(Forward: In 1998 I went to stay at my parents place for a couple weeks while my parents traveled. They have a large plot of land, and my grandmother was still alive then, so I went down to hold the fort, take care of my grandmother so she wasn't alone, and generally keep up the home farm. I don't know if blogging existed back then, but I had just gotten my yahoo email address, so emailed my friends stories of what I was doing. I have always thought the stories that resulted were rather cute, so in a fit of nostalgia, I am reposting these 14 year old missives here. I should note: all the dogs mentioned in this story are now dead, as is my grandmother. Sigh. Funny, though, I remember this time so well, hanging out in the country, playing my guitar (I was learning to play bass at the time), spending quality time with my grandmother, who I adored and I miss every day, and just reading and trying out the country life. (Part one was just about the drive up to my parents and the wreck I almost got into while sourcing a Starbucks in Plano.)
Notes from the Ozarks Part II, dammit
I wrote a truly HILARIOUS version of what I am about to write you...then something happened to this Freakin' Mac and it got lost. Trust me, it was truly brilliant, the likes of which I will never write again and which would have gone down in the annals of email as the BEST EMAIL EVER.
Well, to rewrite. Ahem.
"The dog who would be a pony."
The weather here has definitely cooled off...it's in the 50's right now, and is supposed to drop into the low 40's tonight. The dogs are frisky, and up to their doggy hi-jinks.
My folks have four large, goofy dogs...Heidi, Teddy, Maxie and Ginger. Heidi is the grand dame of the lot...she's quite old in fact, I remember picking her out of the litter in 1989 right before my parents moved out here. I think I picked a good one. Shes a crotchety old thing, she arues with you if she doesn't like what you are trying to get her to do, keeps the other dogs in line and won't take shit from man nor beast. She's also built like a brick shithouse...a very solid dog. Ozark livin', while rough, can also produce very solid German Shepherds.
Then there's Ginger....Max's mom. She's kinda shy, but when she gets close and lets you love on her, she's incredibly gentle and soft. She is the alert one, and if she barks I better look out the window, cuz there's something or someone out there.
Max is full of the devil. She has a crooked, wicked grin due to an injury when she was a puppy. Actually she looks like Lyle Lovett if Lyle was evil. She is just full of energy and loves to jump up and kiss me on the chin.
Last, but most favorite of mine, is Teddy, the dog who would be a pony. Teddy is, unarguably and without doubt, the biggest German Shepherd I have ever seen. And I have seen lots of Germies over my 30 years of existence. (note from 2012 Karla...sigh.) . He weighs somewhere around 150-160 pounds, feet like saucers, a chest that is two hand spans wide. He is huge and scary looking. But he is the biggest oafiest Germie ever put on this earth He had floppy puppy ears until about 3 years ago. He likes to play catch.
Playing catch for him means that you hold the stick up in the air, and then watch him squirm. He gets more and more anxious, waiting for the stick to be thrown. He wines, he wiggles, he hops. (The earth shakes when he lands after a hop.) Then, when he can't stand it a second more, he lets out a tremendous WOOOOFFF!!!! that reverberates off the hills and valleys. Then I throw the stick. He looks after it, watches it land, then looks back at me and waits to be teased again. It's all foreplay with him.
His other trick is that he, when you least expect it, tries to play "pony". So far he's gotten me twice. "Pony" is where Teddy walks up behind you and then tries to walk between your legs, ostensibly either to give you a ride or because he still thinks he's a puppy and can fit. Now, he is taller and wider than most people's leg spans, so earlier yesterday I ended up head first in the bushes when Teddy tried to play. He got me again just now, when I was cutting some flowers to bring in. I was bent over, and Teddy came up to play, but ended up head butting me in the ass and I landed on my face in Mom's mums. Once I got the dirt off, it was funny. I may well just saddle him up and see if he really can cut it...I'm tired of getting dumped on my ass (or worse) in the dirt. (He loves doing that to Mom, too. On our Saturday phone calls she always has at least one "Teddy dumped me on my face" story to tell. Endless entertainment, for him, and it seems, in the retelling. Don't bend over when that dog is around)
These dogs, by the way, eat better than most people in the Ozarks. Each meal time they get huge cans of dogfood, plus a whole package of cut up hotdogs and whatever other goodies have been set aside for them. No wonder they are so huge.
Well, that's my story for today. Like I said, the first version was better, but at least I got the flavor across. Damn squeebie Imac.