Murdo Girl…The cowboy

In an effort to get help for Bessie whose car broke down on the way back from town, Arf was trying to chase down a cowboy he saw in a field. The cowboy was riding a horse and chasing cows. The poor little dog ran as fast as he could and finally caught the cowboy’s eye.

“What are you doing out here?” The cowboy jumped down off his horse and knelt down to pet Arf. “There’s not a house for miles.”


I was so happy the cowboy liked me. I think he could tell something was wrong. I’m no Lassie, so I wasn’t sure how to get him to follow me to Miss Bessie’s car. Finally, I grabbed his shirt sleeve and pulled on it just a little. The cowboy must have understood because without a word he climbed up on his horse. He just looked at me until I figured out he intended to follow me.

I ran all the way back to the car and the cowboy stayed right behind me. When we got back to Miss Bessie, she was crying. We could see her dabbing her eyes with her hankie.

“Oh Arf,” she said. “I knew you would find someone to help us. Thank you mister for coming. I was getting worried the sun would set on me.”

“My name is Brad Holcomb. I have a ranch a couple of miles from here. Tell me what happened?”

“This old heap just quit on me. It sputtered a couple of times and quit.”

The cowboy asked Miss Bessie if he could get behind the wheel. When he attempted to start the old car, it tried to turn over, but stopped short of starting.


“Bessie, Mr. Holcomb, my name is Bessie.”

“Miss Bessie, when was the last time you put gas in this car?”

“Well…Oh, I remember…I filled up the day before I went to last year’s Easter Festival. I don’t go very many places. I remember now, the gas gauge doesn’t work.”

“Will you be okay here with your dog, Miss Bessie, while I ride back to the ranch and get you some gas?”

“Oh my yes…I’m just grateful you came to help.”

I knew I was supposed to stay with Miss Bessie. I was tired from running anyway, but I sure did save the day.

After Mr. Holcomb got the car started, he followed us back home in his pickup truck. I think he wanted to make sure we got there safely.

“Mr. Holcomb, please come in for some apple pie and coffee. I’d like to pay you for the gas and your trouble.”


“I’ll gladly have a piece of pie, but there will be no talk of paying me for anything. That’s quite a dog you have there, Miss Bessie, A regular Lassie.”

Lassie? Did Mr. Holcomb say Lassie? I was very proud of myself.


“Yes,” Miss Bessie said. “I don’t know what I would have done without him. In the short time he’s been here, he has saved me from two near tragedies. Unfortunately, Arf doesn’t belong to me. He belongs to a family that lives 1200 miles away. They’re coming to get him.”

Murdo Girl…She shedding

The she-shed is ever so slowly coming together. The inside is ready for me to finish. I’ll be doing a lot of painting and staining. I finished sanding and cleaning today.

I have purchased the primer, brown paint for the beams, blue for the ceiling and white for the clouds. The birds will be brown. I also got white wash for the walls. The double doors will probably be white.

On the outside, Kip needs to put in a French drain and a sump pump so the water drains away from the SS. He’ll finish boxing in the overhang, and replace a few bad boards.

Oh, I’m also going to seal and paint the concrete floor.

So you see, there is still a lot to do. The good news is I think it will be fun to put my own stamp on it. (That’s what they say on HGTV.)

There will be some landscaping to do later on.

Kip also finished putting in the air conditioner/heat pump.

This shelf is actually in pretty good shape, but I’m thinking about painting it.

I’m ready to rock and roll.

What do you think I should name my she shed…The Manor?


Tomorrow we’ll find out if Arf got help for Bessie and see what’s up with the cowboy.

Murdo Girl…Thankful thinking

The sun sets on madness and rises on a bleak tomorrow.

Overwhelming sickness brings our fellow man much sorrow.

The virus spreads like wildfire, and the only thing we can do

Is to stay away from others. It seems the opposite would be true.

The best advice that I’ve been given is to take one day at a time.

And trust in He who remains in charge. He knows the hills we’ll have to climb

The human spirit needs to heal before the world is truly well.

Looking toward the heavens will lift us up out of this hell.

Kindness, empathy, courage… compassion and lots of praying.

All things this world needs more of. It should all go without saying.

There are so many who do God’s work. We can’t do this on our own.

We must never forget what they sacrifice, so those who suffer aren’t alone.

THANK YOU to the:

gig workers
truck drivers
health experts
lab technicians
postal employees
hospital volunteers
supermarket clerks
warehouse operators
convenience store associates

You are heroes!

