I just finished reading a second book written by the insanely talented Jon Katz. A Good Dog, written about his troubled Border Collie named Orson, was a bit of a tear-jerker but an enlightening and inspiring story. I have already read The Dogs of Bedlam Farm which was the start of my deep appreciation of Jon’s work. I first read his blog, BedlamFarm.com, when I heard about it on Jenna Woginrich’s blog, Cold Antler Farm. I was struck by his photography. He has this way of capturing a moment, or an emotion in just the right light and conveying it properly. I have started to check in on his blog daily and am enjoying reading about his dogs, donkeys, past and now present chickens, the wylie fox(es) and everyday life. I am starting another of his books, Dog Days, and after that is Rose in a Storm. I have them checked out from the public library so I have to hustle. I know this seems a bit overboardto plow through a number of his books like that but his writing moved me. That probably sounds silly to some of you, but it is true. I have connected with something he said in A Good Dog, it was about the lifetime dog. I believe that I have found that in my current dog Tyme Bandit. A lifetime dog is a dog that comes along once in a lifetime for reasons that have to be discovered.
Tyme came into my life during a pretty dark time for me. I had just moved my family to New Mexico from Arizona and on the day we were to drive the moving truck my Mom passed away from complications following surgery. In the weeks before the move I had also put down two dogs due to illnesses and old age and a major move would not have been good for them. So I moved with my Akita, Mojin, who, shortly after I arrived in New Mexico, fell ill from something unknown and I had to drive her down the road to the closest vet and have her put down as well. I was crushed. I had just lost my Mom, killed 3 dogs and moved to where I didn’t know a soul, things were pretty shitty. I let the dust settle for a couple of months but after watching my Dad with his Australian Shepherd, Cypher, I knew that would be the next type of dog for us. After all, our part lab, part who knows what, Bauer did not like our human children and ran away from them after growling whenever they came near. Eddie, our part lab, part possible pit bull, let the kids crawl all over him, hang on him, hug him and do whatever they wanted without a single complaint. Mojin, the Akita, could not stand the kids either. So the next dog had to love and endure the kids.
I emailed my Dad’s vet, who he had adopted Cypher from, and asked if she had an Aussies that needed a home. She rescues Aussies as well as breeds them, so I figured she would be a good place to start. She got back to me and let me know she had a 9 month old female that she had tried to home a couple of months back but it didn’t work out due to the dog herding their small children and cat. This dog was a sort of spase but sweet as sugar. Of course I fell in love with her picture and we agreed to go meet her. We drive to Tucson, AZ and go to the vets home and ring the bell. She opens the door with raucous barking from the other dogs she has and this wiggling pooch greets us with kisses and love. We go in and sit down, Tyme follows the kids without any barking, growling, nipping. She is sweet and docile but full of energy. The vet comments that Tyme has never been that agreeable with strangers and the bond was sealed. We left with her and she slept the entire car ride home. She just fits. She doesn’t try to herd my kids but will herd the hell out of some chickens and could kind of care less about the goats we got for her to herd. When I get upset thinking about my Mom she comes up and sits next to me. It is an intense bond; a deep, strange, wonderful connection and she just knows.