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Jealousy and Dogs

Jealousy affects animals as well as humans

 

My dogs display clear-cut signs of jealousy  I observe this when I scratch or pay extra attention to one of them. My other dogs will attempt to put their heads between my hand and the dog being scratched or try to run the scratched dog off by licking on its face or pushing it away.

I also observe this in their eating behaviors. When I put the same dry food in their three bowls, one dog will inevitably, after finishing his meal, check out the other two dogs’ bowls. This seems to indicate that the other bowls might have something better in them than did that particular dog’s bowl.

At times their jealousy seems more focused on keeping the affection away from the other dog than gaining attention for the jealous dog. What gives?

And I thought jealousy was a human emotion! This “green-eyed monster” as Shakespeare referred to it clearly extends to dogs as well as people. I bet others have noticed these behaviors in their dogs as well.

Jealousy must be a very basic and primitive emotion in animals. It likely benefits in achieving attention that may lead to increased survival. As such it may be beneficial in an evolutionary way.

I’ve noticed that older dogs do not show jealousy as much as young dogs. This seems consistent in what I’ve witnessed in people. Who among us as youth did not suffer the pangs of jealousy and likely thoroughly embarrass themselves as a result. While older age isn’t a complete guard against jealousy, it doesn’t appear to be as compelling an emotion in older humans nor does it appear to be so in dogs. My older dogs have largely avoided the whole jealous bit.

Jealousy affects both genders in both dogs and humans. It’s aroused by a perceived threat to a valued relationship from a third party. Jealousy is also a painful emotion as most can attest. I presume this is also true in dogs as well. No doubt jealousy has bad effects on dogs just as it causes suspicion, doubt, and fatigue in humans.

So how best to deal with jealousy with dogs? I usually try petting both dogs simultaneously. This works to until a third dog shows up wanting petting. I quickly run out of hands and begin to feel like a one armed paperhanger. I’ve not found adding a extra attention to a dog insures that dog from becoming jealous. Would love to learn the opinions of other human dog companions.

To share the emotion of jealousy with dogs is just one more example of how people and dogs are alike. But come to think of it, I’ve never witnessed a jealous dog do something really stupid like I have with some humans, especially men.

 

Celestial Pasture

Doc, our roan gelding

Doc, our roan gelding, and Fancy, our paint filly, failed to show up for their morning meal several days ago. While not entirely novel, Doc does love his food and hasn’t missed many meals.

The next morning in front of our home I found Doc lying on the ground. Beside him stood Fancy, alternatively looking from Doc to me. She appeared anxious.

Our paint horse Fancy sensed Doc’s distress

Fancy acted as if she knew Doc was in serious trouble. The horses had made it to where they knew I would find them. Doc had been in obvious pain, as he had rub marks on both sides of his head. He was weak, shaky, and initially could not regain his feet.

With prodding Doc stood up and walked slowly to the barn, a distance of three quarters of a mile. There we loaded him into the trailer and I drove him to our vet’s clinic.

Fancy wanted to go too.  She followed Doc to the barn and had to be haltered and tied to the hitching post or else she too would have climbed into the trailer. This was no surprise as she has been utterly devoted to the big roan ever since her arrival at our ranch.

Doc will be missed

Unfortunately my story doesn’t have a happy ending. We learned Doc had colic, likely resulting from a twisted colon. He was suffering. At his advanced age his chances of survival, even with major surgery, were not good. His heart rate continued to be high despite three times the usual amount of sedation and pain medication– his elevated heart rate reflecting his discomfort. Unfortunately, after learning the limited options, we had to put him down. Talk about a painful decision to have to make.

All that day Fancy had stood waiting at the gate through which Doc left the ranch that morning. She continued to gaze longingly down the road, waiting for Doc’s trailer to return.

When finally I drove the pickup and trailer onto the ranch, Fancy followed it at full gallop. She ran around the trailer with mane flowing, nostrils flared, and tail held high. She circled excitedly behind the trailer, looking within it. Not seeing Doc, she shook her head, and headed off to a nearby pasture.  Fancy appeared agitated.

I’m certain Fancy missed Doc and showed signs of her grief. I am worried about her. Animals are capable of showing affection, grief, and longings, as do humans. Admittedly, I have never viewed great affection between horses and their human companions, at least not like I have between dogs and humans, but today I witnessed clear signs of affection between a filly and a gelding.