Murdo Girl…Cars and Cowboys

Arf didn’t understand that his humans were coming to get him and that it would be at least four days before they could get to Miss Bessie’s farm. He just knew that today he was a happy dog. He had won Miss Bessie’s heart and he had a new human to watch over. He didn’t miss his home quite as much.


“We have to go to town today, Arf. How are you at riding in a car? You look like you’re not too sure. I guess we’ll just have to find out won’t we?”

I didn’t have a clue what Miss Bessie was saying, but she was smiling, so it must be something good.

Uh oh, she wants me to get in the car. Should I? I just spent 3 days riding in a truck. I moved to a new place and I didn’t even want to. Maybe Miss Bessie was going to give me to another human. Should I run for it?

“Come Arf. Don’t you want to go for a ride?”

She said come and I know what that means, so I had to obey.

We climbed into the rickety old car that didn’t even have a lid on it, and off we went. I was wishing I had brought my frisbee. I really needed my frisbee. Miss Bessie drove too fast and didn’t stay on the narrow country road very well.

“We’re here,” Miss Bessie announced. “And we made pretty good time. The first stop is the bank, I’ll run in and you can wait here. Next, we’ll go to the General Store. You can go in there with me as long as you’re good.”

“Good morning, Miss Bessie” the clerk behind the counter said. “My you have a big smile on your face. Does that have anything to do with your new friend?”

Miss Bessie told the clerk the whole story and about how Arf had saved the eggs from the skunks.

“I have half of the eggs with me now. I figured the kids would want to get started decorating them for Easter. I’ll bring the other half in two days.”

“You can bring them when you come in for the Easter festival at the church. It’s on the Saturday before Palm Sunday this year. Are you going to enter some of your delicious pies in the contest?”

“Why yes,” Bessie said. “Give me two dozen of those apples please, and Arf here needs some bones.”

I know what a bone is. I even know when humans spell it. It’s b-o-n-e. I know when I hear that, I’m probably going to get a bone.

We left the store and headed back to the farm. On the way, the car made a funny noise and then it quit. Miss Bessie waited a few minutes and tried to start it again.

“It’s deader than a door nail Arf, and we’re too far from town or home to walk.”

We sat there forever. I didn’t know what was going on. I’m just a dog. Why weren’t we going home? Did Miss Bessie want me to get out? No…she just bought me b-o-n-e-s. I decided we needed some help.

Off in the distance, I could see some cows. Then I saw a human riding on a horse. Maybe he could help. I tried to tell Miss Bessie what I was going to do, but I’m just a dog and all I could do was bark once and jump out. I went to get the human to help Miss Bessie.

I hoped I could make him understand. I sure wished I had my frisbee.

I ran and ran and finally caught up with the horse and human. I guess the man was surprised to see me, he stopped and jumped off his horse.

“What are you doing way out here boy? Do you have a tag?”

The human petted me a while and then looked at my tag.

“Unbelievable,” he said. “You’re a long way from home.”

(Next…can Arf make the cowboy understand? Does Miss Bessie know that Arf didn’t run away?)

Murdo Girl…Arf reports

I told my writer to use today to beef up my story a little. I’ve been a little worried about her level of concentration. I hate to embarrass her, but a dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do.

Do you know what she’s up to right now? She’s making a grilled cheese sandwich and chips for lunch. She had two pieces of peanut butter toast for breakfast. It’s only 8:00 a.m. If she does like she’s been doing, she’ll have her afternoon snack about noon. She has made a chocolate cake, walnut bars and banana bread in the past few days. This morning she weighed herself and screamed. Now she’s looking for sweatpants.

Do you see why I’m worried about my story? Bessie is worried too. She couldn’t believe it when she read her script and it said she had a milk cow named Bessie, too. We’ve seen that movie before with Pearl the human and Pearl the dog.

We just want you to know that from now on, we’re going to have more input.

I’m really sorry that you all have to be socially distant. I hope you’ve stocked up on bones and your dog has a few frisbees or a ball. It would be good if between meals you threw them to him or her. It might help keep the screams down.

BTW, I’m pretty sure your dog is sick of the news. Try Lassie or Rin Tin Tin. I’m not crazy about Old Yeller. It doesn’t end well.

Well, keep a stiff upper lip, your back to the wind and keep your tail wagging. Pray for your fellow human and don’t cut your bangs or bark up the wrong tree.

Arf the actor turned…

Arf Diehm, Reporter at large


Hey Arf! Someone by the name of Venus wants to talk to you.

