Litter Mates

Beltane                                                           New (Summer Moon)

Took the dogs in for their annual physical. This process has some elements of farce. Our dogs, who never leave the property, are not leash trained. We put them on leashes to take them to the vet. The two big girls, Vega and Rigel, pull like sled dogs only with three times IMAG1193the weight. Then, in the examining room, we sit, Kate, Gertie, Vega, Rigel and me. The dogs pant and stir around anxiously, going from here to there, coming to our knees for reassurance one minute, then exploring, excited, the next.

(Rigel)

Vega and Rigel are litter mates, sisters, and have never been apart. Since birth. When Rigel left for her exam, Vega was upset but stolid. When Vega left for her exam, Rigel gave a pitiful cry, several times, lay on the floor with her head in a dejected posture, ears flopped down. She kept this up for a couple of minutes, then wandered around a bit, later slumping to the floor again. Quiet this time. When Vega returned, Rigel didn’t jump and clap her paws together, she walked over and stood beside Vega for a moment, then returned to her usual way. Life’s balance had returned and that was enough. Could be a lesson here for us humans.

Roger Barr, our vet, had pictures of dogs he calls cold bloods, which, he said are the same IMAG1194as stag hounds. You may remember our interest in stag hounds from our recent Denver trip. Roger’s pictures come from a breeder in Abilene, Kansas, where Eisenhower’s library is and more important, across the road from the library is the National Greyhound Hall of Fame. I’ve been there and met Queenie, the Greyhound ambassador of the day, a former racer. Roger says they usually have dogs as ambassadors who were well known champions in dog racing. The cold bloods are beautiful, rangy animals with a look somewhere between a Scottish Deerhound and a Greyhound.

(Vega)

Roger says the breeder has a truck with boxes on the back and a pull bar in the cab. They drive over canyons and in difficult terrain hunting for coyote. When the dogs, with their superior eye sight (these are sight hounds) spot prey, the pull bar goes down, the dogs spring out IMAG1304and give chase. They have a speed dog to run the coyote down and a kill dog to finish the hunt though I imagine they hunt in threes or fours as most sight hounds do.

(Vega and Rigel)

Next year in Colorado. Maybe we’ll be hunting coyotes, driving over difficult terrain and howling at the moon.

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