Wednesday, May 23, 2007

a short history... part 2

I see the picture in the previous post and still get a kick out of it. I had no idea it existed until fairly recently. I've always had some affinity for animals in general, but as is proven here, dogs were always special to me.

Cecil was the dog-beast that first really stole my heart. At 120lbs, there was a lot of him to love, but with 400acres of Vermont woods to play in, he was as fit as a fiddle. And he had that wonderful balance of independence and loyalty that meant he'd take you for a walk in his woods, but always come back to bring you along when you weren't quite keeping up. He belonged to good friends of ours and somehow I got in a routine of driving non-stop from Michigan to their house, often in the winter it seemed, and would then pull out a sleeping bag and bivvy sac and go to sleep in a snowbank in the driveway instead of waking them all at 3am or 4am or whatever god-forsaken time it was. Cecil would always run out first thing in the morning, lick my head, and then try get his massive head inside my sleeping bag.

Molly was the dog I first really considered my own. I was living in Portland, OR, at the time and adopted her at 4 years old from the SPCA shelter -- and while she didn't seem to have been abused in any way, she had clearly been neglected. As a Rottweiler-Kelpie mix, she was a tank... 63lbs of solid muscle. She and I hiked all over the place and when cancer took her just 9months later, I carried her up into the mountains she loved and now she rests in peace with a grand view and, unbeknownst to them, a constant stream of visitors.

Nevertheless, this is a blog inspired by our golden boy. I first met a Vizsla in person on my way east, moving from Oregon to Maine. My good friends, Dan and Rosie, were house-sitting for friends and the assignment included looking after Daisy. I think I spent a total of three days with them in Boulder and she was a queen. I read Marian Coffman's book on vizslas while I was there and realised she was more typical than an exception -- energetic and loving, but with a sensitive on/off switch so that she could easily turn herself down when the moment required it. And so, somewhere in my head, I stored 'vizsla' as a likely future companion.

And again, to keep re-visiting Clif Boggs, I had no idea exactly how far that would take me.

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