Ah, Smutty....the greyhound of all greyts. He came to me, in my brandnew car, throwing up and having diarrhea in the back seat, his leg dangling from his hip and literally scared to death. An old cowboy boyfriend of mine knew that I rescued greyts and he had called and told me that he knew of one that was going to be killed the next day.
I had him meet me at the "T" where I loaded this little yellow thing in the car and headed back to Roger, our veterinarian. Smut's hip joint was in bad shape and Eric, Roger's partner, said he knew of a new procedure and if I would let him operate, he wouldn't charge me for the surgery. When it was time for Smut to come home, he refused to put the leg down to walk. So I tied the other leg up and made him use the sore leg. He was furious and spent lots of time flopping down on the ground and doing the greyhound sulk. Finally he figured out that I was a woman of no mercy and he jumped up and tripoded along to the car.Smut's hip always jutted out and it looked somewhat atrophied but that didn't keep him down. He could outrun every dog that he met and did...always to his laughing satisfaction. One day we were out in the pastures and he caught a jackrabbit. He didn't know what to do with it. He pranced around with it and our black lab, Patti LaBelle, decided she would take it from him. Well, Smut got all puffed up and laid the jackrabbit down to challenge Belle. The rabbit, who was unhurt, took that chance to escape and run under a barbed wire fence into another pasture. The look on Smut's face was priceless!
ONE OF SMUT'S ART PRINTS
Smut's name came from the old backwoods Oklahoma way of saying "soot"...as in chimneys. Bob named him that because he had some black around his muzzle.I rescued my first greyhound when I was 19 and together my oldest daughter and I have rescued 9. She has Norman now and he has the eye condition that sometimes turns up in greyts. At two he became blind. He is a happy dog, at 6, and his guide dog is a Katrina rescue named "Marie Lauveau".
This dog was absolutely the laziest and the funniest greyt that I've owned. The first day he came into the house, he went straight to the sofa and climbed up on it. He had never even seen a sofa.
I had a scottie named Tooter and she liked nothing better than getting Smut's leash and dragging him around on the tile floors. She would drag until she was exhausted and he would get up, carry the leash to her and beg for more.
When the divorce came along, I loaded up the truck with Tip, Henri and J.J. I didn't have room for Smut on that trip. My ex met me in Amarillo later and I got my boy home with me and the others.
Smut was extremely photogenic and photos of him and his shadow have won many competitions and are in many private collections. He wasn't like Tippy in that he enjoyed the photographic process, he endured it because he loved the photographer!
#2 OF SMUT'S ART PRINTS
My youngest daughter was getting married in September and I spent the entire summer working on the landscape and the orchard to make sure everything was "wedding ready". I enlarged the acequias,(where I accidentally picked up a rattlesnake in a handful of leaves one evening. The dogs didn't know what to do when I started screaming and whipping the snake around us) I made bigger wells around the apple trees , I hauled rocks, I planted more flowers, I graveled the driveway...all of this was by myself.
One day I was too tired to cook so I drove over to a small stand that a Spanish family owned and got a sandwich and pecan pie. I set the table and put the food out and was ready to dig in when I heard my neighbor calling my name. She was having some emotional problems (man) and we talked for at least 15 minutes.
When I went back into the house, Smut was in his usual position on the denim sofa. On his back, legs splayed and tail hanging over the edge. The tail wagged lazily at me and I walked on over to my dining table. There was not one speck of food to be seen. The paper the sandwich was wrapped in was laying neatly on the place. The pie was gone and my drink was gone. I walked back into the LR and gently wiped the pecan pie crumbs off Smut's whiskers and leaned over and whispered in his ear that I would kill him if he ever did that to me again. He wagged his tail and smiled.
Smut died in the summer of 1997. He was 11 years old. I had had my ankle smashed and we believed that he grieved himself to death. I was in bed for a long time, then in a wheelchair, a walker and a walking cast for months and months. Smut never could accept my not being able to walk. He gradually gave up. His vet, Linda, and I had done everything that we could do to keep him going. I called Linda one day and told her it was time. Linda had cared for the dogs for the entire time we had lived in New Mexico. My friend Cynthia and I put Smut's goosedown comforter on the floor and surrounded him with candles. I still had my walking cast on and was crawling and clumping around him. He would wag his tail when my cast hit the floor. We lit the candles and called the dogs in. I put Judy Collins on and she sang "Amazing Grace". Smut lifted his head and said "woo, woo" and we all howled together for the last time. Linda came into the bedroom and Cynthia saw Smut's spirit leave and go towards the ceiling. He was the first of the "Fabulous Four " to leave us.
J.J. CHEERLEADER, EXTRAORDINARE!
No one had a bad day if J.J. was on the property. (I found him on a highway in New Mexico. He was walking up a mountain and I was coming down. I picked him up and it was true love.)It just wasn't allowed. He had more personality in one little toe than most people have in a lifetime after going to clown school..he never met anyone who didn't fall in love with him at first sight. His biggest joy in life was to retrieve an empty toilet paper roll and play with it until it was in shreds. J.J. was an easy date.