Murdo Girl…A friend in need

After filling up his stomach with a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, Arf became very tired. Feeling sorry for her unexpected guest, the little old lady put a folded blanket by her chair and called Arf to lie down and rest. Both drifted off to sleep. When she woke up, the lady realized she hadn’t called the number on Arf’s tag.

I’ll call first thing in the morning,” she said to the sleeping dog.

The lonely woman did not want to leave her friend and go to bed, but after making sure Arf had enough fresh water, and could get out the screen door if he needed to, she turned out the lights and went to bed.

Arf: I wondered if I was dreaming, because I do sometimes, but something woke me up. I heard a strange noise outside. I didn’t know what kind of animals the lady had, but I thought I should go outside and make sure everything was okay. The sound was coming from the chicken coop. I know what a chicken coop is. It’s where chickens hide their eggs. Sometimes dogs steal chicken eggs, but I don’t.


I could see something was trying to get the chickens. There must have been a hundred of the enemy…all against one (me). It took some time, but I finally sort of won. The enemy ran for their lives.

old lady

Arf: When I was walking back to the house, the lady came outside. When she saw me, she put her hands to her face and said, “Arf, what have you done?” And then she looked over by the hen house. By that time the sun was coming up so she could see better. Three of the bad guys were running up the road.

“Oh my goodness! You saved my eggs and they would have killed some of my chickens, too! Oh Arf. Now we must clean you up. What if it would have been me out there instead of you?”

Arf: The lady was so happy I decided I must have done a good thing. I didn’t even mind it when she poured stuff all over me and sprayed me with the hose.

“You saved the day, Arf. I promised twelve dozen eggs to the local market. I only have a few days left to collect them all. The kids will be wanting them to decorate for Easter.”

“Arf, I must call the phone number on your tag. Come here and let me see what it is again. By the way, my name is Bessie. I have a milk cow named Bessie, too.”
Arf: I could hear the lady talking on the phone, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. When she hung up, she looked sad again.


“Good news, Arf,” she said.” Your owners are coming to get you. They have no idea how you could have gotten this far, but they were very grateful to learn you were okay. They won’t be able to get here for four or five days. I told them I would be happy to keep you here with me.”

Murdo Girl…The sad lady

Arf really hadn’t contemplated moving. He rather liked his humans. Nevertheless, he had accidentally gotten trapped in a moving van. When the movers reached their destination and opened the door, Arf made a run for it and soon found himself out in the country near a river. He was getting pretty hungry and the only thing he could find was polka dotted animal food and bird food. Neither looked good, so he decided to look around a little bit more.

I see some cats over there. Cat food sounds a little better than what I’ve seen so far. Some cats don’t like me, but I’m going to have to take a chance.

Alf and cats

I don’t think that black cat likes me, and I don’t see any food over here anyway. I sure do smell something good. I wonder if this place has a human. I usually only smell good food when there’s a human around. Wait! There’s a door.

Arf’s mouth was watering. He had to see where that good smell was coming from, so he went through the open door and found a plate of roast beef on a little table. It lasted about two minutes.

I ate the beef and the potatoes, but I left the beans for the human. I went back out the same way I came in. Now what was I going to do? Where would I go? How could I get back home? I’m a smart dog. I can fetch a frisbee, sit and lay down on command, but I don’t know how to get home.

As I wondered what to do, I saw an old woman working in the garden. I hid behind a bush and watched her for a while.

old woman in garden

Pretty soon she brushed herself off and walked back to the house. She had a sad look on her face. I felt bad that I had eaten her beef. She looked like she might like me, so I came out from my hiding place just as she was walking up to the door.

“WHERE DID YOU COME FROM!” She yelled! “You scared me half to death. I must sit and calm myself down.”

Did she say sit? I wanted her to like me, so I walked over to her and sat. Just to add a little cuteness, I also held my paw up and smiled. Well, as much as a dog can smile.

She looked at me for a long time, but she didn’t smile back. I whined just a little. Then I laid down and put my head between my paws. If that didn’t get to her, nothing would. I whined a little one more time. Then I scooted over to her rocking chair.

Finally, she bent down to pat me on the head.

“What’s your name, fella? You sure are a pretty boy? I haven’t seen you around here before. Will you let me look at your tag?”

I didn’t know what the lady was saying, but she seemed nice enough. Why oh why did I eat her beef?

