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Tails on the Hill

Stories about a Family and Its Dogs

Carol Thornton

Publication Year: 2013

According to the old adage, a dog is man’s best friend. However, in small town West Texas, a dog is also young girl’s best friend. Told through the eyes of an adolescent female narrator, Carol Thornton’s Tails on the Hill depicts the happenings of the Hill Gang, an eclectic collection of dogs that wander in and out of her life. A refuge for all abandoned dogs, the narrator’s home shelters all types of personalities. Told in brief tales, each dog’s character seems more human and lovable than the next. Yet equally engaging and lovable are the glimpses the narrator offers of her family, especially her father. This is a book about love and loyalty.

There’s Pobre, the peace-loving pound dog, and Posse, the stubborn husky. Then there’s May-ree, the abandoned hunting dog, and Wookie, the German shepherd who always has a new litter of puppies. And who could forget Tootie and Katy, the schnauzers who cause such trouble in the pet parlor? With each tale, the reader is transported into the heartfelt experiences of a unique extended family that includes both people and dogs.

A narrative for any dog lover, Thornton’s Tails on the Hill explores the complex, devoted relationship between dog and owner and will warm the hearts of all readers with its sometimes light and sometimes poignant tales.

Published by: TCU Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-3


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pp. iii-5

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pp. 1-4

Mornings started with a slight breeze, but by noon that breeze would become a gale. The wind would blow hard from the south and the next day it would blow hard from the north, but every day it blew hard from somewhere. I’d stand at the kitchen across the yard till they all piled up against the fence. My daddy that’s when they fell in love ’cause they got married and Daddy took moving from a big city like Fort Worth to a small town. She said it ...

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pp. 5-10

Pobre was a pound dog; pound dogs are jailbirds, only it isn’t that they’ve ever done anything really wrong, but they just happened to be born to somebody who didn’t want them. ever choose. He made two mistakes: I turned out to be a girl and out carpet with lots of slashes and tears. His first day on the the car. First thing when he hopped out of the car on the Hill, as a “May I?” he ducked his head, and in a few short snorts ...

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J.D. 2

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pp. 11-14

Chickens are selfish and mean-always trying to be first-pecking and fussing at their best friends just to get as close to the feed as they can. You can’t walk without stepping in their mess. I never did like feeding those nasty chickens! I was smacked and licked till there wasn’t anything left. He lived in cook stove, a rickety old rocker, and a rag rug. He liked feeding fussing. In fact, he kinda cackled like they did when he called ...

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pp. 15-18

The minute I saw her I knew she was what I’d been waiting for, and waiting for a long time! She wagged her tail for us, squirming around making funny little noises. Her coat was soft fuzzy gray and white. Her paws were awfully big for a puppy; Daddy said that was a sign she’d grow up to be a big dog. She I hugged her; she grunted and squealed, snuggled her nose under think of the perfect name for her. The black mask made me think of ...

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pp. 19-22

Most of the ranchers and farmers around us leased their fields and pastures during bird season to hunters from Olney. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon we could hear the were real picky about their dogs. Daddy said some of them spent hundreds of dollars for just one. The only fun the dogs ever had was during bird season because the rest of the time they were locked up in small pens. If the dog didn’t do his hunting job right, lots of ...

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pp. 23-26

Since her mother was a junkyard dog, Wookie was part of lots of things, but mostly she was German shepherd. Her life began in a place where plumbers threw broken toilets and rusty pipes, but we saved her from following in her mother’s footsteps when we took her out to the Hill. I never knew why she was invited to live with us; usually all of our dogs invited themselves, or someone find its way to our house and would be taken care of. Because we ...

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Tootie & Katy

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pp. 27-32

When we topped a hill and swooped down to the tank, we probably looked like an army of dogs, except, of course, Daddy and I stood out a little taller. We never went a bone, there had to be enough for everyone. Being fair didn’t the floor and let their teeth chatter and their shoulders shiver shaking on the bathroom floor. If they didn’t care, I wouldn’t washed, and dried at about half the cost of Patty’s Petite Parlor. ...

