Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pyr pressure

I'm sitting in my shop at the Ozark Folk Center tying a broom when in walks Jeanette. Jeanette normally moves with a sort of quick grace and always has a smile. This time, she seems agitated and her movements are abrupt.

"What's wrong?" I ask.

"Nothing." She says as she flips over my OPEN sign and makes the be-back-at break clock read 1:30. "Come with me."

Uh Oh...

Around the corner, past a few other shops, there's a pile of puppies. Mostly white with the occasional spot of gray or brown. The occasional badger face peers out, too.

"These are Margaret's Great Pyrenees puppies," say's Jeanette. "And we've been thinking abour getting a guard dog... but I wanted you to take a lok first."

One of the little fluffballs comes trundling over to me, sniffs once or twice and plops himself on my feet.

"They're six weeks old, weaned, with their shots and wormer." Jeanette continues.

The ball of fluff on my feet looks up at me and I notice that over his glossy black eyes, there's the finest white eyelashes I've ver seen. And, although he is pure white elsewhere, his nose is variegated -- there is a spot of pink on either side.

"This one." I say, pointing down at my feet. "His name is Buckshot."


"Yeah. Look at his nose. He's double barreled."

Meet Buckshot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Requiem for Anakin

Anakin had been dropped on our property in Colorado in 2002. We
watched him from a distance, with rifle at the ready, for several
days. He never attempted to hurt any of our animals. After about a
week, he began to come closer and we eventually set out food and then
brought him in.

Our daughters were wrapped up in the Star Wars phenom and chose to
name him Anakin. As a white German Shepherd, I thought this would be
OK. If he ever started to turn gray or black, I would worry... or at
least change his name to Darth Vader. The name was a nver ending
problem as no one could ever get past the Ani nickname without calling
him Annie... and she.. I'm sure Ani was never really worried about it,
but it drove me crazy.

He was very smart and had only to be told once. After being told once,
he would repeat that flawlessly or never do it again, depending on
what he'd been told. For instance, the first night he came inside with
us, he followed Quigley's lead and jumped into the bed. Ani's quite a
lot larger and he surprised me and I said "down." To his dying day he
never attempted to get on the bed again.

Sometimes, he learned by observing. We had a rabbit warren break out
of its room and we spent hours trying to catch them all. Ani watched
patiently as we scooped up rabbits and put them back in the repaired
room. From that moment on, he would bring us rabbits... terrified,
soggy, but generally undamaged rabbits in his jaws.

Once he watched us skin a chicken (we don't pluck) for dinner. He
patiently sat in his yard the next day and removed every last feather
from a chicken and presented the living, nude bird to us later on.

He was terrified of trucks and never chased cars. However, when the
decision had been made to travel, we weren't going to leave the dogs
behind. We picked him up and put him in the truck. After a couple of
stops for walks, simply saying "truck" would get him up into the back

Although he was never trained, he had that herding instinct and helped
quite often in the moving of our flocks of sheep and goats.

He was my dog. I'm often guilty of staying up late and he would
patiently sit in the living room while I finished up one project or
another. Only when I went to bed would he come and curl up under the
bed or across the bedroom door.

Through thick and thin he was my faithful companion for 7 years.

He'll be missed more than I could have ever known!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anakin's Passing

We miss our friend already.

We knew Anakin was not feeling well and the two-leggeds kept taking him to this place he said he didn't like where a strange man looked at him with lots of gadgets. When the two-leggeds brought him home, they fussed over him and gave him special treats, but he didn't get better.

Now he's gone.

The big hairy two-legged had water leaking from his eyes and couldn't seem to breathe right. He wrapped him up and carried him away. I heard him say he was so sorry and he misses Anakin, too.