Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Golden Pond Retriever

I was brought into this family by a dog, and I have lived more with dogs than chickens , or even people, so I have known a lot of dogs, and Davey's old Deerdra was a gifted dog.
Her gifts were her sharp and sensitive nose, her great ears, and her blazing speed. A dog's dog; she was a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Greyhound, with a waist like a wasp, lungs like bellows and the ears, the coat..... and almost the speed, of a deer. Then, no more than six months ago, arthritis took her over all of a sudden, like an ant army. At the same time, her hearing went, eyes clouded, and her rear end seem to get disconnected. She hung on by her nose.
When I still slept in the Ark up by the house and Deerdra could still stand up and walk, but couldn't manage the porch steps any more, and she needed. more and more to go pee in the night........I would hear her whine from the top of the stair.
Davey sleeps very well, to put it mildly, especially after a beer or two and a Victory at Sea video attempt......... so I'd have to come out the Ark and carry Deerdra down.....and back up the stairs later.
After I moved out of the Ark and down into the chicken house so as to make room for the hens rescued from their abusive sisters, I was no longer available for doorman duty, and by then Deerdra could no longer get up without help, or lay down except by falling.... which happened whenever she tried to turn around or back out of a dead -end in the brambles. .
So when she whined in her bed, Davey had to carry her out...and down the stairs...though sometimes she would be whining not because she needed to go out and piss, but just because she was in pain.
Then, she would wander off , trying to find her way out of the dark , until she fell off the path. After a while, she would began to whine and later to yip like a coyote....so even I heard her from the chicken house..
And since G. and I began sleeping up here in the trailer cupola, I can see most of the paths all around and through the high grass and dog bane vines .
I would listen in my sleep, but often enough I just get a feeling that sent me with the plastic sled and a flashlight out to some quarter of the place, where I would sweep the dark with the light until I caught her eyes, then put her in the sled and slide her over the grass back and under the house where the roosters shelter in rough weather . She would then sleep exhausted, sometimes till afternoon. She'd become virtually deaf, blind, and confused. The only blessing being that thunderstorms didn't make her crazy insane anymore, and she slept through the fourth of July fireworks. If Davey would do a better job of keeping the paths, it would help everything, because sometimes, walking the easiest route, she would go up and down the driveway until she accidentally walked right out the other end
.A few nights ago, something made me sit up in the Cupola all of a sudden, so I got the flash light , ran out to the end of the driveway and shined it up and down....and here she comes, forty yards off still, right down the middle of Rt. Ninety.

She escaped death by any texting salt truck driver at that time of night.
But then a few days ago, saying nothing to me, Davey left here with both dogs in the back of the truck, and came back after a couple of hours with Taino in the cab and Deerdra in the back, wrapped in a blanket , dead as a cold burrito.
He took her out into the orchard in a wheel barrow.

Two days later, Davey's old truck died in the driveway, and now Davey himself doesn't look all that good.
He's been quiet ....but soon enough, he'll be crowing at me about the rent again. Anyway, I better hang on here until he' s a little less fragile
. He won't be ready for another dog for a while yet. I ought to find a kitty and shove it into the house some night, but he isn't much of a cat person. Not much of a people person for that matter.
The place could use a whole litter of kittens, or a barn full of cats, so many mice and chipmunks , and baby rabbits around here. Clean em up. Especially if we are going to try and have a food service operation here. But I sense some resistance.


Linda said...

Thank you for this. Linda

lauren said...

rest in peace, deerdra. i have known of you through frankie, and though i never met you, it was easy to see that you were a remarkable being.