Sunday, December 02, 2007
She looks so mild and innocent in the picture with the big chain on her. Truth unseen is that she broke four smaller chains before we put her on that one and by the time we didn't use it any more she had worn it down so it would be easy to snap and often dragged away whatever the chain was anchored to.
I've lived with many dogs over the years - I think I've lived only 6 of my 44 years without a dog and often more than one and not a few cats. All were unique in their own ways of course. Spirit was unique in her boundless energy and yearning for freedom. She was almost never mean but she'd prefer to be on the other side of any fence or just beyond wherever a chain let her go - well sometimes a good deal farther than that but sometimes she'd step just that far and stop of her own accord. Her wanderlust got her pups, when she finally had them, in trouble. One tried to follow her and didn't make it back for a few weeks and was none too healthy then. We kept that dog too and he passed away earlier this year.
But Spirit's wanderlust was what brought her into our lives - she showed up on Sally's doorstep out of the blue one day 17 years ago. A little while later Sally gave her to me and when we married I brought her back.Certainly she lived a long life and saw more of the world than many dogs I'd suppose. Never came back hurt (well there was once from a skunk and once from a porcupine.) Never wanted to stay long. First alpha male dog of the neighborhood pack that wanted her in her first heat met the floor when he bothered her too much and left her alone for a year then. Second year he met the same fate but she became a bit more accommodating and seven pups took up much of her energy - but only for a short time. Then she was off again. Mind that she broke several chains and cable and hooks and locks and fences and doors. I'm sure she did thousands of dollars of damage over her years. As a pup right near the age of the first picture she also ate my glasses and driver license which she pulled from my wallet and then chewed up my wallet... all while I slept one day. And looked absolutely innocent afterwards. It just had sharp edges to work her teeth on is all. Well she didn't eat them - just left them in ribbons and bits.
Spirit also had a remarkable maternal instinct too though. She'd mind human children as well as her own (well, she'd tend to not let them wander off and once faced down a snake for our daughter.) And she was pretty patient of climbing babies and grasping hands though she'd also get up and move if need be. But while she'd do as her instinct demanded, as soon as there was a hole for doing something else, and a hole to go through, she'd be gone.
As she aged she did slow some and there were several times her health seemed to fail completely only to have her rebound partly from Sally's great tender care and find an opportunity, even in the last few months, where she had the gumption to get up and go, barely able to see where she was going.
And lately as almost all her mobility seemed to leave her she would seem to not comprehend that her body wasn't going where she intended - she'd lean off in a direction and her body would kind of stand there or swivel and collapse; poor body it had become. There were times I could just see it in her that she was leaning and was already in her mind 20 feet away when she'd feel she hadn't moved and would literally look around at her legs which hadn't moved.
Now her wandering quality is free of that failing body and any barrier of mankind.