The Companions

You came to me at four months old, all full of puppy shenanigans. Sweet, kind, and loyal from the start, I couldn’t believe my luck. You were beautiful with the one blue eye and one brown eye. It’s been 20 years ago and I remember what you looked like as a puppy precisely.

You and I were together through some hard times. My mother lived with us and when you were two years old, she passed away. You comforted me more effectively than anyone else could. We lived alone together,  you and I, for seven years, until you were nine years old. I wouldn’t have survived the loneliness without you.

We saved each other’s lives, you and I. You got a chew bone caught in your throat one night and you were choking to death. Somehow, I pried it out before you died. Innumerable times, you woke me up when my blood sugar was low and saved my life. I literally owed you my life.

When you were ten years old, I remarried. I still had to see you the last thing before I closed my eyes at night and the first thing when I opened them in the morning. You were starting to get old. You had fought chronic pancreatitis all your life.

When you were fourteen, you had a tooth abscess. There was no choice but to have your veterinarian pull it. When you came home, you collapsed for two days and the vet came to the house. I begged you to wake up. Finally, you did. You were never the same again. The vet diagnosed you with canine dementia brought on my the anesthesia.

Within six months, I couldn’t bear to watch you go to the closet door to go outside instead of the outside door. You didn’t feel well. When you looked at me, you were begging me with your eyes. I sent you over the Rainbow Bridge and it barely took any medication at all. It broke my heart.

For five years, I couldn’t bear to look at a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They were all you. Finally, I started to miss having a Cardi in my home and a kind friend was able to find a puppy for me. He is of your bloodline, a great-nephew several times removed. Sometimes, he reminds me of you, but he’s his own little man. I love having a Cardi again.

I don’t expect him to replace you. I can already see signs of him becoming a great companion dog like you were, even though he’s only three and one-half months old. He’s so smart and I see the loyalty building. I wonder what you’d think of him?

He’s the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night, just like you were. I love you, Eliza, and now I love Tucker too.

https://rosemarycarlson.com

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#weekendcoffeeshare – 5/12/18

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Good morning! Please pull up a chair here on my patio for #weekendcoffeeshare. I’m so glad to see all of you. On the bar, you’ll find a selection of coffees and teas. I hope one of them will strike your fancy this morning. The guy from the local bakery delivered two dozen scones since he knew I was having guests. Please help yourself!

First, I’m anxious to read your #weekendcoffeeshare posts. I’d love to know what all of you are doing and how your week has been. How is your writing coming along? Life in general?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve spent the weekend doing many things. I’ve used this week to try to wrap up some writing projects. I’ve been pretty successful with completing them. I knew that, beginning yesterday, my time would be taken up by other things.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about those “other things.” I have been wanting and looking for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy for 10 months now. I wanted one from a specific breeder, or at least one that had her blood lines. Finally, the little fellow came home with me yesterday! His name is Tucker and you can see his picture above. It’s hard to take a picture of a nine-month old puppy because they are constantly on the move. For his young age, he is doing amazingly well when you consider that he was just taken from his littermates and mother. This is such a good breed for a family dog that I’m just overwhelmed that I have the privilege of having this young fellow. He will be such a wonderful companion. At this age, a lot of training is required, so I’ll be busy!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about our very strange weather. Two weeks ago, it still felt like the dead of winter here in the Ohio Valley. I live on a mountain only forty miles south of the river. We had about three days of spring and now it is full-blown summer. Yesterday was 90F degrees here!

Thanks so much for having coffee with me this morning. I have to get back to the puppy!

 

Thanks to  electricali. for hosting #weekendcoffeeshare!

#Laughter – #dailypost

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Laughter is the best medicine. That’s what I’ve always heard, haven’t you? It’s certainly true. The more you laugh, the better your outlook on the world and your own situation within it. When I’m around laughter, my own spirits soar.

I’ve had a hard year without much laughter, so I decided to do something about that. I’ve always been a dog person and have seldom been without a dog in my life. Usually more than one. My last dog passed away in July of 2017. Since then, I have tried to adopt a couple of dogs, but neither worked out. Those experiences lasted a very short period of time. They were sad experiences for me, but they taught me a lesson. Adopt a puppy that can bond with just me. Since I miss having a dog more than I can say, I decided to take some action.

There is nothing, you know, that can make you laugh like a new puppy in the house. A new roly-poly puppy bounding around through the house performing its antics is the funniest thing in the world. It requires a lot of training, but even that is fun. You’re developing a companion that will be with you for years to come and giving a puppy a forever home.

