Sunday, March 30, 2014

"He Wasn't My First Choice but he was hers..."

Our Kid-Lover
Esa, our smooth Collie Mix, came into our home first and as such, made it quite clear she would be choosing a second canine, if one was to dwell, in her/our house. After biting, dominating, paw-punching and humping the first two humane society dogs we had chosen, we became keenly aware the choice we perceived to be our own, was undeniably hers. Thus, after the first two attempts of choosing a second canine on my own, I loaded her domineering butt into my car and took her to the PetSmart Humane Society monthly extravaganza so she could make a selection. Gordie caught my eye and hers. He was eight weeks old, found in a wood pile with his litter mates, and covered with more than 25 ticks. Once we ask to see him, he instantly rolled over to submit to Esa, exposing his fragile underbelly. Esa towering over him, keenly looked up to me as if to say "he is acceptable and therefore shall be allowed to co-exist under my reign." Boy, did she know how to pick em.

He turned out to be the most obedient, jubilant, family friendly, cat loving dog we had ever known. Indeed, as Esa had recognized, he was submissive and always seeking only one thing: approval. Esa's daily assertion of authority involved paw-punching, riding Gordie like a pony and gnawing the cowl of his neck. During their fifteen years together, Gordie loved every bit of her attention-good or bad!

Only once during our sixteen year relationship did we ever witness Gordie exhibiting any type of dominance and it was pathetically toward the gigantic stuffed teddy bear pictured below. We won the bear at a Circus but Gordie made it his bitch: riding it like a pony, chewing on its' ears and sniffing it out regardless of where we hid it. The bear got so nasty from Gordies defiling, we finally had to pitch it. Gordie spent a week looking in every crevice of our house before finally relenting.

Our Senior, March 2014
In my heart, I believe all pets are good, delivered to us with the endless ability to unconditionally provide love. Everyone says they have or had a great dog. Maybe it is because we see them as such a reflection of our own ability to rear and raise. But, I would argue, there are very few GREAT dogs. Great dogs, once-in-a-lifetime dogs, if you are blessed-kind of dogs, are rare. His gentle ways are sorely missed in our home and I continue to listen for his shuffling paws, reaching for a cold nose kiss and long for the sight of his beautiful coat lounging in the sun of our backyard. Gordie IS a Great Dog. I have no doubt, he is in heaven with Esa, where she is riding him like a pony, once again.. Gordie Howe Collins 1998-2014 R.I.P.
Gordie & I, First Camping Trip, Northern New Mexico, 1998

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Scoot Scuttle

Carla Swinging at Rainmakers
Tour of Billy The Kid in Lincoln
Alas, we have been anxiously anticipating their arrival since they landed in Washington in January, following a very long journey from their boat in Fiji. 

Cedar Creek hike with Gavin

Gavin's anticipation for their arrival had reached epic proportions and he intended to get as much time with them as possible. The Scoots/Scott's took him hiking, played endless games with him and to my sheer pleasure, provided him with shuttle service to all of his activities. We enjoyed all the maid and culinary services they provided, incredible stories of their travels and just the constant chuckling their company always provides. We spent hours talking, attempting to wedge a year of all our lives into ten days. 

The Scott's carefully orchestrated United States road trip was impressive enough to rival any governmental mission, involving visiting dozens of friends and family across the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, via an old beater of a sedan they purchased for just this occasion. When logistics finally brought them to Ruidoso for ten days we enjoyed every fleeting second.

Scott's Presentation to Gavin's class
Gavin's class particular enjoyed the presentation they prepared of exotic birds, traditional Polynesian dancing and their home-a boat-which baffled them all. We had one nose-picker and one who refused to raise his hand (Gavin) from sheer excitement. The kids were really thrilled to know they lived on a boat!

Golf, casino, and a special tour of a collection of more than 100 antique cars rounded out their time with us. We hated to see them go, realizing we may not see them for quite sometime and vowing to get to Fiji next year while they are still residents. Love you!