The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.


Posted August 14, 2014





Hardway
Ever Vigilant ...
Ever on Guard!

Hardway 01
As a puppy playing with Shooter!

Hardway 02
A couple months later!

Hardway 03
Snoozing in Levelland!

Hardway 04
Posing in Stockton!

Hardway 05
With Roo and Shooter!

Hardway 06
Always THERE!!!

Hardway 07
Posing pretty!
(Try and get 5 BC's to do this!)
Mom D can't!!!!

Hardway 08
Look at those ears!!

Hardway 09
On the move.

Hardway 10
Always ready to help!

Hardway 11
Snoozing (again)!

Hardway 12
Relaxin'!

Hardway 13
She did enjoy watering!
One of her favorite spots!!

Last Picture of Miss H
Mi Amiga!!


H …

By dad

 

“H” was an ugly dog … liver spotted and lop eared!

 

Oh, but what a dog was she!  She was a Catahoula[i] cross (I’m thinking crossed with whatever happened to come around their place that day!  I’m also thinking that her origi-folks said that she was a Catahoula just to raise her adoption fee (well ... hmmm… she WAS free though!!)

 

Shortly after mom-D and I moved back to Texas, and while we were living on the high plains (that’d be 1993), I started wanting a “real” dog – we had Miss Shoo (she WAS really mom-D’s dog though), and I had always wanted a Catahoula Dog (and that was way before the song[ii])!  So anyway, mom-D and I were visiting her Grandma and Grandpa and she saw a classified ad for “free” (keep reading) Catahoula cross puppies “located within easy access of San Angelo” (well, ok, maybe I am embellishing that part[iii]).  She called and got directions and we went out there and checked out the pups.  They had two left, we took them both (wow, were those people happy!) – one, we gave to mom-D’s little brother (that pup didn’t stick around long – his name was “Jumper”) and the other one was officially adopted by us and given her “Christian name”!

 

This little pup was truly fearless in every way!  She was smart … agile … and EXTREMELY loyal!!  She was not “clingy”, but she was always close by.  She certainly loved me and mom-D, but me and that pup formed a pretty tight and special bond early on!  I admit that I was still a little young, had some of my own issues going on, and was, on occasion, more than just a little angry – I probably had no business at all of partnering[iv] with a dog of this quality, at this stage of my life. But we DID connect, and despite it all – we remained partners through and through, to the end!  I must ashamedly admit that I did not always treat Miss H with the respect, dignity, and unconditional love that she so very much deserved.  Certainly, it wasn’t all bad and mistreatment, but there were a number of times that I was A LOT rougher on her than ANY dog deserves – especially one of my most Bestest Buppies, and even more so considering the way that ol’ ugly, liver spotted, lop eared dog loved me!

 

But she kept on loving me … never wavered … I was so fortunate!  We were buds … had many great times!  … And some tough times too.  Once, she came running to the truck at full out speed, misjudged the lowered tailgate, and hit it straight on - in her gut.  Bruised internally and cracked some ribs – gimped her up for quite a while (and she also got to meet “Ted” and his staff[v]!)  Then, of course, there was the snake bite[vi]! (more time with Ted!)  Then … there was the pregnancy incident, or as mom-D told Ted … “No!  That can’t be!  Not MY dog!!”  We haven’t ever really shared that story in this venue, but I’m thinking that it is probably good enough for its own article … so we’ll save the juicy tidbits for a future story!  Anyway, needless to say – H did spend a LOT of time at Ted’s place – received a doggy blood transfusion and had to be “jumped started” back to life.  Free … nah!  She was a spency dog in her own right!!!  (Fake dog blood is EXPENSIVE!!!)

 

H had her peculiarities as well!  She was always a great “ball” dog – she would fetch balls until she flat passed out, if you let her!  You never had to fight her, or ask her to release a ball … heck, the way she figured it, the faster she released it – the faster you could throw it again!!  She’d bounce it to you!!  To anyone .. everyone!!  Before we moved out to “the place”, we lived in town with normal sized yards.  At the last house before we moved out here, we had a cinder block fence and H would rebound either herself or the ball off the fence – you couldn’t get a ball past her – would’ve made ol’ Ozzie Smith[vii] himself proud!  One of the reasons that I started looking for a place with some acreage was so Miss H could stretch her legs a little more and spend more time just being a dog (Mom-D says it is the ONLY reason!)  While I know, without a doubt, that H loved it here … after we moved, she never played fetch again!  Try and figure out these dog gone bupps!  She chased rabbits, cats, mice, ground squirrels and guineas … but no tennis balls!  (It was a toss up between mice and cats for her new favorites!)

 

H was an all-around “boys” dog – she was there every step of the way … when you were having fun, and also, when the blame was being laid out!  In retrospect, I think that she was wasted on me since I was an adult when I got her … she should’ve been with an Arliss Coates type of kid … really!!!  Heck, maybe they ought to make a movie about that relationship![viii]  You know, now that I think about it … if she’d been yellow colored instead of white and liver colored, I would’ve bet you a 30 pack that she was a reincarnation!!!  REALLY!!!!