We have been trying to console Fancy. She has received extra attention and treats. We even had a horse from a neighboring come over for a visit. Fancy and Trooper  enjoyed each other and his visit seemed to raise Fancy’s spirits. We hope Trooper will return.

Fancy isn’t the only one who will miss Doc. He was a good and gentle horse. I traveled many a mile on his broad back. My favorite memories of Doc are with children astride. Doc was a great child’s horse. Even in his later years when his arthritis caused his retirement from trail rides, Doc would accept children to sit on his bare back. There the children would pat the big horse and view the world in what I hoped was from a different perspective. Doc received vast amounts of carrots and apples from appreciative children who would come to Medicine Spirit Ranch mainly for the purpose of seeing him, patting him, and feeding him.

One teenage neighbor girl who used to ride him regularly in his more active days was once spotted lying on his back, sound asleep. Doc was so gentle he would not move without his rider urging him to do so. What a peaceful memory!

We are left with only our memories of Doc, as he has departed Medicine Spirit Ranch for his Celestial Pasture. Let’s hope he finds laughing, excited children to sit astride his broad back. Doc would like that.

At The End Of The Road

 

You might recall the stray dog that wandered onto our ranch several years ago that we named Little Jack Kerouac. We named him after the author of the same name who wrote On The Road and who was the forerunner of a beatnik. Our Little Jack had been wandering the county roads of Gillespie County for months and had traveled many miles when the skinny pup was finally herded into a corner of our yard by our Border collies. The small brown dog was half-starved and intensely fearful. His fear, nevertheless, relented before a succulent piece of fried chicken, prompting the little brown dog to climb into my arms.

Despite his bad condition from his long tenure as a road dog, it became apparent that he had been neutered and house broken. These aspects suggested at one time Jack had enjoyed a close relationship with a human friend.

Yours truly ready to work on the ranch with assistants Jack and Bella.

We still don’t know what all he encountered as a road dog and Jack isn’t talking. We suspect he must have scrounged whatever he could find to eat including roadkill. We know Jack is a canny survivor.

His breeding has proved an ongoing mystery. When asked what breed he is, we finally gave up guessing and simply began replying, “He’s a Texas Brown Dog.”

Since Jack’s arrival, let’s just say… he’s matured and settled in well. He has adapted to his new home on a hill at the end of his very long road.

Sometime ago I wrote several blog pieces on Jack stealthily loading himself into various vehicles and stowing away for rides. We do not think he was trying to escape his adopted home but that he merely wanted to go for rides. Fortunately, after a few bad moments of being unable to locate Little Jack, we were able to place phone calls and have him returned.

Jack is no longer the skinny road dog he once was. He has, in fact, chunked up. He still loves to go on ranch walks, run errands and ride in the pickup. Whereas the Borders ride in the bed of the pickup, Little Jack proudly expects to sit on the console in the cab where, if hot, the AC is on and, if cold, the heater warms him. He likes his creature comforts.

When our Borders are let out of the pickup to exercise by running up the hill to the house, Jack preemptively jumps off the console and hides in the back seat. No silly running up the hill for Little Jack. Why get out of a perfectly good pickup and wear out my foot pads?

At night Jack has inched his way closer and closer to the head of the bed. Initially when he came into our lives he slept under the bed or on a nearby dog bed. He later transferred to the foot of the bed. Now Trudy and I find the little rascal snuggled between us, his head lying on a soft pillow. Imagine going from the hard life of a road dog to a pillow top mattress!

Jack likely thinks, “Heck with Pearl Buck’s ideas of a place in the sun, I have a soft mattress in an air conditioned home.” When asleep, he becomes an almost immovable lump. If Trudy or I get up in the middle of the night, he migrates to the vacated warm spot, claims it, and is difficult to dislodge.

It’s said every dog has its purpose. The purpose of our Border collies is clear, herding our cattle. Jack’s purpose has been harder to determine. Surprisingly, he sometimes has helped the Border collies with herding. But mainly Jack is a varmint dog and represents an absolute terror for squirrels and armadillos. This job of protecting the world from squirrels and armadillos, though, is not full time for our Little Jack.

