Day 27 – Aberdeen, MS & puppies!


Below the man-made canals is another pretty part of the Tenn-Tom waterway. The lakes and swamps created by the damming up of the river are a welcome relief to the rip rap walls. I’m starting to look for alligators, as I should be getting into their territory. Maybe I’ll see a gator or two as we head into Alabama. Today will be my last Mississippi stop, and a shorter paddle, thankfully, as I’m a little sleepy with these puppies who now share my tent.

When we took a trip into Fulton to grab some dinner the other night, Poco and I saw a couple of strays, beautiful Shepard mixes. She went back the next morning to see f they were still in the area after I shoved off and stumbled upon a woman who had Boston Terrier puppies-the woman claimed she had a sister and brother which mated, and that she couldn’t afford to take care of the litter. They had taken one, and two others had died, and she told Poco she had killed one.

I can’t paddle by a plastic bottle without picking it up or if someone needs help I try to help them, so of course Poco, being of similar mindset, no way was she gonna leave the puppies. I’m so glad she didn’t. She even made a special trip to get some puppy supplies; they are here in my tent and I’ve been trying to feed them every now and then when they seem especially restless, but these little guys need veterinary care. They have kennel cough or something.

I’m hoping maybe today we can find a vet who will be kind to us and the puppies and just give us what these little guys need to have a fighting chance. I honestly don’t know how we’ll manage with them, but we certainly won’t take them to a shelter-they are all kill shelters around here. Even if the poor things die in our care they will at least have died with loving pats, attempts at feedings and in certainly more comfort than they were in with that woman who is surely in some sort of pain herself to have allowed these little creatures to be in such a state.

We are thankful for the owners of Aberdeen Marina to have allowed us to pitch our tent and hammock anywhere we wanted, and use the shower-the first and quieter place Poco had us was full of biting ants. I don’t know how she stood it. The marina proper was very busy but is quite different than some, however there still has been some odd traffic at odd hours. Folks have left us alone, so that is nice.

With six locks down I think I’ve got another five or six to go. I’ll check the guide book I picked up to confirm how many I’ll go through today. I’ve been writing the lock names and their VHF channel on my leg, as it’s the easiest place to see when I’m paddling. The ACoE lock operators have been amazingly nice and friendly. I really enjoy talking to them.

The Tenn-Tom waterway has its own unique vibe. It certainly doesn’t have any current to help you, every mile you paddle is a mile you earn, unless you’ve got good wind at your back. The locks will hold you up but that’s a chance to regroup and take in the beauty of the place, or chat with the fishermen, which are all over the place. It’s kind of like being home, it’s very comfortable, and I’m glad I chose this route. The biting ants kind of stink but hopefully that won’t be the norm at the places we end up.

Time to get the puppies, grunting and snuffling in my gear box, fed and cuddled. They’ve been at turns snuffly and restless and at turns sleeping in a tired sad puppy heap. I AM happy to report they lived the night. If we can keep this up and get them some meds then maybe they have a chance. They sure are in a sorry state. I’m so glad Poco snatched them up, tho I feel bad I can’t help more with them. Today is a shorter day, so I can help de-flea them when I get in. Oh yea, the poor things are infested.

Oh! Something made a super loud sploosh right by the cement dock where my tent is pitched. I heard a similar thing last night. Maybe a gator?

I’ve mentioned to the guys at Wilkins lock that we have puppies, and when I mentioned it again to the folks at Amory, they told me news of the puppies has already gone down the line! So funny how messages travel on the water. Waterfolk are good folk, and that is really everywhere. You never know when your fellow boater will save your butt, as one guy learned last night when his boat came unmoored from the dock and drifted about amongst the cypress trees and their knobby knees and skirts.

Time to start the day!


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