Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Moon Pie Dog


She came to me in late March of 2002. She was a stray. I had her fixed and got all her shots for her. She's a border collie/husky mix.

She's never been particularly happy here. She didn't much like Block Head. I have a small yard -- plenty big for a big dog, but I, like my mom and dad, hate keeping dogs within fences.

I took her up to Piqua with me for Memorial Day week. We got in late Wednesday night, having driven through the worst thunderstorm ever in my life. She slept through the whole thing in the back seat, using the armrest as a pillow. The storm cleared just soon enough to reveal a gorgeous sunset.

We woke up to the site of 3 deer in the east pasture. She didn't see them. I kept her on the leash while I worked on dismantling the split rail fence. Jess showed up about 2 in the afternoon. He asked why she was on a leash, and I said I wasn't sure what she'd do. He said he thought she'd be fine. So I let her off, and she wandered off. "Don't make a liar out of me, dog," recalling the "too windy to burn" incident.

So she wandered off. And then she wandered back. Wandered off and back again, all afternoon and evening, testing the boundaries.

Let me just say this: That was the happiest I've ever seen that dog, laying in the pasture, taking it all in. Every time I turned around I almost always saw nothing but a buried head and a wagging tail. By the mulberry tree, by the wood pile, by the hydrangea, by the falling down porch. Buried head, wagging tail. My heart nearly burst with the knowledge that she wasn't just content; she was at home, or, rather, she was home. Home, whatever that means anymore. She was happy. Truly happy.

She killed a groundhog Saturday night during A Prairie Home Companion, and paraded it around the whole pasture, staking her claim, while I burned the day's trash under Homer's "rosey-colored fingers of dusk".

Sunday, before we left, we saw 6 deer in that same east pasture; she barked and growled at them through the glass door. "Get off my lawn!", she was saying. Then we went outside to a beautiful windy sunny day. She lay near the burn pile surveying all that was newly hers, content. We're both home. I opened the back door of the car and she begrudgingly hopped up and in. I assured her we'd be back in less than a month. She seemed to know that already.

Turns out she really is a great dog, that Moon Pie.

So, I have Grandma Kading-era running water, i.e., the pump out front, electricity, 11 channels on the TV, a toilet that won't flush, and a dog who's about to realize her Aristotelian "becoming". I'll try not to be far behind. And I think I'm adjusting the permanent move date from May 2011 to October 2010, just for her. She'll love the cold, and I'll love the wood burning stove. There are worse reasons to move than for a dog. I'm even certain my mom and dad would approve. Heck, they might even be proud of me for that alone. They were that way.

28 comments:

Schmutzie said...

She was probably sitting there wondering why you got back in the car.

We're leaving?

May I ask why?

Did I mention that I'm part Siberian?

Rasha frasha mashabama.

Get some sheet plastic tacked up on the insides of the windows if they're a little leaky. It'll save wood.

Schmutzie said...

PS- If Moon Pie really is the only reason you're thinking of bumping the moving date up to October, I'd suggest you ask her advice more often.

And please, tell her Smutty said "Good doggie!"

Keifus said...

Cool dog, and no, I don't think that's a bad reason at all. (In fact, a puppy companion might not be idea when you get settled.)

My father's family had a pump like that which still worked. I thought it was cool as shit when I was a kid. I think I'd rather have it pumped right from the tap though.

I'm guessing the drains go somewhere, but no water pressure? I guess if you have to, you could always fill the tank with water you lug from the hand pump. Getting pressure seems like less a worry than septic problems.

tia said...

Moon Pie! It's so nice to see her at long last. And to hear that both you and she are discovering that you do have a home to go to.

bright said...

So you'll be here for your birthday, eh? That sounds good.

俊翔 said...
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twif said...

as a border/husky mix i assume she's bigger than most border collies and probably smarter than most people. border collies need space and things to herd, so i'm not surprised she was happier in iowa. get some sheep and she'll probably explode with joy.

