Dog Days Of Summer

We have a dog, Daisy, who is the light of our life. We got her a week after we had been here when we moved to Paradise, aka our farm, in ’06. She is a memorable dog; when I drove her home that first day, she puked in our car all over my purse. Nice. However, I also brought home a mama cat and her four kittens at the same time; they took to each other and she’s never bothered cats. We lost the mama cat the first day to an outside play oven, but they’re another story. Despite the rocky start, she has been a terrific farm dog. She’s part Blue Heeler and part Golden Retriever which makes for a good farm dog. She loves water and helps us with the cattle, herding them, cutting away others, or chasing a stray one. She immediately became my oldest son’s dog, following him everywhere and being ‘his dog’. When he left for the Navy, she was a little sad, but has adopted well to being my youngest son’s dog. When my son and I go for our morning jog/walk (depending on which body joint of mine isn’t working or refuses to work-this week it’s my left hip) she scampers along, chasing birds, hunting for elusive smaller animals, and getting wet. We live by several sloughs and she loves getting in them. Unfortunately, when she gets out of it and back on our road she feels the need to shake her fur dry RIGHT BY us. Ick! Slough water smells terrible! Daisy is a faithful, loving dog and we couldn’t ask for one better; so what is her weakness?

Dead animals. She is terrific at catching critters; musk rats, squirrels, bunnies, and raccoons don’t stand a chance. Because she’s a water dog, when the raccoons head for the water to escape her, she goes in for the kill and has killed at least four. Killing them is not the problem; we encourage her to do so. But it’s what happens after that causes problems. Once she’s killed it, she won’t eat it, but instead brings it to the house to show it off to us. Nice kill! Now get rid of it! Nope, she wants to keep it there until it’s good and ripe. We can throw it somewhere else and she will find it and roll in it. Gross! She loves to roll in dead animals, getting her fur good and stinky. At this point we find the critter (or what’s left of it-it’s usually a flat pancake of ick by now) and throw somewhere she can’t reach-the old two car garage roof. This roof is a graveyard of deer, raccoon, musk rat and rabbit carcasses. Eventually they finish their decomposing and fall off, but by then it doesn’t matter. Thank goodness for that roof!

So here’s to Daisy, who will be seven this August. She and I will be close to the same age and both are handling it with dignity…ok, maybe just she is.  We can learn a lot from our animals; we may think they are perfect, but they have flaws just like we do- yet we still love them for what they are.