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!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rico--the next special dog

I mentioned Rico in Sadie's story but he deserves his own tale. Early in 2004, Butch and Jim had been gone for around two months and I had started to look for another dog hoping to pull Sadie out of her obvious depression. And do not try to tell me a dog cannot have such emotions! We checked the shelters but none of the candidates seemed quite right. Then a friend of a friend alerted me to a possibility. An Australian Shepherd had been found and was staying at the kennel of a woman who raised GSDs (German Shepherds) down in the southern part of the valley between Hereford and Palominas. Sadie and I drove down in my Buick Century,

Rico, newly adopted
She didn't get hostile and the woman who had found and taken the dog in wanted him gone--an intact male, he did not fit into her crew. Her daughter had called him Oreo since he was black and white but I later learned he was actually a blue merle although not the classic or typical one.  He came home with us that evening and quickly fitted in. I took him to the vet shortly since I do not keep intact dogs as pets and had him "fixed" and got his shots, probably overkill but I had no way to know. I decided to name him Rico (Enrico) a bit after Alanna's  Henry in California who was not an Aussie but a Blue Heeler although I was vague on the difference at that point. My late husband liked bird dogs and I had not really had a herding type dog since my dear Flash, so long ago.

A few days later the lady who had brought him to Cochise County from northern California got bck from somewhere and looked for him. He'd been left in the care of a disabled friend who could not handle him and he had escaped. I offered to return him but said I would need to be reimbursed for my vet bill. When she learned he was now 'fixed' she had  a fit and cussed me out.She had meant to use him as a stud. "Too darn bad," I thought. "You didn't take great care of him."

Although Sadie never bonded with him as she had with Butch, it did help. I soon acquired a little red
Rico, standing stacked
Mazda pickup with an extended cab and fixed a bench between the two jump seats in the rear area so a dog could ride there --or even two. That was not a popular spot but two mid to large dogs did not fit in the passenger bucket seat and I do not do laps when driving.  That was usually Rico's spot and he accepted it with mild grumps. I took them with me often for the next couple of years and occasionally left them in a kennel and one time at my youngest brother's new house in Sierra Vista. when I went to Colorado to help the other brother move when he and his wife decided to split..

Sadie lasted another year, until October 2006. That left Rico as a solo dog. Perhaps I should have left well enough alone but I like to have a pair. I got involved with the Aussie rescue organization in Arizona and arranged to take Belle, who was fostered in Kingman. She seemed so small beside Rico, who was a very large Aussie (near 75 pounds), that I thought at first she was a "mini."

They had one fight within a week and I thought that settled the matter. Splitting that up, I got bitten badly on the left hand by Rico. I grabbed for his collar and missed. He put fang marks on both sides of my thumb joint. I wrapped my bleeding hand, put Belle in the crate I had gotten and drove myself to the Sierra Vista hospital's ER. Triage--a bleeding hand was not life threatening. I finally got home about nine. He was quarantined for two weeks but it was not his fault--my stupidity. Breaking up dog fights is dangerous at best.

Belle and Rico on good day
For quite awhile the two of them got along fine, They were not furniture dogs but slept on rugs near my bed and chased ground squirrels and the field rats. I had half my large yard fenced so they had plenty of room to run. I was gone one day and came home to find Belle cut up some. I thought she had gotten into a pile of wire and trash in the yard,but learned different soon. From that point on, the situation went down hill,.. When they had a major fight indoors in the spring 0f 2008, I knew we could not continue. I kept them separated from then on and began to look for a place to rehome Rico.

If that seems odd and unfair, I will say it broke my heart to let him go after four years but Belle had a medical condition that required daily care and I suspected most people would not give that to her and manage the expense for drugs etc. I had guaranteed her a forever home when I took her. After a few weeks a lady up the street from me saw my notice in the post office and came by. She said her mother lived in a small ranch near Patagonia, AZ and wanted a good big dog to keep strangers out of her yard. I let her take Rico although I was not happy about it. I kept planning to go see him after he had a few months to get settled in his new home but many things changed in my life along about that time and I ended up moving to New Mexico in August.

I always missed my big doofus--like most male dogs he was a bit of a doofus!--but he was loveable, loyal and generally a good dog. I just pray he had a good, long  life and ended up peacefully.  He'd be an old dog now if he is still on this side of the Rainbow Bridge. He was not quite two early in 2004. I never stopped having regrets and that is the only dog I have ever rehomed. I just have to trust that I made the right decision. I hope he is there with his stumpy tail wagging his whole backside, as Aussies do, when I get to the Rainbow Bridge, and that he won't be too mad at me.  He may have another owner of his heart now but maybe he will at least say hello.
My handsome boy!

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