“So your name is Arf. It appears there is an address and phone number…Oh, goodness. This can’t be right. You can’t possibly be that far from home. Come inside and I’ll get you some water and something to eat. You must be starving to death”

Since she was going to find out I ate her beef, I thought about making a run for it, but it was getting dark and I decided I was just going to have to be on my best behavior and see what happened.

“Well Mr. Arf, it looks like you have already made yourself at home. I take it you don’t like my string beans.”

She had seen the plate. She knew I had eaten the delicious beef and the white stuff. Desperate dogs do desperate things. Now what?

“Well, you were most likely desperate,” she said.

“I’ll warm up some gravy and give you the remainder of the potatoes. Then, I will call the number on your tag. Somebody must be missing you.”

She liked me and she didn’t look so sad anymore.

old woman washing vegetqbles

Murdo…It’s time

This is a moment to show kindness, give comfort, and pray.

This is a moment to encourage, and send love someone’s way

Moment to moment is the way we live our lives.

Though sometimes it seems to, time never really flies.

If something good is soon to happen, we think that time is slow.

We might say time is dragging, but it really isn’t so.

Time does pass… and you might ask where it has gone.

And your minute is my minute. Now are you catching on?

You might hear someone say, “I don’t have the time for that.”

You have the same as everyone. That’s what I’m getting at.

Watching the time is silly. It’s time that you will waste.

And here’s another thing. Time cannot be chased

Yes a moment is a moment that won’t come your way again.

But if you use it wisely, you will like where it has been.

We can help those who are hurting. There are many we can reach.

And I think it’s about time I practice what I preach.

Murdo Girl…This land is your land

Can you believe that 80,000,000 people in the United states are mandated to stay home? Everyone else seems to be supporting the need to follow suit. It really seems surreal and not right at all. I remember when I was little, our mothers worried about polio. I was sure it was just a matter of time before I was stricken with the dreaded disease. For a while, I even willingly took a nap because Mom said I would be very susceptible to getting polio if I was too tired. She also drilled into me that I shouldn’t get my feet wet. Cold, wet feet were a breeding ground for polio.

My other big fear was Nikita Krushchev’s red phone. I somehow got the idea that if he was really, really mad at us, he could pick up his red phone, dial our number, and blow us all up. Russia was the only other country I even thought about.

I was very superstitious when I was a kid. I still don’t step on the sidewalk cracks. Step on a crack and you’ll break your mother’s back. I lost Mom several years ago, but I can’t get it out of my head that something bad might happen, and why take chances? Don’t walk under a ladder, and don’t let a black cat walk in front of you. If you break a mirror, you’ll have seven years of bad luck.

I never hear about superstitions anymore. I only hear that I have to stay six feet away from people and not be around more than ten at a time. There can be no hugs and I can’t touch my face. I must use hand sanitizer and wash my hands several times a day. Everything that’s not nailed down and some that are, must be disinfected, often. I have to do all of this or I might get really sick or make someone else really sick. I can’t begin to imagine what all the children are feeling and thinking right now.

I wish kids, especially, didn’t have to go through this. I remember making an ugly face at my mother, once. She told me that someday my face would freeze like that. I believed her. Even though kids aren’t as susceptible to this virus as adults are, it has to be mentally unsettling to say the least.

We’re being tested. I know I’m supposed to help take care of my fellow man. How can I help someone who doesn’t have a home where they can shelter in place, or food to eat. Our Congress can’t seem to answer that question. Isn’t that what they’re there for? Weren’t they elected to help the people who elected them? The American people are doing their part. Why can’t our elected officials get it!!!

I vowed a long time ago that I was not going to use my blog to express my political views, but I do have some ideas that I would like to throw out there.

I think lobbying should be outlawed. It’s the ones that make the biggest campaign contributions that congress fights for. Money equals power.

They, (congress), shouldn’t be able to spend our money to hold hearings that last for years. It should all be spent to keep this country running in a way that’s good for the people. We need to support businesses, large and small, that can employ people and put money back into the economy. We need better schools. Do they still teach civics?

I know I’ve simplified things, and it’s probably not fair to throw the same blanket over everyone. I’m just speaking some of my thoughts on Congress as a whole… both Democrats and Republicans. Why do I get the feeling that they’re not working for us.

I heard their jobs are pretty tough, but even though they don’t make extremely high salaries, a big percentage of them leave office, usually at a very old age, extremely wealthy…oh, and I think they have good insurance…and maybe a pension….and they very seldom even have to make an important decision.

All I can say is, “What happened to, This land is your land. This land is my land. From the Redwood Forests to the New York Harbor.”