Monday, January 3, 2011
Gildas, called Gillie, was a Welsh Corgi with a great sense of humor. At a tiny two months old, she came into our lives and immediately herded Muffin and Frannie into a corner and made them stay. She developed a taste for beer and would suck spilled booze out of the couch cushions, and no one could pass gas and hope to blame it on someone else because Gillie would stand behind the offender, pointing like no bird dog could. When a guest arrived, Gillie would come running, flip on her back and slide all the way to their feet, belly up and waiting for a rub.
Chauncey, a huge English sheepdog, made the fourth dog in my household after the kids had left home. Muffin and Frannie thought he was a handsome dude, but he lost his heart to Gillie. There was great disparity in size and their love was never consummated (thank goodness!), but it wasn't for lack of trying, and he never strayed to another.
Dogie, the throw-away dog who was left here when her owners moved, was in a class by herself and is worthy of a book of her own...a story for another day. She never walked; she had a high-stepping prance, and when I think of her, it is always as "my little dancing girl." Dogie was one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs. She is still here on the farm, wrapped in her favorite blanket, with milk bones and her favorite hedgehog toy, and she is always in my heart.
The photo is of Bessie Anne, my constant companion, and it is how I see her. She is a watch dog. Not a guard dog, necessarily...she just watches. It was a drizzling rain day, but she sits outside the fence, rain or shine, while I'm tending to the goats, and she watches. She will sit at the end of the deck or on the porch step...and watch. I so often wonder what she sees and what she's thinking as she looks out over her domain. Years ago, there were cartoon characters, a sheepdog and a wolf/coyote, and I think their names were Sam and Ralph, and they would punch a time clock as they started their day sitting on a hill. I think of them when I see Bessie Anne, watching. She is with me always, asleep behind me right now, gently snoring, patiently waiting until I move to the next room, the next chore, and she'll be ready. I just can't imagine life without a four-legged friend.