Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Paul Richardson: The home for wayward, unrepentant dogs

A significant portion of the early morning hours which just recently passed were filled with the vocal protection of our dog. What he was protecting us from is uncertain. But protection is his duty and duty he fulfills.

We have often got up to check for the danger and never finding any return to bed. Without my contacts in sight is a futile attempt unless the danger is willing to engage in conversation or step close enough that I can feel their features. 

Without one of these actions there would be no reference from which I could render a description. This dog has other undesirable personality traits which I may return to later.

We have always been dog people. We like cats, like to have a few around for mouse control. These are always outside cats with access to cover and protection in out-buildings. Food is provided along with certain other necessities, but in general we are dog people.

Shortly after we were married, we became the foster family of a rare “blue” Afghan hound. Zoi came to us from an artist friend of mine who had drifted there from Lincoln, Nebraska. It was his girlfriend’s dog and they went through an unfortunate breakup where she and her kids returned to Nebraska leaving the dog behind. 

When he moved from the house where they were living to tent camp in our front yard, we became the custodians of the dog. A few months later, leaving the dog with us, he went wandering elsewhere. About a year later the good wife found Zoi a permanent home as we were preparing to move to Neosho.

Once we were established at the farm just west of the airport, our property became the home for wayward and unrepentant animals of the canine persuasion. The good wife saved many a birddog that either wouldn’t hunt or had terrible habits not conducive with successful hunting, from the inevitable hunting accident. This provided us with an Irish Setter named Whiskey. This dog actually came from a renowned line of dogs in Texas called the Whiskey River Line. Beautiful dog, but it always worked out too far flushing birds that were out of shotgun range. Then came a Gordon Setter named Sam. 

This dog was gun-shy and if the choice was offered would have preferred to have stayed sitting on the tailgate with coffee and cookies. If the beverage whiskey were available, he would have probably been in on that action as well. When the good-wife heard about the owners disappointment in the dog and the probable action that would be employed due to the lack of hunting ability, she took action by bringing Sam home with her. It seems that both of the dogs, Whiskey and Sam, had been given opportunities with about every quail hunter in the county. Their fate had been sealed and the only life saving measure was the Home for wayward, unrepentant and non-huntable (that is a word, I just made it up) dogs.

Have you have ever purchased, oh say for example, a Dalmatian puppy about the time your infant child is transitioning to toddler stage with the intent that child and puppy will grow up together? If so, our house may be the place to bring the dog when you discover that puppies grow into dogs much faster than human children grow from toddler stage to a size that can endure the hyperactivity of a maturing, growing Dalmatian. This, my friend, is how we became the foster home to a still growing Dalmatian named Cookie who had the audacity to bowl over small children. A very unrepentant dog!

Then came the age of the Rottweiler and my fascination with the breed. Since my youth I had been given a variety of breeds but there was something about this dog’s nature that appealed to me. I had a source for the pups, but they were going to be pups with medical problems eliminating them from being sold as a grade-A specimen. That just expanded our repertoire to include medically challenged dogs. Best dogs we ever had!

So back to our current night-barking dog. This one is a rescue dog. His claim to fame is that he is one-half Dalmatian and one-half black Labrador. Full of energy, a little over two years of age. The most willful dog I have ever met. Rips up everything imaginable but had never touched my motorcycle. 

That is until this last October when he ate the entire saddle. 

I had a motorcycle on my front porch for over 20 years. Not anymore. So now the inhabitants at the Home for wayward, unrepentant, non-huntable, medically challenged and psychotic dogs lay awake at nights listening to a dog bark at shadows that he can’t grab hold of and rip to shreds. Oh, say for instance, rip to shreds like a motorcycle seat!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So what?