Howdy, I'm Dutch Henry
Generally, when folks come to the “About Page,” they’re looking for info on the website guy or gal.
Well, I’m an author. But I’ll bet you already guessed that. I’m an old guy now, but I wasn’t always this old. In fact, I started out a whole lot younger back some time ago. My start was a bumpy one. Some might consider it a bit nasty. You see, between the ages of 6 and 9 I was locked in a room, with one window that was painted black. It was, sure enough, a rough and horrible time. But I had a single, Winnie The Pooh book, and that just might have mattered in a way only God knew it would. Because now, my passion for writing is “Children’s Books The Way They Used To Be,” with my A Dog Named Saturday series.
More on that a little later.
Back to the narrative of who Dutch Henry is, and why I’m hoping you’ll love my books, and maybe even my other musings (a slick word for writings about this, that, and other stuff).
Somewhere between 9 and 10 my father (I use that term generously) loaded me up in a car, drove me out to the country somewhere, and dropped me off at the end of a long lane. Of course, I didn’t know at that time what a ‘lane’ was, but he said, “Walk back there to the house. That’s where you’re going to live.”
So I took my pillowcase holding the few things that were mine, including that Pooh book, and walked the long way to the house. I still remember walking between the tall red sheds and a huge barn before finding the house. I remember too, not knowing what to do, think or say when an old man met me on the porch.
It was good to live there, even though there was no love, no normal family-type things. But there was hard work, and plenty of food. I wasn’t hungry anymore. And, there was no electricity or indoor plumbing either, which really only mattered after a hard day of making hay, forking out stalls, or milking. Or cleaning pig pens or chicken houses. I did notice though, that when I started school, the other children would rather we’d had that running water inside. I think that might be why my nickname was “Stinky,” for the next 7 years. Who can be sure?
I remember my first night there, after following along through evening chores, sitting with the draft horses, Bill and Dan, in their barn (who I later learned to mow hay with, and other work how for the first time in my life, I felt safe. I didn’t know it then, but by God’s grace, it was the first time I felt the spirit of the horse. Something that years later would define me.
On that farm, I learned how to work hard. And I learned so many other things there too. I discovered my love of birds when the first killdeer ran from her nest flapping and squawking as I hoed weeds in a corn field. Met my first bluebirds there on fence posts while fixing the fence. Quail, turkey, deer, and snakes too. And of course, cows. It was a dairy farm after all.
Eventually, I had a little pony too. Comet. I suppose he had that name because that’s about how fast he ran,away with me. Often. On that farm, I developed my lifelong love of nature, trees, wildflowers, and especially birds.
Eventually, I was able to head out on my own and met my Ravishin’ Robbie. We got married 47 years ago. Raised a daughter, and have 2 wonderful grandchildren and a fine son-in-law. Life is sweet. God is great.
Backin’ up a bit, my love of birds led me to volunteer for the Pennsylvania Parks Department for about 15 years. Leading bird walks, managing bluebird trails in state parks, and giving talks. What great fun that was.
Ahh, but it was the horses who had their hold on me. For more than 10 years I worked with my mentor, Diane Sept, learning about horse health, horse movement, and biomechanics. We also rehabbed Tennessee Walking Horses from the ravages of the show ring. It was those horses and her tutelage that opened my mind and heart to build a passion for helping horses. For a while I traveled, conducting what I called my “Posture” clinics for equines. I also competed in competitive and endurance riding.
I’d always been writing about this and that. Bird stuff, horse stuff. I was invited to write for a national equine organization which led to columns in several national equine magazines. Where over the years I’ve had hundreds of articles published and made oh so many wonderful friends. Truly, no matter my bumpy start, God has blessed me.
Today Ravishin’ Robbie and I are swaddled in each other’s love in Virginia. I ride my sweet Paso Fino mare, Rosie, in the forest around our home. Watching wildflowers grow, birds dart, pose and sing, and a few bears cross the trail ahead of us.
Here on my website, you’ll see I’ve published a few books in several genres. Historical Novels, Tom Named by Horse, and, From the Banks of Little Bear Creek. Romance, We’ll Have the Summer (Amazon bestseller). Non-Fiction, It’s For The Horses (Amazon bestseller). AND my children’s book series, A Dog Named Saturday. You’ll also be able to purchase them directly here, from me, each one autographed. That’s fun!
While I still love and am active in helping horses, and talking with folks about how to help horses, I no longer have columns, just my musings here. Which I hope you’ll enjoy and tell your friends. Because talking about horses is always fun for everybody. Share your thoughts! Questions too, not that I’m a know-it-all, but I do know a little.
My passion now is writing and creating A Dog Named Saturday series of books for young ones. The influence Winnie the Pooh had on me decades ago, in my darkest moments, has brought to me, by the hand of God, the desire to share the joy of books, stories, lessons, and fun, with children everywhere. Each Saturday book has adventure, silliness, and thoughtfulness. There is also a Saturday Travel series. Where Saturday, Kessy, Fluffernutter, and Danielle explore places of interest that you and your family may want to visit. Saturday also has his books about faith. Just released, Saturday Encounters The Ark, and currently being illustrated, Saturday and The Ten Commandments. My current work in progress, Saturday And The Prophets. Our Saturday books are adorably illustrated by the most talented Troy Locker Palmer.
Well, there you have it. I welcome you to my Dutch Henry Author site. I hope you’ll stay, look around, sign up for our newsletter, and tell your friends. Oh, and buy a few books too. Please.