Setting a Limit Without Limits...Rolly A. Chabot
Hi everyone just wanted to settle in for a little Fireside time and say hello again after being away for so long. The contract I took on here with the Alberta Government has been filled and I am freeeeeee again.
Please anyone should I ever be so foolish as to agree to something this insane please free to give me a fast and solid boot in the behind. It has been a real challenge to meet the deadline considering the amount of data that was involved, unknown health issues that have come about and the fact that I hate deadlines.
Anyway slowly back in the saddle and the health issues are being looked at one at a time. I have no less that 4 appointments with the specialists in their own fields between now and the end of the month. I will poked, prodded and lain out on a slab and dissected by some monster machine that will hopefully share some inner secrets. There has not been much that has slowed me in life but I can tell you anyone that suffers from migraines you have my sympathy. Know that you are all dearly loved no matter what you suffer with.
Maybe an odd subject to be chatting about but over the years the one thing I have learned is we all love them. Me, well I have had some special ones over my time. Each of course holds that place in our hearts that can bring smiles to our faces and yes even tears to our eyes.
Each is different and each captures a different part of our lives. I would like you to meet Tannis Mountain. She was a registered American Cocker Spaniel that captured my heart several years ago and filled many a dark day with her love. Tannis was with me during some of the darkest times of my life. Our start was rocky until I proved I was worthy of her trust and friendship.
Tannis had lived through some very horrible days and deserved the right to be angry. She proved it in the only way she knew at the time and that was sinking her teeth deeply into my arm and hand when I attempted to rescue her from the hell I found her in. Horrible conditions, beaten and bloodied and yet the heart of love she had over the next 14 years could never be accurately recorded.
Tannis and I would spend weeks at a time in the wilderness of the far north. One of her favorite activities was being flown into these regions by helicopter. Growing and barking as we passed over moose at low altitudes but at high speeds. No matter where we were she became the master of her own domain. Tannis Mountain became the teacher of the subject of love, faithfulness and determination over those years. My reward for paying attention was her love and dedication to follow no matter where I went. I watched this small ball of fire square off with a grizzly, a moose and a Mountain Lion and yes even the neighbors cat. All in her duty to protect her master.
The good news is that Tannis the great lived out the remainder of her life away from the hazards of the wilderness resting in the utmost comfort of where ever we found ourselves. She was indeed a true and special friend and I miss her a great deal. The day I was forced to have her put down was a very sad day indeed. Tears flowed freely from my eyes as she was such a great part of who I had become.
The first time I met this little gem was in the backseat of a car. She and 4 of her brothers and sisters had just been to the vet to get their shots. She was so small she could fit in the palm of your hand. Six weeks later she was adopted into my home as a full fledged member of the family.
Tyber was a Chinese Pug with an attitude and yet as smart as they come. The first week I had her I ended up having to sleep in the recliner because she just needed company to sleep. The laundry room all alone was a scary place. Dads lap though in the upside down position was just the place she needed. Of course a little pat like you would while burping a baby was in order. Once settled in all you could hear was her snoring.
When I say smart, let me paint you a picture. An ice creme pail filled with sixteen toys, each she knew by name. I worked out of the home at the time on the computer. She would stand and grunt and I would tell her the toy I wanted and off into the other room she would run and fetch it among the pail of toys and bring it. I would collect them all and we would start all over again. Smart as could be...
Her favorite part of the day was her bike ride in the basket I would place her in. She had a hat she would wear Granddad had bought her. She would announce her coming with a bark to anyone that got in her way. Tyber I left with a friend when I moved on with my life. I saw her several years later and she remembered me. She had become greyer like me but still had many kisses when we met again.
This is "Wind." She was a special dog as well. She spent the better part of her years with Tannis. Tannis became her teacher and mentor and slowly and silently taught her the ways of the life of living faithful to her human.
Wind was a cross Shelty/Whippet and her name was earned through the speed she could run. Much less aggressive as Tannis in nature but so filled with love and understanding and always ready to please. As faithful as anyone could ask. Very sociable in regards to other animals and she had maternal instincts and adopted to any other pets that may be around.
I still smile at this picture of Wind and her success at her first real hunting expedition. I was outside digging potatoes and of course there was always a gun handy in the north as there were bear and cougar in the region. This particular day I had opportunity to take a Grouse for supper. Carry a gun and Wind was always ready. This was one of the many training days we had and her first success in retrieving can be seen. Proud of her accomplishments and yes supper was shared.
Sadly Wind was another I had to have put down a few years after Tannis. Arthritis and kidney failure had taken hold and she lived to be 16 years old. She is another that is dearly missed.
Over the years I have seen many come and go. These three though stand out the most in my mind as being faithful and loving. Some have been working dogs such a sled dogs. Others have just simply come and gone for one reason or another.
Present day has brought a new breed into my home. This as many of you know is Quigley. This dog is so filled with love and brings great joy into life. There is not a mean bone in her body and is always ready for some action. There are a few words in her vocabulary that mean much to her.
"Truck Ride" means sitting high in dads truck and watching the world go by and a good chance we might be stopping at the talking box. It is the one that good smells and treats come from. No matter if it's the A & W or Tim Hortons the staff know her. Let me tell you this is some serious stuff in her world.
Yet another is the ever present ball or toy she has to greet you with when you come home after leaving her a few hours alone. She just teases you by coming close and she hangs onto it until you manage to grab it away from her. Then the game is on of toss and retrieve. To her it is the highlight of the day.
Nine o'clock at time is treat time. Generally a favorite is having to share an orange with her. She has this internal clock built in and she sits and makes this little grunting sound to let you know what time it is.
Next comes bedtime and she has to be all covered up with her favorite blanket. Now here is where she becomes the teacher and a constant reminder of the fact she has needs as well. Her days are spent laying at my feet and as often as not snoring. Rattle a paper wrapper or go near the kitchen and she is right there waiting. She is a treasure to have around.
Now as life passes slowly by I can stand where I am and know that I have been blessed by each of these animals. They have all left a lasting legacy with me. I can not help but ask the question if we will ever see them again.
They have taught us all lessons hat runs parallel with some basic principles we all have. If we choose to live them as our pets have then we have been taught well ourselves. The common threads are love, loyalty and unconditional understanding. There is a bond that is formed quickly and quickly shared when they approach you.
It would be a much better world if we as humans could take what we learn and apply it to the way we interact with others. The world is becoming more and more a place where hatred and revenge is taking its dark and ugly roots in so many lives. It is not the way we are called to live.
The dog is such an animal that will remain faithful to the very last day. I thank all these close and wonderful friends for what they gave so openly and freely.
Now my friends in a final word I would like to share with you that you are dearly loved and appreciated... Hugs to all.
© Rolly A. Chabot
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