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!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Alanna--A VSD

I know I have mentioned this dog before, Alanna, a wolf-Chow mix that was with us (my late husband and two kids and I) for a bit over thirteen years. She still remains at the pinnacle as far as smarts and being a unique and very unusual dog!

About three months old
We found Alanna in the Colorado Springs animal shelter early in May 1977, She had just been picked
up so we had to wait a few days to make her ours. However, that first day as we walked through the area housing female puppies and dogs, she came to the front of her pen and gave a rather demanding "yap" that said, "I want to be your dog. Take me out of here!"  That was Alanna--always the 'queen bee' and  Very confident and direct!

We took her home the same day we picked up our new SUV, which we had decided to order after spending a total of about 36 hours in a Ford Pinto and a person's house a few miles from our home during a March blizzard. A car like that with 4-wheel drive might have gotten us safely home. She barfed in the back, the only time she ever got car sick, but confirmed my insistence on getting rubber matting and not carpet in this vehicle, despite the salesman's efforts. I also insisted on several other things--he could not believe a woman would prefer a 4-speed manual shift to an automatic! That is whuy it took several weeks to come from the factory, just to our specs.

That was always Alanna's car from that day forward and she lived to ride. She got a few local trips that summer and then a very long one in a special box on the tailgate with her male dog companion, Angus. In september we moved from Falcon, CO outside of Colorado Springs to north central California after my job was cut when Aerospace Defense Command went through some reductions.
we ended up in the little town of Olivehurst, just south of marysville/Yuba City, the twin towns on opposite sides of the Yuba River north of Sacramento.

In Olivehurst about 1980
We stayed there for six years and Alanna got very well known in the area. She and Jim often wnet a quarter mile or so down the road and visited with friends who had a big rice farm and also grazed cattle. The two Johnson brothers both had herding dogs. Max's was a Blue Heeler named Henry. Alanna adored Henry and since Angus had met a sad end, she wanted a new "boyfriend." However she was spayed so Henry only wanted her as a hunting partner. There were a lot of Norway rats in the area. They tended to hang around the rice fields to glean the left overs and also in the big barn where they stored feed for the cattle.  Henry and Alanna had some great times including once when they were shut in the barn before a new load of feed arrived and between them killed literally hundreds of rats. Both had to be bathed to get the blood out of their fur!

Alanna also loved the UPS guy and wold jump in his truck if she got a chance. he carried dog biscuits for her and other friendly canines on his route. One day there was a substitute driver and she scared him half to death. He had climbed up on a rack with some packages before Jim coaxed  Alanna to get out.  She could not imagine anyone not loving her or being afraid. She had many friends, both human and canine including a little Doxie named Susie who's person carried her in a basket on his motor scooter! She seemed to love little dogs.

After six years we came back to Arizona and lived for a few months in Tucson. There she was confined in the fenced yard and people were not friendly. Kids banged sticks on the wire to tease her and other neighborhood dogs etc. She was very unhappy,  She git sick with what a vet diagnosed as Valley Fever. Up to that point all of our dogs had been outdoor dogs since jim and I had both grown up with a rule that dogs did not come in the house. We let Alanna stay indoors because of her illness and there was no going back! From then on every dog has been a house dog; not that they do not gget outside a  lot and want to be out but they also want to be close.  Alanna won that privilege for herself and all her successors.

play with a little friend
The next spring we moved down to Whetstone, an unincorporated area just north of Huachuca City. Alanna did not like the disruption of moving. Jim told her that was the last time she or he would move and that proved to be true. Once we settled she was happy in her new home and became a neighborhood favorite, wandering a little though not too far and going  with us. Jim would take her to a bakery in HC where he went nearly every morning to a coffee klatch and she waited patiently just outside the door and was greeted by everyone who came and went and often slipped a treat.

at home in Arizona

In the summer of 1990, she began to fail. About the same time we discovered a tumor in her neck or throat. It was too much around the major blood vessels to risk surgery so we had to let nature take its course.  In the middle of October the day came; she could no longer eat and barely drink so we made the trip to our vet's. He gave her the shot and the three of us held her as she slipped off to the Rainbow Bridge, her coat wet with tears of three people who had loved her dearly. She was buried in the side of our yard where some years later Butch and Sadie were placed near her. They were the last dogs we left there, or I left when I moved alone--with Belle--in 2008.

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