Author: Rhynes, J.D.

Why all of my pets are wild

Every year around the last of Feb., or the first of March I always
remember two of the closest, and bestest friends I'll ever have in
my life. It was about this time of the year that I lost boh of
them. The first one to enter into my life was 3 years old when we
first got acquainted in 1956. His name was Tahrsann, and was half
Morgan and half Quarter horse. Tahrsann was the fastest and toughest
horse I ever had the pleasure to know and ride. I could ride him
fer 25 miles in the high country and when we got to camp after a
long day, his head was still held high, while prancin' along, and
was ready to go again ! He rode many a horse into the ground the
many years I rode him in the high country deer hunting. There was
never a horse that had the strength and stamina to keep up with him
. He was stabled at my uncle Jack's place north of Stockton all of
his life, and he had 4 acres of pasture,to run in and enjoy. Every
time I went to see him, when he saw me coming to the barn, he woulld
take off and run as fast as he could around the pasture, then slide
up to the corral fence, stick his head and neck over fer me to hug
him. Sometimes, he would tease me by taking off again jes as I was
about to hug his neck, run full speed around the pasture again, then
he'd come sliding up and let me hug him. I'll swear that horse could
smile when he did that to me. He would always whinney, and rear up
after I hugged his neck, then we'd always have a long visit and talk
about the good times we had whie 'riding the ridge's" year's past.

Tahrsann lived to be 26 years old. After a long winter, I could tell
that time was against him when he didn't "slick up" come spring of
1979. Old age had finally layed it's hand on him, with the
inevitable resut impending. The last time I saw my wonderful friend
Tahrsann, I went out to the corral by the barn and there stood my
friend, and he came over and stretched his neck over fer me to hug
him like we always did. He nickered soft and low as I hugged him
and we had the longest and best talk we ever had in all of those
years we knew each other. By that time he was too stove up to run
around and show off fer me, and when our visit was over, he stood
quietly by the corral and nickered as I told him I'd see him again
real soon. I'll never forget the look in his eye's as I left him
that day. Little did I know that he was telling me goodbye fer the
last time on this earth.

About a month later I went to see him and my uncle Jack gave me the
sad news that he had to have Tahrsann put down due to complications
of old age. It was then that I knew I could never own another
horse, for after owning the finest pony that GOD ever gave a man,
how could another take Tahrsann's place? I still think of him and
all of the wonderful times we had together every day of my life.
Then, the other best friend was about 3 er 4 years old when he
asked me to take him home with me on a cold rainy December day in
Valley Springs, Calif..

It was a Sunday morning, and I drove from Campo Seco where I was
living, to the store in Valley Springs, to get some bacon, eggs,
etc. fer a good Sunday breakfast. I got to the store about 10
minutes before they opened, and laying there next to the door was a
BIG magnificent black Lab, well over 100 lbs. in size. He kinda
shyed away from me when i tried to pet him, jes kinda backed off a
few feet and looked at me curiously. When Larry opened the door, I
asked him whose dog that was? He told me he thought he was a lost
dog, because he's been hangin' around fer a day er so, and every
time a truck would pull up he'd go look at it and come back and lay
down. I told him I was gonna take him home with me if he'd come with
me, and if anyone came lookin' fer him to call me. So, I went to the
butcher counter and got a bag of meat scraps, and when i left, I
called to him and threw him a big chunk of meat. Ol Dog wolfed it
down, so I gave him another one, opened my truck door and said,
let's go home, so he jumped in and off to Campo Seco we went. As we
drove up the hill to the house, I could see my three kids watching,
and they rushed out the back door to see the BIG dog daddy brought
home! Needless to say, Ol Dog, [ that's all we ever called him, and
he loved it ] became an instant part of our family. There was a
great big pond on top of the hill above the house about a half a
mile away, where I had a duck blind, and every winter I kept the
freezer full of delicious wild meat. Bein' as a Lab is bred to be a
hunting dog, ESPECIALLY a Duck huntin' dog, the following Saturday
morning I took my trusty ol' Model '97 Winchester 12 ga. pump
shootsgun, my huntin' bag, and stepped out to see if Ol Dog knew
anythang about the fine art of Duck huntin'.

When Ol Dog saw that shootsgun, he jes about went nut's! He was
jumping at the end of his chain, and if he could talk he would've
been sayin; Yippeeee! We're goin Duck huntin'! I let him loose and
up the hill to the blind we went. We had to go through a barb wirre
fence, and once over I said to him. HEEL! BOY, what a surprise! He
fell in right beside me and stayed there all the way up to the
blind. Someone had spent a LOT of money training that dog! We got
into the blind jes before first light , and here came about a dozen
big Mallards. I whispered, stay still Dog, here they come, and he
never moved an inch. He would jes follow 'em with his eye's, never
moving his head. I knocked down 3 of 'em and he was all ready to go
get 'em but he waited till I told him, Dead Bird, get 'em! He
jumped about 10 feet and hit the water like a rocket and retreived
all 3 of 'em fer me. I kept a big ol burlap bag in the blind to
cover him with, and every time I'd say; Here they come, dont move,
he'd lay stone still till I knocked some down. Then he's spring out
of that blind like a rocket! That morning was the first of many
happy days we spent hunting ducks, quail, pheasants, etc. together.
A finer hunting companion a man never had. Sadly, when I moved to a
SMALL place in Valley Springs 2 years later, I knew Ol Dog didn't
deserve to be cooped up in a smal yard like that. Also, my duck pond
was a thang of the past, so I did the right thing and gave Ol Dog to
a good friend that had a HUGE ranch where Ol Dog could run to his
hearts content. My friend took him everywhere he went fer the next
12 years, and fer lunch everyday he bought him a hamburger and an
ice cream cone at the local drive in. So, that story has a happy
ending, but every year at this time i always get the Blues,
a'thinkin' of my two bestest friends, and right now, the monitor of
my "cackalator' is kinda fuzzy, and hard to see.

After I lost Tahrsann, and Ol Dog, I vowed that from that time
forward all of my pets would be wild ones that GOD chose to put into
my life. It's jes too hard to lose such faithful friends like those
two, and it's an experience I choose not to go through again. I know
when my time comes to "cross over Jordan", waitin fer me on the
other side is the finest pony and dog GOD ever let me have as
friends. I know Tahrsann wiIl come slidin' up to me in a dead run,
and Ol Dog'll put his paws on my shoulders and try his best to lick
me to death! I cant hardly wait to see 'em!

Posted:  2/23/2012

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