Several years ago my mother came to live with us and it was then that we learned what Jack’s real job was–companionship. My elderly mother would sit on the couch for hours with Jack snuggled up against her, stroking his furry head. He returned her affection with gentle licks and made his belly available for endless scratching. Mom and Jack became thick as thieves, although we worried my Mom might rub Jack’s head bald.

“I think I can still feel the pea!”

My mother possessed a huge capacity to love, and in her final years she so enjoyed Jack’s companionship. Jack became a willing recipient for her love, and in turn he reciprocated his love for her. I’m convinced Jack made her final days much happier.

I suppose companionship is the major role for many dogs. Dogs have such an amazing ability to relate to humans, to sense their emotions, and to offer their unconditional love. It takes all kinds of dogs, but Jack has stolen our hearts and in their places left behind his paw prints.

International Praise for Carrying The Black Bag

I am immensely gratified to have received an international award for my book, Carrying The Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales. In an act of shameless but necessary self-promotion, I share the good news with you. Hope y’all will help to spread the word!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maryglenn McCombs (615) 297-9875 maryglenn@maryglenn.com

TEXAS NEUROLOGIST WINS PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL AWARD
Tom Hutton, M.D.’s memoir, Carrying the Black Bag, Among Honorees, Finalists for the Eric Hoffer Book Award

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas doctor Tom Hutton, M.D.’s memoir, Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales has been named among the winners in the Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

A prestigious international award that honors the memory of American philosopher Eric Hoffer, The Eric Hoffer Book Award has become one of the largest and most sought-after awards for small, academic and independently-published titles. Presented annually, the Eric Hoffer Book Award was designed to highlight salient writing and celebrate the spirit of independent presses. This year’s award program yielded over 1300 book entries.

Carrying the Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales, a memoir of Hutton’s career in medicine, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Health category. Moreover, Carrying the Black Bag was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award’s Montaigne Medal, which celebrates those books deemed the most thought-provoking.

During his thirty-plus years of practicing in West Texas and Minnesota, physician and neurologist Tom Hutton discovered that a doctor’s best teachers are often his patients. From these (extra)ordinary individuals, Hutton gained a whole-hearted respect for the resourcefulness, courage, and resilience of the human spirit. Hutton’s patients—and the valuable lessons they taught—served as the inspiration for Carrying the Black Bag. Part memoir and part tribute to the patients who faced major illness with grace, grit, and dignity, Carrying the Black Bag invites readers to experience what it is like to be a doctor’s hands, eyes, and heart. Imagine the joy of witnessing a critically ill five-year-old who, against all odds, claws her way back from a coma and near certain death. Meet a lonely Texas widower with Parkinson’s disease who hosts elaborate pinochle parties for a pack of imaginary canines. Step into the surgical booties of the author when he attempts to deliver his own child amid heart-stopping obstetrical complications—during a paralyzing Minnesota blizzard. Through real-life patient narratives, Hutton shines light on ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. Moreover, this captivating tale captures the drama of medicine—its mystery, pathos, heroism, sacrifice, and humor.

Tom Hutton, M. D., is an internationally-recognized clinical and research neurologist and educator. The past president of the Texas Neurological Society, Dr. Hutton served as professor and vice chairman of the Department of Medical and Surgical Neurology at the Texas Tech School of Medicine. He now lives on his cattle ranch near Fredericksburg, Texas. Visit Tom Hutton online at: https://jthomashutton.wordpress.com/

Published by Texas Tech University Press, Carrying the Black Bag is available in hardcover edition (6 x 9, 257 pages; photographs; ISBN: 978-0-89672-954-4) Carrying the Black Bag was also awarded the Bronze Medal in the “Best Debut Author” category of the Feathered Quill Book Awards.

For additional information on the Eric Hoffer Book Award, visit: http://www.hofferaward.com/

Members of the news media wishing to request additional information about Tom Hutton, M.D. or Carrying the Black Bag are kindly asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone: (615) 297-9875 or email: maryglenn@maryglenn.com
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Taylor McNeill, a surgical nurse and dear niece, reading my book between cases

May The Force Be With You

The well known statement from “Star Wars” that serves as the title for this piece has of late developed special meaning for me. Perhaps I am still under the emotional overhang of my father’s recent passing, but the ease by which he passed has meaning for me. Dad died at the age of 96-years peacefully and in his sleep. His force to live diminished in his final months to a point where he was no longer walking, then no longer chewing, and then even refusing to swallow liquid supplements. His life force slowly ebbed away.