Cindy said...

Home ... we know it when we find it. Sounds like the two of you have got your noses in deep!

Sounds wonderful!

switters said...

oops. just watched The Road. need someone to talk me down. moon pie dreams of oiqua.

Cindy said...

You're the boy. Remember that.

(caveat: I haven't seen the movie, only read the book ... so I don't know if they're different. But being the boy is a good thing.)

(p.s. word verification is hayable ... I take that as a good sign)

bright said...

I just scored some rhubarb from a neighbor; you can have some to plant next spring.

bright said...

Scratch that, it needs to overwinter, so now you have to get here by October to get it planted.

rundeep said...

As the proud owner of two rescued Goldens, I say: making a noble heart happy is worth anything, including moving. Plus they know where you will be happy too. Good judges of character are dogs. (And please, tell Moon Pie to teach my goddamn goldens how to kill groundhogs. They devastated our tomatoes last year, the bastards.)

switters said...

wow. my favorite people, right here in one place. it's a blessing. i'm moved.

guess i'll watch Sense And Sensibility as a salve.

huntb said...
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twif said...

if you want moon-pie to get a good workout, i'll export some of my chipmunks.

good lord i never knew how fucking noisy chipmunks were.

switters said...

dang, twif, between you and rundeep and my neighbor's mouse problem, i'm thinking of leasing moon pie out for hire.

Isonomist said...

Debbie Downer says: remember to keep her on your property. People treat stray dogs the way Puritans treated elderly widows. Blame them for everything from dead ducks to bad crops.

I'm going to be in eastern Ohio, not far from the torched wire Jesus, on the 5th-8th of August. If anyone's around.

Keifus said...

I'm proud to have a very small cat that routinely butchers chipmunks that are up to half her size. She started out so promising, but turned into sort of an asshole. She's as accident-prone as the other cat, unfortunately, and deeply resents the restrictions we try to place on her hunting. I'd say take her, but the kids would be very upset.

The joy of a rodent-free house is also offset a little bit by the occasional doorstep present or really disgusting cat puke.

(I am also amused that she's on sniffing terms with our dog. Tough-gal cat and wimpy but enthusiastic dog are about equal on the trans-species authority scale, evidently.)

lulu said...
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Catnapping said...

I'm guessing every time she gets in the car now, she'll be expecting the trip to end in piqua. I can imagine the dirty looks when you pull into the parking lot of the local market.

switters said...

Hi, cat. Yeah, pretty much. I've been taking her on long walks right after work before we have our dinner. She loves that, but we both know it's just not the same. I suspect she'll go quite nuts when we get in the car next Saturday morning for the trip on the 4th.

Schmutzie said...

10+ hours of tennis?

Tied at 59-59 in the tie break?

Matched stopped due to darkness?

59-59?

Oh my god.

switters said...

Something my dad taught me when I was a little kid: Tennis, like baseball, is a near perfect sport precisely because it's not tethered to a clock. He also respected golf because you're not competing with your opponents per se, but, rather, against the course itself.

He also ingrained in us, unintentionally, a disdain for soccer, for better or worse.

Spoke to Keith, the electrician/plumber yesterday afternoon. There's sort of running water in the house now. And the toilet sort of flushes. He may test the water today, after giving it a chlorine treatment.

Schmutzie said...

Thought of you when I read this Switters.

switters said...

dang, smut, you've got an uncanny knack for showing me what i need to read when i need to read it. thanks. again.

Schmutzie said...

I'm working on a slogan to help this thing catch on.

"Organic farms. If you don't want a bunch of chemicals and shit on and in your food, give us a try. We're a little more expensive, but we don't put a bunch of chemicals and shit on and in your food."

I need to punch that up. Seems wordy.

Archaeopteryx said...

That's a handsome pooch. Just got back from Iowa myself. It was surprisingly beautiful. The dirt is black.