Boonville Redemption: The End of the Beginning



Boonville Redemption is a love story and so many levels. But the greatest story is God's love for us. Every love story has a beginning. True love stories have no end

This is the part of my first chapter from my award winning book. Available on


The Reals and a Haireem named Moses Boo

The Family and a Dog Named Moses Boo


Let me tell you up front:  I am a dog.  And while there aren’t any books written by dogs, we still have a story to tell and this is mine. I’m Moses Boo. Now, Moses Boo is Boontling for potato, well, anyway, the BOO part.

What's Boontling? Boontling is a quirky language that came out of Anderson Valley, California, in the 1800s.  The words tickled your ears, but your brain don’t want to translate it. Men, women and children of Anderson Valley all claim to have invented it, but truth be told, no one really knows. All I know is that they all used it to season their conversations and cloud them in secrecy.

Now we hareems, that’s dogs to y’all, sort of name ourselves by our behavior. My weakness is potatoes. I can’t resist them no matter what form they come in, fried, boiled, mashed or raw, I love potatoes. They don’t have much of a smell but they have a juicy, crunchy texture to them. You add some hot, salty butter and they taste like heaven on earth.

Now us dogs see and hear it all, when we're awake that is. I guess the good Lord in his wisdom didn’t give us a voice, because He knew that we’d be terrible gossips. Why one foreign sound and we’re all howlin’ the news to our nearest of kin. There ain’t nothin’ that a good chain of howlin’ hareems can’t bark about.

Folks call us hounds man’s best friend. But truth be told, Bayless was this ol’ dog’s best friend. He was fishin’ one day and there I came a floatin’ down the cold, babbling river.

It was apparent that my original owner jest didn’t want one more hound to feed so he put me in a burlap bag, tied it off, and threw me in the river. If it warn’t for Bayless, I’d be sleeping with the sertle, or fish to you non-Boonters.

When I first hear’d his voice he was mutterin’ something about getting his fishin’ line messed up with a stinky bag of soggy burlap. But, when he opened the bag, I gave him the dampest kiss from the most waterlogged dog he’d ever met. I’m sure I stunk like wet dog hair and fermented fish. He musta liked me, ‘cause he didn’t put me back in the bag.

Nope, he sure didn’t put me back in the bag. He took me home to meet his wife, Mary. As we walked in the front door, I could smell all that was goin’ on in the kitchen. Chicken, buttered corn and hot bread was all causin’ my nose to go crazy. Since I’m always in a state of starvation, the smells were even more intense.

Once we arrived to the kitchen, I saw Mary. Mary was a round, beautiful, independent piece of womanhood.  I thought she was perfect. I instantly shared Bayless’ admiration of her. Yes, if God was in charge of heavenly fashion, then Mary was what the Good Lord had intended women to look, feel and act like. I couldn’t wait to give her a big kiss. 

Bayless used to say about her, “Mary, you’re a plenty bal eeld’m, ball to tweeds and codgers alike!” What Bayless was sayin’ in Boont was, “Mary, you’re a really good wife, good to children and old folks alike!”

Yup, he was telling the whole earth there, or to y’all, that he was telling the whole truth. But what he was really doin’ was buttering her up to present her with one wet, foul-smelling, puddle-makin’ pup.

I remember how he introduced me to her. “Mary” he said, “I went to catch me some sertle and I caught me a stinking bag of hair.”

Mary turned away from her cooking and said, “Bayless, what on earth are you talking about?”

But it wasn’t long before she caught a glimpse and a whiff of this wet dog hidin’ behind Bayless.  I was shiverin’. I think I even peed a little on her freshly scrubbed floors. Yep, I thought, that was probably gonna be the deal breaker that got me tossed out the door for sure.

I remember the moment her frown turned into a sparkle in her eye. “Why, he’s a baby!”

I didn’t know it at the time, but the McGuires didn’t have any children. I was about as close as they’d come to getting’ one.

“What’ll we call him, Bayless?”

“I’m thinkin’ since I pulled him from the river, how about calling him, Moses.” 

Mary laughed and hugged Bayless. “That’s perfect!”