Dad (John Howard Hutton) when his life force was strong

In juxtaposition with Dad’s dying process has been my observation of an unfortunate, recently born calf on our ranch. Now I am in no way equating the value of the two lives, only making a comparison of their life forces.

Newest bottle calf being fed by Trudy with his good-for-nothing, calf-stomping mother looking on

The calf was refused milk by his mother for reasons unknown. Not only that but she kicked the calf nearly to unconsciousness when he tried to nurse. Later the mother calf became spooked and backed up, stomping her calf. Frankly I thought she had killed it.

Nevertheless, the following morning the previous “calf carcass” took a full bottle of milk. What a surprise! He’s not developed normally but is still making slow progress. He has a left front leg injury, one of the several spots where his mother stepped on him. Our newest bottle calf refused to die and continues to gain weight and hobbles about to a limited degree. I sometimes have to provide extra lift for the calf for him to get onto his four wobbly legs. As he grows, this may become a serious problem.

Given his miraculous survival, we refer to him as Phoenix. He rose off the pasture where he was near death and now greets Trudy and me with his long eyelashes for which Madonna would be envious, lovely dark eyes, and enthusiastic sucking at the milk bottle that sustains his life.

Mythological Phoenix

He still is not guaranteed survival. It seems his legs are too weak at times to get him up or possibly too painful. His walking is unsteady and wobbly and Phoenix tends to fall on uneven ground.

Nevertheless, Phoenix possesses a strong life force. I suppose this has to do with his young age and strong survival instincts. Regarding my Father, I cannot help but believe that after 96-years and having lived a full life that his life force had diminished down to nothing.

Grandson Graham earlier today feeding a somewhat older Phoenix

I recall the answer my grandmother gave when I asked her as a child what it was like to get old. She said, “Tommy, you just get tired.” I think she was right. Increasing fatigue accompanies age and illness. In my experience as a physician, folks just kind of give up at some point and are ready to die. Age seems to have a lot to do with it.

In my recently published book, Carrying The Black Bag: A Neurologist’s Bedside Tales I tell the story of a little girl with Reye’s Syndrome who by all accounts should have died. Despite an absolutely horrible prognosis she lived and thrived. I believe her young age had much to do with her survival. The force was with her.

To my readers, “May the force be with you,” by which I imply continued strong life forces and may you enjoy vital life in the years ahead.

John Howard Hutton- In Memorium

I’ve been overwhelmed by the emails and card expressing condolences regarding my Dad’s recent death. These expressions of sympathy have helped and I thank you. Below I offer a bio that I wrote, much like what I published six months ago for my mother. I hope this might interest to some of you. I will soon return to more traditional topics for Views From Medicine Spirit Ranch.

The Life Journey of
John Howard Hutton
April 11, 1921 – June 14, 2017

     Howard Hutton, the only child of John Francis Hutton and Kate Frances (Lincoln) Hutton, began his life’s journey April 11, 1921 at his grandparent Lincoln’s home in Liberty, Missouri. He was two months premature and at birth weighed a mere three pounds. Howard was not expected to survive, being even too small for a crib. His parents instead bedded him down in a shoe box.

Howard later relished telling the story of how the local doctor, to stimulate his tiny heart, placed a few drops of whiskey into his mouth; an occurrence, he later claimed, that led to his fondness for distilled spirits.

When asked as a small child to introduce himself, he would respond, “Hoppy Hutton, three years old,” an endearing affectation to be sure, but actually resulting from his difficulty pronouncing his given name. The family moved to Kansas City, Missouri where Howard attended Central High School and where he was a good student. He also sang in the high school choir. Howard was an affable youth who enjoyed riding his bicycle and interacting with the teen and young adult group at the First Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. It was there he met his future wife, Adele Catherine Greenway.

Following high school Howard attended Kansas City Junior College. Howard and Adele shared a backseat in a carpool for KCJC and became better acquainted. Soon after they began to date.

Howard’s life journey then took him to the University of Missouri in Columbia where he studied Criminal Justice and Sociology. Adele followed the following year. Toward the end of the fall semester of Howard’s senior year, his plans to enter the field of criminology suddenly changed when on December 7, 1941 Japanese military forces attacked Pearl Harbor. This event rattled the structure of daily lives, altering myriad life journeys.