My new puppy arrives in two days. I’m very excited and can’t wait to hear all the laughter that will ring out in my house. Puppy will be very good for us.

#SoCS December 3/16

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Sheepdogs. When I saw Linda’s prompt for this Saturday’s stream of consciousness challenge, that’s the word that popped into my mind. I’m a dog lover and the type of dogs I’ve had most in my life have been sheepdogs of one type or another. My mind really started working overtime, remembering my wonderful sheepdogs.

After the death of a beloved dog, I researched the type of dog I might want and came up with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi or the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. After a little more research and a search for breeders in my area, I settled on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and suddenly, I had my first sheepdog. I named her Kelly and she is still one of my two heart dogs. I’ll never forget Kelly. She was bred in Wyoming by a breeder who became my friend. This was way back in the 1980s.

Kelly was the most wonderful companion for 14 years. Yes, Pembroke Welsh Corgis originally herded sheep in Wales and still do in some places in America. They are long, very low dogs. They even nip at the heels of their humans and try to herd us. They herd sheep in precisely that manner and are too low for the sheep to kick. They kick right over their heads. Kelly was soon joined in my household by two other corgis. One was another Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Zachary. They are the most wonderful little animals with unbelievably winning personalities and great herding skills. Kelly is on the far left in the picture below and Zachary is on the right.

 

 

I also raised two Cardigan Welsh Corgis at two separate times. Katy and Eliza. Katy grew up with Kelly and Zachary. Katy was a black and white Cardigan and Eliza was a black and white with brindle points Cardigan with one brown and one blue eye. Eliza was a dog that came later in my life. Cardigans are slightly larger than Pembroke and they are the corgis with the tail. In Wales, they were usually used to herd cattle as opposed to sheep as they have the larger bone structure and are slightly taller and stronger dogs. They are still short enough for the cattle to kick over their head. In the U.S., they are also used to herd sheep. Cardigans, in my opinion, are the ultimate fireside dogs. Yes, they can work and herd, but they adore their “people” and want to guard their home. Katy is in the picture above with Kelly. Below is a picture of Eliza, who was with me until she was 13 years old. Eliza, like Kelly, was my heart dog. She was with me through some hard times and I will always be sad she is gone. I miss her every day.

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I haven’t had another Pem since Kelly and Zachary. But, I was introduced to another herding breed by my friend, Anne, who breeds Pulis. The Puli may not be as well-known in the U.S. as most herding breeds, at least not to just the average person. They come from Eastern Europe. I was fortunate enough to be able to have a Puli that was of Anne’s breeding. His name was Bear and I will never forget him. Pulis herd by actually jumping on the backs of the sheep and they are very effective herders. They are one of the corded breeds. You can see Bear and his dreadlocks in the picture below. I found the Puli to be strong, determined, and very, very quick. I can imagine that they are very good herding dogs. Bear had to be content with herding us. He spent his days keeping track of me and my Cardigan Welsh Corgi mentioned above, Eliza, and was the sweetest boy ever. I secretly think that Bear would have been happiest had he been given a real herding job. Bear occupies a very special place in my heart. He loved hugs more than any dog I’ve ever had.

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I don’t have a herding dog now. I have a little spaniel who thinks she owns me. As much as I love little Betsy, I miss my herding dogs. Maybe I’ll have another one yet. Another corgi, another puli, or maybe I’ll go further afield and opt for a herding breed that can also serve as a guard dog.

This was a long stream of consciousness post. But, the letters “sh” inspired me about my precious sheepdogs. I have experienced a lot of the sentiment “they don’t live as long as we do” and it has been painful to lose each and every one. But, they have brought great joy to my life. I hope you have enjoyed reading this. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #dogs

 

*This post is part of Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Challenge

Thanks, Linda!

National Dog Day Photos

Dogs are truly our best friends. Here is a gallery of the dogs who have owned me over about the last 12 years. Bear is the black dog on the top row. He was a Puli. Eliza, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, is also on the top row. She was my heart dog and lived 14 years. Smart, wonderful, loyal. Betsy, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is now 3 1/2 years of age, and is a wonderful companion, is on the second row. Arlo, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, is on the third row. Arlo was my foster dog. I will also put up a gallery of dogs who came before.

 

The Bobcat

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I sat straight up in bed in fear of my life. It was the middle of the night and something had just woken me up. I had just heard a woman scream – loudly. The thing is…..I lived alone at the time, in a wooded area with no close neighbors. Who in the world could have screamed?