J.J. had one problem. Cats that tried to sniff or touch him. We were in Oklahoma taking care of my mother one time and she had a black cat named "Moe". Now Moe was an only cat and she saw J.J. as an opportunity to play with someone her size. J.J. went to the bedroom door one night and indicated that it was time for us to settle in. Suddenly, out from under the sofa thundered Moe and she jumped right into the middle of him. She actually straddled his back for a second before he turned into the tasmanian devil. I yelled and he let her live.......that time.
About three weeks later my sister came up to stay with Mom while I went to a bluegrass festival. I only took Tippy with me to festivals. J.J. and Henri had to stay home. Smutty had died that summer. My sister said that I was hardly to the road when J.J. jumped Moe and gave her a real whipping! Lorene said she was trying to call him and she was laughing so hard that she could hardly speak. Moe gave as good as she got and they kept a respectful and non-speaking distance from one another from then on.
J.J.'S PORTRAIT WITH MIKEE IN FRONT
When we lived in New Mexico we were in a small Spanish village and the area was very rural. We were on the Rio Grande banks and right above the river. Wildlife of all kinds came up to the house and in the orchard.
One dusky afternoon I decided to go out to the studio and work in the darkroom. Of course the entire crew was with me. Henrietta suddenly jumped down and went under the deck, flushing a big male raccoon out. By now J.J. was about 20 feet down the sidewalk and that raccoon was moving very fast and he hit J.J. right in the middle. They rolled and tumbled with J.J. snarling and barking and carrying on like he was a big hunting hound. Finally the raccoon shook J.J. off and took off across the orchard with J.J. right behind.
I was laughing so hard that I had to sit down on the steps. Henrietta was so shocked at the turn of events that she sat with me and we stayed there until I could get up and walk on out to the studio.
J.J. strutted back to us and definitely had the air of someone who had saved the hacienda from the wild-eyed monster that had stripes on his tail and rings around his eyes!
J.J. died in 2001, 4 months after Tippy. He was 17. He had a bone disease that couldn't be treated. Colleen and I took him to our veterinarian at Broken Bow. At that time we were back on the ranch in southeastern Oklahoma. We buried J.J. next to Tippy.J.J. was the third of the "Fabulous Four" to leave us.
THE BEST GUARD DOG EVER, HENRIETTA
Henri came to me through being dumped out in front of the ranch gate. She didn't come to the house. She stayed in the grass and watched the house. We took food every day but she wouldn't eat if we watched her. We saw her drink and swim in the big pond each evening. After three weeks, Terry, a young man that worked there finally enticed her into the yard. After that she did what we called "The Henrietta Strut" down that brick sidewalk everytime one of us came out the front door.Her tail had been broken and the two one fourth of it slanted out to one side. I took her to Roger and he said she was covered with multiple small fractures where she had undoubtedly been kicked.
She was home to stay.
I had a weekly support group at the house for a group of women and I always knew when Billie arrived because I could hear Henri barking. I would go outside and Billie would be on the other side of the cattle guard and Henrietta would be on the yard side and in no uncertain terms she would be telling Billie that she couldn't come over. We never could figure out why she did that to Billie. Billie was afraid of dogs (especially german shephard looking ones) and Henri took advantage of it..only explanation we had.
Henrietta had chow and german shepherd in her genes and had a blue tongue. An Indian friend of mine gave her her tribe name of "Henrietta Blue Tongue" and she carried that to her grave.
'MOM, YOU ARE STEALING MY INDIAN SPIRIT'
Henri hated having her photograph being taken. We always told her that she was afraid that we were taking her spirit.
I took Henri with Tippy and I to two indian rodeos. The first one was on the Jicarilla Apache reservation at Dulce, New Mexico. When we drove into the arena area and stopped a cowboy started running to the truck and reached into the truck window to hug me. All at once a huge mouth clamped down on his right arm and he froze. He had not seen Henri sitting behind me. She didn't hurt him, just held on until he took his arms from around my neck.
The next and last rodeo that she went to was at Crownpoint, New Mexico to the Eastern Navajo Fair and Rodeo. I left Henri and "Mr. Discipline" (Tip) in the truck with the windows down and went into the arena. I was squatting on the ground directly across from the chutes photographing the saddle broncs when I heard people laughing in very high tones. Then I heard a dog barking. Spectators said that I climbed that fence in record time and was last seen running through the crowd, gear flying and hitting me in the head...... and I found her. She was chasing Navajoes! I put her back in the truck and didn't take her back. Tippy looked at me as if "what did you expect?".....
Henrietta got her wings in February of 2002. She had bone cancer and hung on as long as she could. When we went to the veterinary office, Henri wouldn't let me carry her in. She walked in on her own, every step a living hell but she did it her way. Just like she did everything her entire life. I had lost my girl who lived for someone, anyone to threaten her momma. Her motto was always "make my day"....touch my mom....Henrietta Blue Tongue was 17 years old. We buried Henri's ashes next to the man that she loved most in her life, Tippy.Henrietta was the fourth and last of the "Fab Four to go away.