Following the dastardly sneak attack, Howard was filled with outrage and patriotic fervor. He joined the military, choosing the U.S. Army Air Forces. Howard found the idea of flying airplanes extraordinarily appealing.

The following May, he officially entered the U.S. Army Air Forces. His love for Adele amidst an uncertain and shifting world stage prompted him to hasten his marital plans. Howard proposed marriage to his “Chipper” who was then completing her junior year at MU. Adele accepted and they married June 20, 1942. Adele skipped her promising senior year of college to trail Howard to various military bases about the country. Such was her dedication and love for Howard that she chose to join together their life journeys. Both Howard and Adele considerably broadened their view of the world by living in multiple communities from California to the Gulf Coast and from Texas to the Dakotas.

Howard’s service during World War II consisted mainly of being an instructor pilot. How many of his trainees went on to demonstrate bravery and heroism in European and Asian action is unknown. How many of his trainees gave their country what in Abraham Lincoln’s words were “their last true measure of devotion” is also unknown. Nevertheless, Howard helped to weed out those unfit for flying and less likely to survive, and to train, to his best of his ability, those who went on to fight in the air battles of World War II. His good nature and boundless patience served him well throughout his assignment to the pilot training program.

His military journeys for initial flight training took him to Santa Anna, California and for primary basic training to Gardner Field in Taft, California. While in Taft, his daughter, Joan Adele was born March 1, 1944. He then took advanced training at Luke Field at Phoenix, Arizona and had many other military postings.

Howard requested transfer to B-29s, believing the massive, long-range bomber would play a pivotal role in concluding the war with Japan. He wished to contribute to achieving victory in World War II in a more direct way than via pilot training. He took his training in B-29’s most likely at Gulfport Mississippi, but was also stationed at Roswell, New Mexico, another B-29 training base.

As an aside, during training for the B-29, Howard and crew flew gunnery practice for fighters in which they would trail a target for the fighters to shoot at. He recalled receiving a request to slow up his greater than 350 mile per hour B-29 Superfortress that was powered by four Wright 3350 turbocharged engines generating 2200 horsepower, as the fighters couldn’t even catch him, much less hit the target. Whenever Howard related this story, he did so with a broad smile on his face.

Despite strategic losses in 1943 and 1944, the Imperial Japanese forces refused to capitulate. The U.S. Air Forces commanded by General Hap Arnold had tried to bomb Japan into submission with high altitude daytime bombing raids. This approach had proven largely ineffective.

Under the leadership of General Curtis Lemay, low altitude and incendiary night bombing began and wreaked a fiery havoc on the largely wooden Japanese cities. It also led to a greater loss of the B-29 bombers and their crews due to their vulnerability at low altitudes to anti-aircraft fire. More pilots and crews were needed to continue the air onslaught.

Following a prolonged B-29 bombing campaign, General Douglas MacArthur championed a straight up invasion plan (Operation Olympic), consisting of first attacking the southernmost Japanese home island, Kyushu. But rather than the 80 thousand defenders anticipated, Japan had in place nine divisions comprising some half million, well dug in defenders. Japan also held back over 900 hidden aircraft for suicide missions along with providing training for terrestrial kamikazes and for the piloting of suicide boats. The American invasion plan would likely have resulted in up to a million American casualties.

In 1945 large numbers of the technically advanced, long range B-29 Superfortresses began rolling off the Boeing production lines. The B-29 was the most expensive military project of World War II (even greater than the Manhattan project).

Production of the highly advanced B-29s had proved difficult due to the need for many technical changes. The airplanes were known to go directly from the production plants to the modification plants.
By the end of 1944 Boeing had delivered only 100 B29s of which only fifteen proved airworthy. Moreover, the initial losses of these bombers and their crews were high due to mechanical malfunctions, fires, and mission losses.

Following heavy bomber training in 1945, Howard and crew transferred to a military base in North Dakota for a final shakedown. About this time Howard ran into a thorny staffing problem with one of his crew that greatly perplexed him. Something simply did not click with the assigned co-pilot such that Howard made the difficult decision to remove him from the crew. Howard disliked having to take this action, but did so in the interest of crew cohesiveness. He then added a more capable and cooperative co-pilot to the crew. The eleven-man crew then worked together well. As a final humanizing gesture, Howard named his flying ship, the Kansas City Kate, in honor of his beloved mother.