I was afraid to get out of bed. But, I had a big dog that slept in his bed beside me. Murphy, an old shepherd/collie mix who I had rescued. Murphy was fiercely loyal to me and he was not a dog that you took lightly. There was no way to know what had happened to Murphy in the eight years of his life before I rescued him, but it wasn’t good. He came to me aggressive and a fear-biter. He hated men but would make up to women. Most of all, he loved me. He seemed to know I had saved him.

When I heard the scream, so, of course, did Murphy. He jumped up and immediately went to the door, about to tear it down. He wanted out. Murphy had guard instincts but mostly he was all about protecting me. My first thought was to keep him inside. I didn’t know what was going on. I was afraid someone was outside trying to break into my house. I was still half asleep. I couldn’t explain the scream.

Murphy overruled me. He showed no cowardice. Most dogs know no cowardice. Their instincts are to protect hearth, home, and master or mistress. I opened the door and let him out. Against my better judgement. In the dark, he took off in one particular direction, through the dark of my large backyard.

I had a dusk to dawn light in the backyard so it was somewhat lit up in one spot. It was heavily wooded as well. Murphy ran toward the spot that was somewhat lit up. That’s when I saw it. The bobcat. It was sitting on the lowest branch of a tree looking down. Murphy was running right for it.

Bobcats are more common in North America than we know. They are elusive. They stay hidden in the day and roam and hunt at night. They are carnivores and can kill prey much larger than they are, though they usually eat smaller animals such as rabbits, mice, and squirrels. They can be as large as 30 pounds. They are also called wildcats and are the most common of all of the big cats in North America. Since they are so elusive, most of us would be surprised to know that there are as many as one million bobcats in the U.S. alone.

But, the calling card of the bobcat is its scream. It sounds like a woman screaming. I remembered that when I saw the cat sitting in the tree with my dog running toward it.

I didn’t really think the cat would attack my dog. It was in a tree and would not feel particularly threatened. But, I had just been awakened in the middle of the night and was not thinking particularly straight. I started screaming for Murphy to come inside. Murphy as obedient. He stopped, looked around…..I don’t think he ever saw the bobcat but his nose was in the air and he smelled it. I’m confident if that bobcat had been on the ground he would have taken it on, thinking he was protecting me.

Dogs are really amazing creatures. They show only bravery under the most difficult of circumstances and no cowardice. They are man’s best friend. We should always treat them as such. #amwriting #writing #blogging #dogs #kyfishwildlife #dailyprompt

 

 

The Cry of Hunting Dogs

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Meet Arlo. Arlo is not his real name. It was a name given to him by the rescue organization who found him, lost and alone….wandering……in a rural part of my county. It’s the time of year when hunters cull their dog packs. The old ones, the sick ones, the ones who can’t keep up anymore, well, they get thrown out. Dismissed. Thrown away from the only home they’ve ever known. To fend for themselves or die. Most die. Some get found by kindly strangers and get taken in. Some get rescued by organizations and find forever homes. Some of those die anyway because they have spent their lives so neglected and mistreated.

Arlo was a purebred Treeing Walker Coonhound. In his prime, he was, no doubt, a beauty. To me, he still was. Our local rescue asked me to be his foster mother and I agreed gladly. He was a tough case. Old. Ten years or more with more than one health issue.

i have no issue with hunting as long as it is done in a sportsmanlike way. I am not indicting all hunters as many are very kind to their dogs. Those who aren’t and who engage in animal cruelty spoil it for everyone. In my part of the world, some hunters tie their dogs out in a muddy yard to blue barrels, by chains, and starve them, thinking they will then be hungrier for the hunt. When the rescue organization found poor Arlo, he weighed 57 pounds, severely underweight for his breed. I could feel every rib and every vertebrae in his spine. He didn’t enjoy human contact. That took awhile. He did enjoy his dog food and stuffed toys and his cushy new bed.

Arlo developed severe skin lesions and hot spots. Worst of all, Arlo’s pads on his paws were almost gone. Yes, he had been hunted so hard his pads had been run right off his feet. We tried. We worked with the vet and tried to heal him. His skin got a little better but would not heal. You cannot put the pads back on a dog’s feet and his feet, and his joints, were so painful that he only walked or even stood when he had to. We all conferred and the decision was made to euthanize my precious Arlo. My husband and I had come to love him as our own. Such a beautiful and gentle hound.

When Arlo was with us, he would bay as the hounds do but in his sleep. I hope he is young, in no pain, and baying at the Rainbow Bridge right now. The cry of the hounds is a beautiful thing but not when they are crying because they are mistreated. #animalcruelty #animalabuse #hunting #kentuckyhoundsman #huntingdogs