 

Well, I taught H, very early on, not to be in in the way of “people”.  I ‘splained it to her that it was HER responsibility to get up and move … I mean, she was just a dog, and people were well … People!  H picked this up quickly (she was sharp) and never questioned it!  So, many years later (in 2008), when mom-D was off visiting her Grandma and I was putting down wood flooring in the house, I thought it was odd that H was laying right there in the doorway under the carport where I had to step over her each and every time I had to cut a board.  However, she WAS getting older (and I had mellowed in my attitude considerably, and truly appreciated that ugly ol’ dog), so I stepped over her.  She stayed, right there, smack dab in the middle of the doorway, all day long – I made at least two trajillion trips, back and forth, to my saw that day.  She always gave me that “Hey Buddy” look each time I approached, I always assured her that it was “ok” and “to stay still” – she did!  I mean, after all, she was getting old, was crippled up a little in her hind end … and, well, she deserved the respect (I also thought that she was just enjoying the cool air coming out the door and was taking advantage of my good humor that day!).  But, you know, this is when I started to think about, and understand, the partnership deal (see quote and Endnote IV) between a boy and his dog – and realized how fortunate that I was that she never quit me!  All day long, she watched me come and go, but never moved from her spot.

 

As I finished up around dark thirty that evening, I decided to go ahead and put the other bupps up in the back yard (Roo was an adult with baby Gall and Patches) … well, I got a beer and just laid right there in the middle of the open doorway with Miss H!!  I visited with her, patted on her and loved on her, I told her all of the sweet things that I thought about her.  She looked at me and licked my hand a couple of time.  After a little bit, she tensed up, jerked a couple of times, and then died.  I was devastated!  I was really torn up!  I let Roo and the pups out – they were fairly indifferent as they sniffed H and seemed more concerned about the way I was acting.  “You know” (I believe they were thinking) “death IS a part of life[ix]!”  Well, in any event, I still cried like a little baby as I rigged up lights, got the backhoe and dug her grave by the “creek” (and next to her sister Shooter) – then I laid my best bupp down into the hole and covered her up with a shovel.

 

This process did give me time to reflect on our relationship!  I didn’t always treat Miss H with the respect and dignity that she deserved until the BC’s (Roo) came into the picture.  However, I would like to think that that ol’ ugly, lop eared dog “made it right” on that last day!  You see, I went out of my way all day for her (i.e. – I stepped over the dog that I had always scolded about getting out of “my” way) and then she died.  In many respects, I believe that this was my old friends way of saying, “It’s ok duddy … We’re even now!”.  I greatly appreciate her for that.  As you know, with the small herd of BC’s that we have now … none of them (excepting POSSIBLY Roo … maybe) would ever come close to accepting the treatment that Miss H received early on (they are MUCH too sensitive – they WILL quit you!).  H was one of those FRIENDS that only come along every so often and I am so proud that we were as close as we were!  Hardway definitely has a top place in the “Doggie Hall of Fame” on THIS place!!

 

 

 

 

What a story – honestly, that’s the way it happened folks!  I probably wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t there – what a way for a boy and his dog to end their earthly relationship – my dog was waiting for me to have time for her to die!

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

Yeah – I even have a few quotes for this article!

 

“You don’t own a dog, any more than you own your life.  If a dog has any intellect, you are best to treat your relationship with your dog as a partnership.  It is all right that you have a majority ownership in the partnership – just remember that it IS a partnership.  He (she) does have the option of quitting you.”

- www.BC-Chronicles.com - Reprinted with permission

 

"I knew then that I loved him as much as I did Mama and Papa, maybe in some ways even a little bit more."
- Fred Gipson, Old Yeller, Ch. 6

 

"It's strange indeed how memories can lie dormant in a man's mind for so many years. Yet those memories can be awakened and brought forth fresh and new, just by something you've seen, or something you've heard, or the sight of an old familiar face."
- Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows, Ch. 1

 

 

 

RECOMMENDED DOG READING:

“Old Yeller” – Fred Gipson

“Savage Sam” – Fred Gipson

“Where The Red Fern Grows” – Wilson Rawls

 

 

Hey … If you ain’t crying at the end of these … something’s wrong with you!!!!  Damn good tales though!  Dogs and their boys … Boys and their dogs!!

 

 

 



[iii] No, really – we had a heck of a time getting out to their place … it was surely a hard way to go to get a free pup … I don’t have any idea of our directions anymore (don’t think I did then either) … but here’s a recap of the Bellamy’s directions that you just heard …

“Well I left Okachobie I was on a quest

Stopped at Wickie Watchi where the mermaids nest

I seen Stock Choppie, I turned it left

Hit Appolachie Cola, headed west

Crossed 2 more states and a drivin' range

Finally reached Lake Ponchatrain

In the bayou town I found my dream

In the purtiest hound you ever seen … ” 

Beginning of “Catahoula”, by the Bellamy Brothers

Read more about how we got our names at http://www.bc-chronicles.com/Article%20Sidetracks%201.html

 

[v] Patches just thinks that she is the origi-spency bupp … for more information on this long standing relationship:  http://www.bc-chronicles.com/Article%20I%20Can%20Pass%20That.html and http://www.bc-chronicles.com/Article%20It%20Just%20Feels%20Good.html

 

[vi] For more information on other H skills and a brief synopsis of the snake bite incidence (with photos – they’re not that bad), please see:  http://www.bc-chronicles.com/Article%20Mouser.html

 

[vii] The greatest MLB Shortstop in history:  https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060615153214AAvTubf .  For more info on Ozzie, please see: http://www.ask.com/wiki/Ozzie_Smith

 

[viii] It’s WORTH waiting through the 30 second commercial!  Really!  http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/210975/Old-Yeller-Movie-Clip-Rock-Fight.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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