The high-spirited and well-prepared crew of the Kansas City Kate finally received their departure orders for Tinian, a small island in the South Pacific to join in the bombing campaign of Japan. They packed items not destined to go overseas and shipped their boxes home.

As they prepared for their overseas journey, something unexpected occurred. Another B-29, the Enola Gay, based at Tinian and piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbits, dropped an A-bomb (Little Boy) on Hiroshima. This was followed three days later by the B-29 Bockscar, piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney, dropping a plutonium bomb (Fat Man) on Nagasaki.

President Harry Truman from Independence, Missouri, not far from where Howard had been born, had ordered the dropping of the atom bombs. He did this to save countless American lives and in the hope of avoiding the calamity of having to invade Japan. One of the lives he saved may have been that of a young First Lieutenant B-29 pilot who hailed from nearby Liberty and Kansas City, Missouri.

Shortly after the dropping of the atom bombs, the Imperial forces of Japan surrendered. Howard in mock bravado offered an alternative explanation for the Japanese surrender, in which he claimed, “They heard I was coming and decided it was time to give up.”

After the Japanese surrender the U.S. military services began to reduce their ranks and Howard mustered out. Howard’s next journey returned him to Kansas City, Missouri. No doubt any disappointment at not having shipped out for the South Pacific was more than offset by his joy of going home. Not long after his homecoming his second child, John Thomas Hutton, was born December 26, 1945.

Howard likely pondered resuming a career in Criminal Justice as this was his original career plan, but the flying bug had bitten him badly. Unable to immediately obtain a job as a pilot, Howard supported his growing family by working as a postal employee and by selling lamps as a traveling salesman. He thought of himself as a poor salesman, his honesty and truthfulness reducing the effectiveness of his sales pitch.

Trans World Airlines (TWA) hired him only to furlough him during a downturn. Mid-continent Airlines, based in Kansas City, then hired Howard. It merged in 1952 with Braniff Airlines. Only then did Howard’s career as a pilot become assured.

Given the shortage of housing units following the war, Howard and Adele initially lived with Adele’s parents (Grace and Charley Corp), and Adele’s sister, Grace, and her husband, Verd Schwarz. The stone and brick house on Benton Boulevard was crowded, boisterous, and loving.

Howard eventually moved his family to a new veterans housing development in Kansas City that offered greater room and privacy. The family promptly and aptly dubbed the new development, “Mud Hill,” as no grass existed in any of the yards.

The family continued to expand with the births of David Howard on September 7, 1950, and James Philip on January 28, 1954, both in Kansas City. The family relocated from “Mud Hill” to a new planned J. C. Nichols development, in Prairie Village, Kansas. The development had meandering streets, large lots, big setbacks from the street, and provided ample public art and decorative fountains. This represented one of the first planned communities in the United States and the philosophy underlying it influenced such communities as Beverly Hills and Westwood in Los Angeles, and Highland Park and River Oaks in Texas.

Howard commuted to the airport in Kansas City, Missouri while his family attended school and settled in among the rolling hills of Kansas’s suburbia. A common site on Canterbury Road was Howard running, huffing and puffing, behind bicycles while teaching his children how to ride. Again his ability to train was evident.

In 1957 Howard realized in order to advance or perhaps even to maintain his career, he would need to relocate to Braniff’s home base in Dallas, Texas. He knew the magnitude of Adele’s sacrifice by leaving behind her extended family for the unknown terrain of north Texas. Nevertheless, his very career required he undertake this new journey. With effort and careful planning, Howard paved the way for his family, built a new brick home in Richardson, and moved his family during the summer of 1957.

Grace Schwarz, Adele’s sister, had a proud saying about the family’s attitude, “While our family might not have the millions, it still has the airs! “

Never was this truer than when the Hutton family arrived in Dallas during a terrifically hot summer. The family soon learned that Texas cars had the luxury of air conditioning, whereas their blue 1950 Buick Special did not. At Joan’s urging and with Howard’s acquiescence, the family would roll up their car windows and steam down Central Expressway or across Texas highways, acting to the passing cars, as if it were frosty cold inside. It’s surprising that young Jimmy survived this over-heated act of Hutton hubris.

