Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

“Alright, I’ll shoot him when I get home.”

Ginny, never quite sure if I was serious or not, was always back to her normal protective self when I walked in the door a few hours later. But those calls during the middle of the day were always hard, with her crying over the latest deed of destruction our new dog had wrought.

That was 25 years ago.  We had two toddlers, one income that hardly covered the sparest basics, and a very young Rhodesian Ridgeback.

We had much to learn.

Zuri grew up, of course, a treasured part of the family.  For the next dozen years he colored everything in our lives, spinning memories of constancy and affection and laughter along the whole shank of our boys’ childhoods.  His exploits were legion, turned to legend.  Even today I carry a picture of him in my wallet and cannot think of him without a smile.

After Zuri came Zindika.  Surely the sweetest animal that ever lived.  Ridgebacks are known for their incredible hunting prowess, their indomitable courage, and their utter fearlessness.  Zin was the exception.  She loved everything, and would hurt nothing.  The only exception was if she sensed danger to us.

Her devotion was so remarkably selfless that you just knew it came from a special place.  That God himself had made of her a gift.

And like Zuri before her, she left us with countless priceless memories.  I can still see her heading off down the driveway in Ginny’s pickup as they headed off to work, her head held high next to Ginny.  The joy she felt so apparent in her delighted bearing.

Cancer took her early.  And so we buried her in the circle, between the tree and the rock, next to Zuri.  Close by the house, where we can still talk to them.

A couple years have gone by.  Long enough to slowly lose that sense of presence – the gladness – that always enlivened every entrance, every time you came home and walked in the door.  Long enough for Charlie, our cat, to slowly adjust to it just being us and him.

Long enough.

And so now here is this little guy.  Just eight weeks old.  A little fellow who in his first 24 hours here has already shown us a glimpse into his character.

He’ll create his own stories, write his own book.

Not many things in this world are better than that.

a hunter's instinct

A Hunter's Instinct

Some Words from Mom

Some Words from Mom

Tuckered Out

Tuckered Out

Some more images can be found here:

Of Dogs… and Gloves and Glasses

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Sunday, Mothers Day, was a gorgeous, beautiful day.  After enduring lots and lots of rain in recent weeks, it finally dawned sunny and clear.  That etched-in-stone kind of clear.  I climbed on the Harley and rode down to see my folks.

When I pulled around in front of their house three hours later there was a young dog who happily greeted me.  She was a pretty dog – looked to be a mix of pit bull and a couple other odds and ends.  I hadn’t seen her before and my first thought was that one of my sisters had gotten a new dog.  She was just as friendly as could be.

Turns out she belonged to the young couple living at the adjacent farm.  As my father smilingly described her a few minutes later, “she’s the community dog – she likes to be around people”.

An hour later I’m in the bathroom and happen to glance out the window.  Hmm.  “That looks like one of my gloves lying there in the yard,” I say to myself.

Sure enough, upon walking outside I find my gloves and glasses, both of which I had left lying on the seat of the bike, had been “improved” by the pup.  Improved as in, you ain’t using these anymore.

I’ve had those gloves – Vanson Saturn cavalry-style gloves – for 17 years.  They’ve been with me everywhere and are easily the best motorcycle gloves I’ve ever owned.  Nothing else comes close.

The WileyX sunglasses are what I wear (wore!) on the Harley, when wearing a half-helmet.  After having owned them for only one season I wasn’t nearly as attached to those, but they weren’t cheap.  I was happy to have my old pair of Ray Ban Aviators along, which allowed me to get home.

Far from being pissed at the dog, I had to laugh at her.  She was just doing what young dogs do.  When I looked out later she was laying atop one of my folks’ lawn chairs – one which she had similarly improved, by pulling all of the stuffing out of.  Perfectly at home.  How can you not love a dog like that?!

The first thing I did after I got home and had the bike put away was to log on to the Vanson website and order another pair of those terrific gloves.  With any luck, it’ll be another 17 years before I have to get another pair.

And Ginny… she was online herself, looking at Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies…

Glasses and Gloves... No More

Glasses and Gloves... No More