Over the years, each dog that has entered our lives has taken us on a unique journey.
Some were harder than others. Some lasted longer than others.
Each has left us with cherished memories.
‘Tank Boy’ never took to trialing. Overseer of new puppies, gentle greeter, putting a smile on the face of most everyone who met him, that was Grady. He became a topnotch Camp Dog in his senior years, though we had to keep a close eye on him or he would wander off to the next campsite to check out what was happening or if there might be someone he knew. A gentle soul and the last of our Lace grandkids.
Our little man lost the battle with Canine Epilepsy on October 6, 2019. His life was short but glorious and I am trying hard to remember what he taught me: Live in the moment and approach each day with gusto and enthusiasm.
Meena (short for Roweena Meena), leaned into her retirement for all it was worth and by my reckoning, she deserved it. The favorite part of her week became walking up to get the Sunday paper with Dave and Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona. A tough girl in her younger days, Row turned into an awesome chore dog, earning a place as my right paw for many years, always happiest when she got to work cattle or boss the rest of the crew around.
Murphy tried to tie his mom in longevity, but came up short. Still 16 1/2 is a lot of years. He was always more a ladies’ man than a worker, and quite often we did not get along for that very reason. He loved ducks with a passion, though, and was always such a sweet, natural dog on sheep that I was able to use him as a lesson dog from time to time. He ruled the roost among the boys, and even when he became a ‘senior’ he never let them forget it.
Quinn was my Heart Dog and was, without a doubt, one of the most laid back, easy going, non macho males (human or animal) I’ve had the pleasure to be around. We called him the narcoleptic pup when he was little because as soon as we picked him up he would fall asleep.
Quinn was an amazing dog who proved to me time and again how much heart and forgiveness these creatures have. The journey he took me on is one I wouldn’t have missed for anything. He taught me much, and holds a special piece of my heart no other dog will replace. His big dog bark and playful nature endeared him to many, as did his incredible sense of humor.
Safe journey, Mr. Quinn, I miss your Big Dawg bark every morning.
Shainiac the brainiac, the insane maniac — that was Shaine in a nutshell. A lot of dog in a little package, Shaine blew out her knee when she was under a year old. Recovery was long so I didn’t get a chance to work her regularly. We had some issues, but we were working through them, and Shaine became my go-to dog in the pens. More than anything else, Shaine loved to run. No, she loved to fly! Flat out, for no other reason than the sheer joy of it. And she was a joy to watch. She left us far too soon and my heart still aches with the loss. Run free, Shainlette.
Seventeen years is beyond a blessing in the world of dogs. Over the course of those years, Lace McCallister excelled at keeping me on my toes. We tried our hands in conformation, obedience, agility, and stock with some good, some bad, and some just downright hysterical results. At two years old she tried to assert her dominance by taking on Flynne in a knock-down, drag-out fight. After that, she begrudgingly played second fiddle until Flynne left us and Lace was able to assume her role as Queen of the House. Like all my dogs, Lace taught me so much ~ mainly, don’t ever turn your back on a dog with a sense of humor. Miss you, Baby Girl.
Flynne was my first Aussie, my Soul Dog and constant companion for 14 years. A tough dog from old working lines who epitomized the “reserved with strangers” part of the breed standard, he was very protective of me ~ as well as being extremely opinionated about how he thought things should be done. I was never afraid with Flynne by my side. He was the one dog I shared my life with who I knew, without a doubt, would have given his for mine, no questions asked. It’s a very humbling thing.
Flynne never got to realize his full potential as a working dog because I was as green as they come, but he got me started on the path. I hope some day he will do me the honor of returning to my side. Until then, give ’em hell at the Bridge, Mr. Flynne.
I rescued Mozart as a silly, worm infested kitten and he grew into one of the coolest cats ever. He was an avid hunter of baby rabbits and general varmints, often bringing back trophies for us. He’d hang out with just about anyone, and kept all the dogs in line. I know at least one of his lives was spent in his one and only venture into the world of squirrel hunting. Note to cats: Bad idea to enter a grey squirrel’s nest looking for dinner.
Happy Hunting, old man.