The growing family created increased financial needs. To his credit but adding substantially to his sleep deficit, Howard routinely bid night flights because they paid more. He proved to be an excellent provider for “The Hungry Hutton’s” as he often referred to his family.

Howard was able to rear four children and pay for four bachelor degrees, a master’s degree, two medical degrees, and still was able to take his wife on many exciting trips about the world. Howard and Adele journeyed to pre-revolutionary Cuba, Europe multiple times, to the Soviet Union, to Egypt, to many South American countries, to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, and Thailand among others.

Howard had few hobbies except boating, but he always possessed a high energy level. He used this attribute for extensive yard work, making additions to the house, volunteering in the schools, and assisting with his children’s recreational activities. Howard taught all four children to drive. During these risky ventures, his patience and even-tempered nature likely reflected his experience in the Army Air Forces Training Command when training even riskier novice pilots and at much greater speeds.

Howard also served as Asst. Scout Master, as an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, and supported a mission of the local Methodist Church to sponsor a recently arrived Vietnamese family. Howard taught the father how to drive a car. No doubt the Vietnamese man learned to corner with the wide, sweeping airplane-like turns characteristic of all who learned their driving skills from Howard. He also stocked shelves for a time at the Richardson Food Pantry.

In his career as a commercial Braniff pilot alone, Howard ably logged an incredible 26,942 flying hours and covered an estimated distance of 8,108,260 miles! To put this in perspective, he flew the equivalent of over 824 times around the circumference of the earth or over 27 round trips between the earth and the moon. What a journey!

Howard flew thirty-two years for Braniff International during which he piloted the following commercial aircraft: DC-3, BAC 1-11, DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, Convair 240, 340 and 440, Martin 404, Lockheed Electra L-188, Boeing 720, 727, 707, and the Boeing 747. He retired as an international captain flying the jumbo 747 to Asia and Hawaii. He was always at his best and proudest when he put on his snappy blue pilot’s uniform and donned his pilot’s cap ablaze with gold captain’s braid.

Howard retired at the mandated age of 60 and lived for the next 30 years in Richardson, Texas. He was asked decades after his retirement if he still dreamed of flying. His honest, heartfelt, and emphatic answer was, “every night!” No longer able to fly commercially, Howard continued his air journeys in his dreams.

He was serving as President of the Braniff Retired Pilots Association when Braniff International entered bankruptcy. He sacrificed much  time for his fellow pilots with long hours of uncompensated service, fighting to save their pensions. His efforts finally culminated in his testifying before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where his arguments proved partially successful.

Perhaps Howard Hutton’s most prominent personality characteristic was his amiability. He wanted to be liked and he liked other people. The writer of this bio cannot recall ever seeing his father truly angry. This emotional steadiness contributed to his success as a pilot and to his ability to get along with virtually anyone.

Due to failing health and advanced age, Howard and Adele in 2010 made a final move from Richardson to Athens, Texas and he entered South Place Nursing Home near the home of daughter, Joan.

In November 2016 with Adele’s earthly journey completed, she preceded Howard in death at the ripe old age of 95. On June 15, 2017 Howard died peacefully in his sleep at age 96, leaving behind his children; Joan, Tom, David, and Jim and his grandchildren; Jeff King, Heather King, Andy Hutton, Katie Hutton O’Neal, Christopher Hutton (deceased), Elizabeth Hutton, Margot Hutton, and Jessica Hutton. He also left behind former colleagues and friends. Howard, you shall be missed.

On June 15, 2017 Howard embarked on his final journey that is beyond all human comprehension. To paraphrase the poem “High Flight,” Howard slipped the surly bonds of earth for the last time and in smooth air, with the wind at his back flew toward the setting sun for his final flight west and… to touch the face of God.

John Howard Hutton- April 11, 1921-June 15, 2017

Am sad to announce the passing of my father, Howard Hutton. He died in his sleep at the South Place Nursing Home in Athens, Texas last Thursday, June 15, 2017.

Funeral services will be at 10 am, Saturday July 1 at the Wildwood Chapel at Restland in Dallas.

He died at age 96 following a full life. He shall be missed.