Puppy Ranger, in 2011

Monday, September 19, 2022

Yesterday, our local weather turned cold. I wore a heavy jacket while feeding my outside critters, and later, while going to work. The day stayed gloomy, and in parts of the city, rainy. I was surprised to see more grocery shoppers in summer shorts and t-shirts than in long sleeves and jackets.

It was a typical Sunday in the store, busy all day. We cashiers worked nonstop. I was at the tail end of coping for days-long with a still-sore rib and an attack of ferocious cold. Halfway through my shift, I began feeling the physical tiredness that suggests overdoing. I welcomed the workday end.

Adding to my discomfort was mental re-processing of bidding farewell to a beloved pet. My mini-Aussie, Louie, a larger-than-life twenty-five-pounder, was a big part of what had become my new life here in Central Oregon. I adopted him soon after following my dream of acquiring an outside-the-city property and learning to ride on horseback. Louie became integral to my new world.

So did a hound dog puppy that one morning showed up on our rural street. Lost and crying, he crawled to me on his belly, and I popped him into my car. That instant I became his person, and in the twelve years since, Ranger’s focus on pleasing me hasn’t diminished.

He has lost some hearing. Occasional noticeable hints suggest his loss might be significant. I won’t make the mistake I might have with Louie, of ignoring the signs of aging. Louie proved again, how well dogs cover what’s wrong and make problems unnoticeable by casual human attention. This week, Ranger will be assessed by the veterinarian who attended to Louie. She was observant, compassionate, and intelligent, and worked comfortably with me.

I have today off with a couple of things needing my attention. Afterward, I’ll gather the dogs and a camera. It’s a good day for finding a pretty outback and having a fall ramble.

Dear Friends: Thanks for caring about Louie and me, and today’s a new page. Diana

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