Spring Passover Moon
Gertie lay yesterday on the dog bed underneath the south facing loft window. It gets sun and she likes the warmth. She was sleeping, a normal daytime activity for a dog. Her left front leg twitched delicately as she moved through some doggy dreamscape. My affection for her, my love for her came to the surface. She was vulnerable, but felt safe enough to sleep with ease.
Dogs are love in furry form. That made Joseph’s decision to leave Kepler with us, which he communicated with me yesterday, so difficult. “A tough choice,” he said. Kepler was Joseph’s first dog as an adult, the first he chose and cared for. He came to stay with us during Joseph’s deployment to Korea. Initially a year, it stretched into a year and a half when he got selected for weapons school and had to spend six months stateside at Nellis Air Force Base. After he and SeoAh married, they returned to the U.S. but Joseph deployed three months later. That meant Kepler stayed with us for almost another year.
The final part of the decision came from Joseph’s discovery that he would deploy again in August, this time through December. At that point Kepler will have been with us over three and a half years. He’s part of our pack, part of our lives. He sleeps on the end of the bed with us each night. But, he’ll still be Joseph’s dog, just seconded permanently to our home.
Gertie, too, is a refugee. She came from Jon and Jen’s after several unhappy incidents with the postman, tormenting by the neighbors and being crated with Solly, the smooth haired pointer. Solly was too ornery for our pack during a brief stay while Jon renovated the Pontiac Street house. The two of them together was not positive for either one of them.
Rigel, sister to Vega, and now over 8 years old, is the big dog, though not dominant. She and Vega came to us as a dynamic pair, littermates. We’ve always felt dogs need companion animals, littermates being the best. We don’t really have a dominant dog now. Vega held that role in some ways, but she was never a very effective pack leader. Rigel is sweet and loving, an independent sighthound who has chosen us as her family.
When I look at her now, I remember the very first day she and Vega came to Andover. I had to disassemble the gate to the perennial flower garden because she managed to get her head stuck between two slats. This was the opening moment of her wanderlust, wanting to see what was on the other side of the fence.
Later, she would lead Vega out of the yard by athletically jumping onto a fallen tree and vaulting from there over the fence. It took cutting up the fallen tree and, eventually, an electric fence to contain her. She was a hunter, too. One of her more memorable predator moments was coughing up the head of a rabbit inside our house. She had bolted the head so recently that the rabbit’s eyes were still clear.
Gertie, Rigel, Kepler. Our pack now. Great dogs.