Another Life Change

My last day of my summer job we learned we were going to have to put down our dog Harley.   We had adopted him from a rescue shelter as an adult.  We soon figured out he had been abused, but it would be a long time before we heard via the local grapevine how terrible his abuse.  It was reflected in some of his behaviors, that we we could never convince him to let go of.   All this aside he was a great little companion in our family.   I worked from home all but the last three months of his life, so we were constant buddies.   Yet when RangerSir got home each night he followed him around and tried to make up for the time they did not have together while he made money to buy dog food.  Harley was a little Cairn Terrier (think Toto), and his terrier attitude and energy level made him a perfect match for our household.   He was the world’s best hiking partner, tireless but alert.  As a Cairn he should have seen anything that was small and darted as prey, but he was the protector of baby chicks and our adult flock.   Never made sense, but it was a role he took seriously.  He fit into our lifestyle, energy when he needed and quiet when we were.   He was our pet, a member of our family.  He is gone now, but he will always hold a special place in our heart.

One of my favorite pictures of Harley doing what he loved sitting up on a rock looking out on the world.

One of my favorite pictures of Harley doing what he loved sitting up on a rock looking out on the world.

After we put him down we had a hole in our hearts but we were not sure if or when we would want another dog. We started to look at the local shelters and the online shelter pages after about a month.  Sometimes thinking yes it was time and other times thinking not so sure, and if you are not so sure – you really aren’t ready.   It is hard to know if and when you are ready.

We talked about the four dogs we had owned in the 35 years we have been married    We were honest about their quirks, good traits and the bad traits.   Our next dog could take us into our 70’s easily and so as we thought about the things we wanted in our next dog, some things were negotiable and others nonnegotiable. We were getting closer to making a commitment to a pet for their lifetime.

Five weeks later we were fairly certain we had found a match.  We had found this dog from an online shelter notice. We had asked lots of questions and RangerSir and I had discussed his pros and cons. Sunday we drove nearly four hours to a shelter to meet this dog and see if when we met him it was a match.   We are now the owners of another rescue dog.   He is a teenager mixed breed, likely of Cairn origin.

I am sure that we will do some pet posting on the blog as we move along the continuum of learning about this dog and his quirks.   There are sure to be lots of bumps in the highway and some long learning curves for all of us.  In spite of it all pets bring so much to our lives that years from now we will only remember a few of the challenges that come with a new pet, Zip.

Our new teenager, Zip.

Our new teenager, Zip.

If They Still Made Westerns

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This sort of reminds me of the opening panoramic view in the Big Valley, but this is found today in Montana.

Growing up the TV was full of old-fashion westerns.   They glamorized the history of the old west.   Bonanza, High Chaparral, Gunsmoke, and Big Valley were a few of the ones never missed at our house. One of my favorite parts of these shows beside the handsome heroic cowboys was the scenic lands of the west. This summer I realized that as the world has become more populated and we have more and more urban sprawl, the places where you can go to imagine what the west may have looked like long ago are becoming pretty hard to find.   Lucky for me Montana still has lots of places like that and I got to see many of them.   I always wanted to visit places like I saw on TV westerns and now I have.

Bear Country

There are many places in Montana that are bear country.   People have a tendency to think of bear country as the big woods, but in many cases is the open prairies that surround the woods. This summer I carried bear spray in my truck.   When I surveyed places where I felt that it was potential bear country, because signs told me or my gut said bears are possible here I strapped on my can of bear spray when I got out to do my surveys.

Not all likely bear places have signs like this.

Not all likely bear places have signs like this.

Only once this year did I feel uneasy about wild animals.   It was a place that was not really bear habitat, but mountain lion habitat.   They actually scare me more because they are so stealthy. I felt the whole time like I was being watched.    I got my business done and got out of there.   All the time singing any song I could think of or make up, making my body big and purposeful.

No matter where you go, no matter how short the time there if you are in bear country remember your bear spray.

TMI – too much information

We have a habit of sharing too much information on the internet, most of what we share others really don’t care much about.    I had been doing a summer job travelogue which had been a lot of fun.   The last week of my summer job, my personal life suddenly was full of lots of crazies.  That is where I have been  since my last post taking care of all those crazies, that sharing here would be TMI.   My life is back to a more normal pace, whatever that means.    I plan to get back out here on my blog sharing thoughts that come to me when looking out the window here in Montana.  So I hope you will be watching to see what pops in to my head next.  See you soon.

By Diana who Looking Out the Window Posted in Odds & Ends