I know that they are all together now, waiting for me and we'll have such a reunion one day. It will be like no other.
GHOSTS OF SCOTTIES PAST (tooter)
This is in memory of all the dogs and cats that have graced my life with their understanding and love. I have led a very blessed life.
Walking To Oak-Head Pond, And Thinking Of The Ponds I Will Visit In The Next Days And Weeks by Mary Oliver
What is so utterly invisible
not the wind,
not the inside of a stone.
And yet, how often I'm fooled--
I'm wading along
in the sunlight--
and I'm sure I can see the fields and the ponds shining
I can see the light spilling
like a shower of meteors
into next week's trees,
and I plan to be there soon--
and, so far, I am
just that lucky,
my legs splashing
over the edge of darkness,
my heart on fire.
I don't know where
such certainty comes from--
the brave flesh
or the theater of the mind--
but if I had to guess
I would say that only
what the soul is supposed to be
could send us forth
with such cheer
as even the leaf must wear
as it unfurls
its fragrant body, and shines
against the hard possibility of stoppage--
which, day after day,
before such brisk, corpuscular belief,
shudders, and gives way.
THE MOST HANDSOME GREYT EVER!
"Tootsie Roll" aka Tooter Allgood, 1982-1990
There will never be another dog like Tooter. The mold was broken when she was born. We got her at 8 weeks and she was a rounder. She acted like she had known us for years instead of weeks.
I took her to get her "puppy-do" cut into a "big dog do" and we almost cried when we saw her. We were so used to her devil-may-care hairdo and all at once, her puppy hood was gone. Tooter got to do most everything any good scottie would want. She bit our plumber, killed a snake to save me and took two bites from a rattlesnake on her face. Again, saving me.
She rode with her head hanging out the window and when a semi-truck got near us, she got under my feet.
She stayed very quiet and listened to the whipporwills when we went to the mountains in the late evening. She and Tippy were very, very close. They loved those evening explorations.
She was loved beyond anything reasonable. I grieved for a year when she died.
I'll never forget Tooter. She lived from 1982 to 1990. She died from breast cancer. Let this be a lesson learned, a very high percentage of all terriers will get breast cancer if not spayed. We didn't spay her because she had to go through a horrible surgery once and our vet was afraid to put her under again. She came very close to dying during the surgery and none of us wanted to try it again. However, we didn't know about the breast cancer threat. Had we known, we would have risked the surgery. Hindsight is always better than foresight.
SMUTTY'S PERSONALITY SHINES THROUGH!
SMUTTY WAS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST DOGS I'VE OWNED. AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THIS PHOTO, HE HAD HIS "MOJO" GOING ON!! I MISS HIM SO MUCH. BUT HE GOT THE BEST SEND-OFF EVER. JUDY COLLINS SANG AND WE ALL HOWLED WITH HIM JUST BEFORE HIS SPIRIT LEFT HIM.........THANKS, AGAIN........LINDA.AND CYNTHIA.....XOXOX PAT
P.S. I HAD JUST ASKED HIM IF HE WANTED TO GO CAMPING!!! HOW HE LOVED BEING UP IN THE PENASCO MOUNTAINS.
SMUTTY WAS VERY MUCH A DIVA!!
where would you go
that i cannot follow?
for how long must i wait
until we meet again?
what would i do
in times that i miss you?
where would i go
in times when i long to see you again?
how must i spend
the nights without you?
how do i bear
each morning that you’re not there?
shall i ever smile again?
will i ever laugh again?
will i ever face the world again
knowing that im not alone?
why must you leave me?
why must i cry these tears
when you’re not here
to wipe them all away?
why must i suffer
the empty days without my beloved?
why must i dream
without you by my side?
the days shall never be the same again
i will never be the same again
the life of my soul,
the joy of my heart,
the light in my eyes,
the hope of my dreams,
the comfort of my lonely nights,
without you my beloved,
i grieve and cry,
i grope and stumble in the dark,
i weep with all my soul
i desire with all my heart
i let go of all of me that you took away with you
i keep all of you that is in me,
and will always remain in me
wherever i may go
i wait and pray and hope
i will look forward to each brand new day
thankful for all that i’ve had and will always have
thankful for the sun that shines again
believing and hanging on
believing that life will go on
it can’t help but go on
it shall go on
and in so going
there really is no end
only mornings and evenings
and life that never ever ends.
SHEBA AT THE BEACH
THE SPECIAL SONG IS "WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN" BY GREGG ALLMAN. I MET HIM IN SANTA FE AND WAS STUNNED TO SEE HIM IN A BLUE OXFORD CLOTH SHIRT WITH BUTTON-DOWN COLLAR. HIS HAIR WAS IN A PONY TAIL. I EXPECTED THE "WILD ALLMAN BROTHER"........
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