and me a story about tank the dog for his whole life. He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn’t bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.
 
And that’s why I need to share one more bit of info with you… His name’s not Reggie. He’s a smart dog, he’ll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn’t bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this … well it means that his new owner should know his real name. His real name is “Tank.” Because, that is what I drive. I told the shelter that they couldn’t make “Reggie” available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, black lab tank no one I could’ve left Tank with … and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq , that they make one phone call to the shelter … in the “event” … to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption.
 
Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he’d do it personally. And if you’re reading this, then he made good on his word. Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US I am glad to have done so.

He is my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades. All right, that’s enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth. Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight – every night – from me.

Thank you,

Paul Mallory
 
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Paul MalloryI folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.
 
a dog named tankI leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog. “Hey, Tank,” I said quietly. The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright. “C’mere boy.” He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months. “Tank,” I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.
 
tank tennis balls“It’s me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me.” Tank reached up and licked my cheek. “So whatdaya say we play some ball?” His ears perked again. “Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?” Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth
 
 
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ~ G. K. Chesterton

Human Flying Squirrel

Human Flying Squirrel

After watching this video, the first thing I thought of was this is a human flying squirrel. Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to know what it was like to fly… like Superman. I guess this is as close as it gets! The guy in the video made an interesting statement that made my mind wonder. He said something like, “It comes so naturally, steering your body through the air. It almost makes me believe that at some point, – humans could fly.”
 
I wonder what God has in store for us once this life and this world is complete. It’s definitely fun to think about. Let me know what you think!
 

How to Saddle a Horse

how to saddle a horse

saddle horseKnowing how to properly saddle a horse is the very first thing that every horseback rider should learn before jumping in the saddle and riding off into the sunset. First, I am hoping you’re familiar with the horse you are about to saddle. It is a good idea to let the horse know who you are by giving a few friendly scratches on his or her head and neck.
 
Next, brush the horse with a medium bristle body brush to get any loose hair and dirt off of the back of the horse. Then you should clean the horse’s hooves with a hoof pick.

how to put a saddle on a horse
saddling a horse
clean the horse’s hooves

Typically all saddling should be done on the left side of the horse. Place the saddle pad on the back of the horse and pay attention to how the horse reacts to this. The horses reaction will tell you a little about the horses mood and or how broke/disciplined the horse actually is.

Saddle a Horse
How to Saddle up a Horse

A saddle pad provides a cushion between the saddle and the horses back. This prevents uneven saddle pressure and saddle sores, which are produced by excessive rubbing during the walking/loping motion of the horse. The saddle pad should be placed so that the opening in the pad roughly fits onto the how to fit a saddle to a horse withers of the horses shoulders. The withers are found at the end of the horse’s mane. Make sure the saddle pad is evenly placed on the horses back and place the saddle on top leaving about 1-2 inches from the front of the saddle to the front of the saddle pad.
 
saddle horseNow that you have the pad and the saddle in a position that looks comfortable, locate the cinch and the cinch strap. Place the strap in the cinch loop and through the saddle loop so that the cinch wraps under the belly of the horse.
 
Wrap the strap through the saddle loop and cinch loop one more time and place the cinch belt buckle in a hole on the cinch strap.

How to Saddle a Horse Western Style
How do you Saddle a Horse
How to Saddle a Horse English

The cinch should be tight enough to secure the saddle, but not too tight. You should be able to place 2-3 fingers between the cinch and the horse’s belly. Wrap the remaining end of the cinch strap within the saddle loop. Check the saddle and make sure it is fitting the horse properly. There should be about 4 fingers in width from the horse’s front leg to the side of the cinch.

How to Saddle a Horse
How to put a Saddle on a Horse

Also check the lengths of the saddle stirrups. You should be able to stand in the saddle and fit a single fist between you and the saddle in the standing position. how to saddle a horse After riding for a bit, check your cinch again to make sure it is tight. Horses tend to breath in while you tighten the cinch the first time. They are smarter than they look! Now the horse is saddled and you are ready to put the bridle on the horse.