Thursday, November 17, 2011

Holy Smokes

Sad News from the state of Texas.  I just got an email from my friend Jim about one of their dogs, Smokey.  My first morning ever spent on their ranch, I awoke early and went out to breathe some morning air.  I was greeted by Bud and Smokey.  Bud came right up and jumped up on me, placing his huge paws on my shoulders (thank God I was wearing a heavy leather jacket) and looked me right in the eye.  I was standing at the time.  Disconcerting to say the least.  Smokey on the other hand barked and barked...  until I called her a very pretty girl.  Then she came over and let me pet her, watching me until she was sure I wasn't after her goats.  I still think she had some of the prettiest eyes I've ever seen on a dog. Here's his letter:
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam

Smokey passed away yesterday, she was 13. This is way past her average which is 10 for this breed. I bought her at a goat auction for $60, she was a Pyrenees/ Commodore mix. She was 6 weeks old and a little fluff ball. Her fur was smokey gray in color hence her name. She turned into a 100 pound+ dog. Bud our other Pyrenees took her under his wing and they became the best of friends, never once having a spat between them. They would roam the fields guarding and protecting the goats. Never once have we lost a goat to a predator. About 5 years ago she and Bud went into retirement. They would climb the fence out of the field and into the house yard to be with the other dogs and us. If they sensed any thing wrong they would stay with the goats. Bud would climb back over the fences every night to be with the goats but Smokey got to liking the good life at the house. When Bud died suddenly at 10 Smokey had a sense about it and immediately with out any interaction from us went back to the goats and stayed there till we got a new Pyrenees (Phil) and she trained him. When she was sure he was up to the task she retired again to the house. For a dog who lived in a goat barn most of her life she adopted to house living fast and well. She was house broken almost immediately. She always stayed in the kitchen and pantry- her choice, except when it thundered then she tried to crawl under our bed. In her latter years she became extremely afraid of thunder and didn't like to be out when it was dark. She was real lady like although it was hard to tell from her appearance. She would only take a cookie if you told her how " beautiful and pretty" she was and then ever so gently. She loved to be groomed allowing U to trim her and do her nails.
I knew her time was getting short as these last few weeks were hard for her to get around and she slept ALOT. Yesterday she couldn't get up or stay standing and she was crying from pain lying in certain positions. As hard as it was I knew it was time. She would go in and out of deep sleeps but when she was awake I spent time with her petting and talking to her and feeding her tortilla chips, cheese crackers, begging strips which she gobbled down. I know she enjoyed it. U could sense she knew her time was close. She's buried next to her friend Chimay, ( border collie) whom she liked to play with, in the night pasture with her goats. It is so empty here at the ranch without her. Janet and I miss her deeply.


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