My Dogs Keep Me Grounded

The golden girl is a Labrador Retriever who struggled through the wetlands, and collapsed on my doorstep unable to go any further. Instinctively, she knew she had found a home. Malnourished, dehydrated, flea bit and tick infested, and being eaten alive by intestinal parasites, the battle begin to save her life. Weighing a mere seven pounds, I wasn’t so sure my trusted veterinarian could. The fluffy dog, I rescued from beneath a bush in Havana, Cuba where she was sheltering with her starving mother and six sisters. Knowing I would be able to probably get one back to the States, I petted each and assessed them for completeness, spoke to the mother, and stepped from the bush into a cold December Cuban rain that was falling. I took the one that was willing to leave the pack for nothing more than a soft touch.

One prairie dog and one Havana Hound, both weighing in at around 45 pounds, they keep me grounded, literally, because before I can go anywhere I have to figure out what to do with the dogs. Raised as house pets, they’re not fond of kennels, crates, being left alone, or sleeping on the floor.  One won’t go out in the rain, while the other won’t come in from the rain. The Havana Hound loves the car and jumps from seat to seat while the retriever throws up on the floor boards. Being reared on the prairie, neither wear collars because they stick their heads in the weeds and get tangled in the briars making self-strangulation a real possibility. Because they don’t wear collars, it’s difficult to get either on a leash. If I can accomplish that feat, one dashes herself to the ground while the other runs to the car. Being the uncivilized mutts they are, I can’t take them anywhere so I sit in the car with two dogs trussed up like Christmas Geese, knowing in my heart of hearts, they will neither eat, sleep or drink until I pick them up from the vet’s and bring them back to their prairie home.

Why do I subject myself to this lunacy? The thing is, these dogs, be that as they may, are not judgmental, don’t understand about prejudice, don’t care what possessions I do or don’t own as long as they have beds and food, and never argue with me. When it comes right down to it, they are there for me because when they needed it most, I was there for them.


Dog Days on the Prairie

The ancient Romans described ‘Dog Days as: “A time when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics and frenzy. The evil time coincided with the appearance of the Dog Star, Sirius, when it rose just at dawn, and believing the Dog Star responsible for the madness, the Romans made sacrifices to Sirius thinking it would appease his displeasure.” (‘Clavis Calendarium’ by J. Brady, 1813)

In current times, ‘Dog Days’ is defined as a time or event that is very hot or stagnant, and marked by a dull lack of progress. The position of the stars has changed since the ancient Romans, so we cannot be sure when they experienced their period of lunacy, but on the prairie all days are dog days; hysterical and frenzied. It appears the only difference between the ancient Romans and the modern day prairie dweller is the prairie dwellers do not make sacrifices, human or otherwise.