Thursday, February 09, 2012

A New Puppy Named Jake

After his bird dog King feasted on the almost ready-to-be hatched duck eggs beside our front porch, Gerald had declared no more dogs for him. Back then we still had hopes of being able to regularly hatch baby ducks at Woodsong. King went back to our son Gerry. The duck dreams vanished, however, because the wild critters won that battle, but the dog pen was gone and so was Gerald’s enthusiasm for dog ownership.

Yet at Thanksgiving this year, Gerry’s friend Steve Smith loaned Gerry a squirrel dog. Gerald and Gerry had a good time hunting with it here before Gerry took it back to Georgia. Gerry had wanted something special to do with his grandson Aidan, age 5 1/2, who is as active a little boy as Gerry was. Together with Steve’s squirrel dog, they explored Georgia forests and met all kinds of interesting people and thoroughly enjoyed their outdoor grandfather-grandson times.

Gerry brought the dog back during Christmas vacation to pass it on loan to yet another friend, but again Gerald and Gerry had a good time in the woods with Steve’s talented dog.

Gerry decided his dad needed another dog. Actually Gerald said it first, but Gerry is the only one to make such things happen. (In fact, very recently another dog trainer friend has given Gerry an $800 dog which will be waiting for Gerry and Aidan when softball season is over. The pricing of dogs is always a mystery to me, but that was the quoted price of this free dog.)

Soon Gerry called to tell his dad that there was a squirrel dog up at Mulkeytown from good stock at a reasonable price, and Gerry thought Gerald would be interested. After two or three days of bouncing back and forth as to whether he really did or did not want a dog, Gerald decided he should at least go look at the man’s dog. But, he said, he did not think he would take the dog because he was not positive he wanted another dog. I smiled knowing we would soon have a dog on the farm.

As expected, Gerald came back with a little black and white dog named Jake in his truck after he stopped in town to buy a collar, dog food, and other paraphernalia that might be needed. Jake is half mountain cur and half border collie. I did not know there was a breed called mountain cur, but you can google it. I am a believer in hybrid vigor, so I do not doubt how smart Jake is when Gerald says so.

Jake is very friendly and I like his running out to meet the car when I return from someplace. I have been sneaking a few meat scraps out to make him like me, but that might be a mistake because now he is expecting me to treat him. He may be a mite more friendly than I would like. His size and colors remind me of my childhood dog Lucky although Lucky had more white markings. Actually Lucky was my brother Jim’s dog, but Jimmy was kind to share his dog with me. I spent a lot of time sitting on the porch steps petting and talking to Lucky.

I have enjoyed looking out the kitchen window and seeing Jake following Gerald on the little yard tractor. Gerald likes it that Jake is snorting and tearing up the soft winter soil in our yard as he sniffs for the moles there. So far, Jake has not found a mole as far as we know, but Gerald is in perpetual battle with them as they invade our lawn, so now he will have an ally. I have had to learn to spell “squirrel” thanks to Jake. And like Gerry’s wife Vickie, I will undoubtedly have to learn to cook squirrels.

One of the grandkids was excited to think all the granddogs who visit here have a new cousin, but our friend Kim on Facebook explained that Jake would surely have to be an uncle, not a cousin. Dog relationships are complicated and easy to get out of hand, but so far we aren’t yet talking baby talk to Jake. That may come later.

No comments: