I introduced Alanna before. We got her on about May 10, 1977 in Colorado Springs, the same day we picked up our new SUV. Before we got home--we lived out from town in the (then) rural community of Falcon--she had barfed and my husband looked at me and grinned. We knew why I told the salesman not only no but heck no--I so did not want carpet but rubber floor mats! A hose took care of the little mess and that was one of only two or three times Alanna ever got car sick. She was just a puppy, scared and confused, but it did not take her long to claim our family and that car as hers.
I could write a whole book about her. She was a truly unique and very special dog, the kind you only get a couple of in a normal lifetime. She was pretty, smart, mostly very eager to please and get along, and tried for a good twelve years to talk. She knew at least 1000 words and soon had the spelling and nicknames for her favorite things down pat too. She traveled from Colorado to California with us and then back to Arizona. We lived in Tucson for a few months and then settled in Whetstone, an unincorporated village outside of Huachuca City.
When we got settled, or as we got settled, Jim promised Alanna she would not have to move again. She really did not enjoy the disruption. And that proved true. She had to cross the Rainbow Bridge in October 1990 and is buried in the yard. She had an inoperable tumor in her throat that was around the major blood vessels and at her age (13 or so) anesthesia was risky even if she could have had surgery. We and our wonderful vet all wept together as she drifted off to the eternal sleep.
Jim did not move again either; he passed away in that very house in November 2003. But he is not buried there--I'm keeping his ashes so his and mine can be scattered together but that is another tale. Anyway, for three years after Alanna we did not have a dog. I got to the point I was carrying treats for dogs in the neighborhood and even feeding some scraps to a half grown female coyote that came by often--which I know is a bad and foolish thing to do! But we took the loss hard and had to heal for awhile. But as is usually the case, when it is time, the dog deity puts the right dog in your path.
There is a little story called "I rescued a human today" that I will share later but that is true. The right dog rescues you every time! The next dog to come to our home we already knew. He belonged to an old gentleman who was a dear friend and involved in the Huachuca City VFW Post with us. He'd lost his wife, who we also knew, and got a dog for company. That was Butch--I would never name a dog Butch but but I think John had a 'Butch' as a kid in Kentucky so he named his Brittany Spaniel pound pup Butch. In a bit he had to move back east to be near his son and daughter in law and lived in a senior complex that would not all pets. He begged us to take Butch and of course we did. So in the summer of 1993, we were again dog people. The same breed as Mickey who I told you about earlier, Butch could not have been more different in personality. He was the opposite of a rascal and had taken eighty something John for a role model and behaved like a little old gentleman.
He did not play but he loved to run, especially with a Border Collie that a neighbor had, named--oddly enough--Dog. Butch and Dog had wonderful tag and chase games and we amazing by their speed and agility. Dog lived to be about eighteen despite not being neutered until he was almost killed by either coyotes or a semi-feral pack when chasing after a female.
Butch started out as Jim's dog because he already knew Jim more than he knew me but in time he came to be mine. Male dogs often bond with women and females with men--natural enough I think. I have some cute pictures of him but they are not scanned into my computer so none for now. Sorry. He had a favorite place when we were out in the yard working -- the well or water basin around a little peach tree we'd planted. That became Butch's 'foxhole'. In time I will get those photos; Butch was a very photogenic dog! He was vain as most Spaniels are but until he grew old and hurting one of the sweetest dogs I ever knew. I'll save his pasing for another day. It is sad, tragic really, and yet almost miraculous!
Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!