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Friday, November 23, 2007

Spry Old Girls

While the rest of the US watched football yesterday, I spent a few minutes catching the national dog show. The Australian Shepherd won best in show! I love that dog!

While I've never been one to choose a pet because of his pedigree, there are certain breeds I prefer over others. I like dogs that serve a purpose. Acting the part of rugs or statuary won't do. I like dogs that are energetic, intelligent and independent.

Picking the right dog means knowing your own personality. I am an energetic person, so obviously a lethargic dog wouldn't be right for me. I expect my animals to understand me intuitively, so I want a dog that is fairly intelligent and capable of independent thought.

My Aussie is my sweetheart. She is old and frail, but fierce in her independence and stubborn as I am. I thought I was going to lose her once when she suffered a spinal cord injury but she wasn't going to give up anymore than I was. It's hard for her to negotiate stairs anymore, but she'll stoically climb those stairs just to be with me when I'm writing. She is my shadow.

In her prime, we would run like the wind, rounding up big birds, pigs and other assorted farm animals. She was a wonder to watch. I never had to teach her to herd. She knew her job instinctively.

And we were such a good team! Chelly would stare down any unruly animal and she was fearless even with the more dangerous male rheas. She wasn't about to take any guff from them.

Today, she's retired and spends most of her time sleeping, but I can still see the gleam in her eye when I take her for walks and the little sprint in her step when she spies an animal needing to be corralled.

*****
Speaking of spry old girls, we might be going to Chicago in August '08. My mother is celebrating a milestone birthday and my sisters thought it would be nice if we did something extra special.

Greg and I haven't been back to Chicago since my dad died several years ago. It'll be nice to visit for a happier occasion. Plus we get to eat at all our favorite hangouts. Chicago has the best food in the world! I'm glad I don't live there anymore; I'd never fit through a doorway.

I don't know how long we'll be up there, but it won't be nearly enough time. I am going to try to pack in as many sights and friends as I can.

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