Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It is the end of an era for the Carlson house. Yesterday we lost Luna, the second of our first dogs. She was Laura's red and white Border Collie. We found her as a small pup, herding chickens and dragging a cat around the farmyard when we picked her up near Helena, MT many years ago. She was able to fulfill a Border Collies purpose for quite a few years when we lived in Bozman, by chasing the cows that managed to traverse the cattleguard or slip the fence into our yard. She lived for those days when I would tell her "go get your cows Luna" and we would head down the hill to move the cows through the gate. I have to confess moving the cows with her was one of my favorite chores too, just to watch her work. She even got to herd sheep once at a dog trial and sheep dog clinic. She was a pup then but she did quite well. Watching working dogs work no matter what they are bred and trained to do usually chokes me up because they are so evidently doing something they are just supposed to do. It was apparent that Border Collies are still working dogs by watching her fall instinctively into her job.
Her later years were spent mostly rounding up sticks and Frisbees when we moved away from the Bozeman property to Helena and then Fort Peck, a skill she developed as a pup in Bozeman. I can still picture her springing off our deck and disappearing down the hill below the house only to reappear seconds later with the latest toy I had tossed as far as I could. She couldn't sit still.
She was a tough wimp, often challenging larger dogs when she felt she needed to be protective, but often afraid of apparently insignificant objects or sounds. She was not motivated by food at all, but was very protective of what she had, often growling over her food for hours before eating it even when there were no other dogs around. Maybe that was a result of growing up with one very food motivated Golden Retriever who was adept and figuring out ways to eat anything she could find or figure out a way to get.
I am going to miss her pointed ears and purposeful eyes, her drive and energy that slowly disappeared over the last year, and her devotion to getting me to throw that stick one more time. She was a good dog and a big part of our lives.
Posted by John Carlson at 4:03 AM