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pp. 33-38

The Trophy Yard was outside the dog fence and all the goodies the dogs found on their adventures were brought there to show and tell about or to munch and crunch. The of the little dogs to carry, he decided it had to be one of the so cats were never invited to stay on the Hill. On a still night, every once in a while, we’d hear cats tearing into each other, place. That’s why finding that first kitten in the Trophy Yard ...

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pp. 39-42

White on White doesn’t sound colorful for a dog’s name, but put it into initials and it sounds more exciting-like WOW! Well, that was Daddy’s name for the newest member of the it was. At least we didn’t have to holler, “Here, White on White!” of pecans. If we didn’t get to the pecans before they fell out of the hulls, we didn’t get any because as soon as they hit the ground the next year. Daddy was shaking a limb, trying to get a cluster to fall, ...

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pp. 43-48

Do you remember the dog Wookie brought up to the house the day she died? That dog decided she would stay with us. Daddy named this one, too. He called her Dubie, knife to her tail because it looked like it had been hacked off, other dogs had their tails cut. She took Wookie’s place in the ...

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A. R.

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pp. 49-52

Lots of times I heard Daddy talk about how A. R. was the “all- American boy.” Of course, A. R. was no boy because he was as big as Daddy and he had three real boys of his own. Daddy said his high school sweetheart was “Most Beautiful” and he was captain of the football team. When he went to college at A&M he led the troops, and then went into the Air Corps and flew “the big ones.” Daddy said A. R. could have led a wagon train or a space ...

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pp. 53-58

Aida’s name should have been Lolita, Daddy said. I wanted to know why but he’d just grin and say, “because.” Aida was mommy to Fillene and lots of others. She acted like she cold their water froze in the pan before all eight puppies could get a good slurp. Even though they slept on top of each other in to the house at meal call, but the rest of the time they enjoyed and through the rocks looking for puppies that didn’t want to ...

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pp. 59-62

...“No more huskies, and that’s an order!” Daddy’s mouth was thin and tight and his eyes-squinting darts. Not all the begging in the world was going to talk Daddy into letting me have that cute little puppy. The two huskies Texas-too hot, too dry, too far from the North Pole I guess. But this one had no place else to go but home with me. I put her into Daddy’s arms and told him how Angie’s daddy was transferred ...

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pp. 63-68

Glowing coals popped and cracked as Daddy and I tossed pecan hulls into the fireplace. The day was cold and gray and I had to ride the school bus home cause Daddy needed back in he had a black and white border collie on a leash. That neighbor about two miles over, brought Curley to us till things smack between me and a rattler as big as a fire hose. The snake his knees, talking to him, trying to get him back to the house. ...

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Mr. P

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pp. 69-72

Except for the Herrings, who came to feed the animals and water the plants, no one had been on the Hill for over a month. We went to New Mexico and Colorado looking for doo. There were a few white feathers scattered around, and when I looked up there sat a big white pigeon on the edge of the roof looking down at me! He didn’t flutter a feather or make a move except to bat his eyes at me like I had no business being in my ...

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pp. 73-74

Mother and Daddy still live on the Hill. I do too part time, since I am in college now and I only get to go home on holidays. But I haven’t filled my head so full of “learning” at TCU that I could ever forget about my doggies, not just the ones I told you Tim, Dusty, Caleb, Igor, Jackie O, Char, Angelina, Peaches, and Lady. Like Daddy said, they all have left a mark of some kind on me without ever saying a word. They have given joy and sadness, ...

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About the Author

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pp. 75-81

Carol Thornton was born in Fort Worth and graduated from TCU. Carol has taught high school English and speech, written plays, squired her students around the state to UIL events, and years she decided to switch careers, and she began to sculpt. She opportunity to sculpt the founders of TCU: Addison and Randolph Clark. Through the years of challenges, heartaches, adventures, ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780875655918
E-ISBN-10: 0875655912
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875655734

Page Count: 64
Publication Year: 2013