While they were laughing about my new name, I found my way to an irresistible bag of raw potatoes on the floor and started chawin’ away. I loved the crunch and the juice. I’d never tasted anything like potatoes. These were really good for chawin’ on.  Well, Mary spun around and pulled me from the potatoes and started to scold me.  “Moses! That’s people food!”

“Hold on, Mary. We don’t have any dog food, and he’s showin’ us what he’s got a hankerin’ for.”

“All right, then, he named himself. I’m going to call him Moses Boo.”

Yup, that’s how I got my name. But enough about me; I want to tell you about them. These were two of best people to ever walk this dusty earth, Mary and Bayless McGuire.

Bayless, now he is a real man of this ol’ earth. He wasn’t a big man. He was the lean, muscular type and had lots of stick to it in his attitude. He could accomplish much more with this earth’s soil than I could. I didn’t have much creativity. To me, the rough rocky ground served a couple of purposes, and you can guess what those might be.

Ol’ Bayless, he knew when to plant something that would be enjoyable to eat. He also knew what sort of dry or moist soil to plant a particular crop in. The soil on Bayless’ ranch was rich, moistened and dark. It served as a great backdrop for his colorful field of crops.

You’d often hear him say, “Farming is the foundation of civilization.” His corn rows were like a field of soldiers all standin’ at attention with badges of golden ears of corn.

Well, one day as a surprise, Mary had gone out and put a scarecrow up in the field using Bayless’ old clothes. She’d gotten tired of hearing Bayless complain about the crows, so she thought she’d help. She didn’t tell Bayless what she’d done. When Bayless and I came upon it in the field, it like ta scared him to death. He wasn’t expectin’ to see anything in the field but corn. But to turn a corner and see a doppelganger of himself, it nearly caused him to jump out of his skin. I jumped to protect him, barking, howling, yappin’ and yelpin’ my silly fur head off! I wasn’t going to let some imposter take over our field! Bayless convinced Mary to take down the scarecrow and put some sparkly stuff up. He told her that it scared me. Yah, right!

Once, Bayless zigzagged the rows of crops in the fields. He quit that after the first year.  It was pretty, but he got dizzy tendin’ to that particular field. Most of the times he would make the beautiful standard lines that went on forever.

To pretty up the rows, he would plant fine-lookin’ black velvet roses at the end of each row. Their buds were black, but when they opened up they were a deep, dark red. To the touch, they felt like thick velvet. It was a nice dash of color at the end of each row.

Many from the valley would ride up to the top of the hills above their fields and look at what Bayless had carved into the soil. He believed that Mother Earth was his church and his horse was his pulpit.

Bayless and I had a lot of talks as he worked in those fields. He knew that I wouldn’t talk back or tell his secrets; most of the time he bared his soul to me. I was happy about that. You see, us dogs don’t have souls, and it was always nice to hear the heart of such a good soul as Bayless.

One time he was talkin’ about the land and he said, “I’m not throwing seed out there and hoping things will grow. No. I’m developing a relationship with myself, God and the land. When you have seeds, you have hope. But these ol’ seeds won’t grow in your hands or in a bag. They’re no good there. When I toss theses seeds out to the land, I do it in a place that I’ve prepared for it, and where they can get watered and cared for. I’m also letting go, but not just to anyone. No, I’m letting those seeds go and givin’ them to God. That’s the way He creates and the reason He gave them to me in the first place. Yup, until I let go… nothing happens.”

Another time, when Bayless was looking out over his land, he said, “Moses Boo, I’ve spent a lot of time planting seeds and watchin’ things grow. Someday they’re gonna plant me in one of these fields, so I want to show them the best respect I can.”

He patted me on the head and said, “Don’t worry, it’s not going to grow a field of Baylesses.”  I licked his hand to show my love for him. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind a field of Baylesses, and I reckon some the single ladies would like their own Baylesses: he was a good man.

The crop that drew the most crowds were the fields and fields of Sunflowers. Now this was an unusual sight for Boonville, because it wasn’t a common crop that was planted in Anderson Valley. What a gorgeous site when they were all in bloom. Their full yellow heads with their seed-speckled faces waved in the wind. It was breath takin’.

Now if you wanted a taste of his God-grown sermons, well…, you’d have to find a way to get invited to dinner.

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