We are funny about our pets. Take for instance my “Happy Hound” Collie Rose. She was neither a hound or a Collie. She was a Chow, but our 2 year old named her Collie Rose because it sounded pretty. I called her Happy Hound because she looked like she was smiling at me.
Collie was trailer trash. She was born in a trailer park to a stray. As a single parent, Collie’s mother taught her the wiles of avoiding the dog catcher while snacking from trash bins and sympathizing residents. Those who didn’t appreciate her scavenging would “sweep” her away with a broom.
Collie was rescued and given to us at probably less than a year old. For the first three days, she would only interact with our daughter. It was touch and go for a while as her tendency towards biting was in direct opposition to my desire not to be bitten. We soon found out that Collie harbored great animosity towards brooms.
Any wooden broom would be chewed to shreds. We remedied this by purchasing a metal handled broom – or so we thought. Collie found that bending a metal handle back and forth between two trees would stress crack it in half; a few extra teeth dents would ensure it wouldn’t be beating any dog soon.
Through the years, we could count on Collie for two things: She was an excellent protector, and any wild animals within a quarter mile had short futures. Ground hogs, opossums, raccoons, skunks, and snakes didn’t stand a chance. Oh, some of them put up valiant attempts, but when it came to homeland security, Collie let God sort ’em out.
Collie spent her last four years as a city dog. Whether the change prolonged her life or shortened it, it’s hard to say. She seemed to adapt well and took advantage of more leisurely days. She gradually slowed down, but in the end, she slipped away quickly and peacefully. Collie Rose, from trailer park stray to pet extraordinaire, died at the ripe old age of 16. She was buried above Reading Rock, her favorite area.