3 dogs and a Camera…

I have 3 dogs and a Red Jeep Cherokee. Lakoda- is the oldest, Blue the Siberian and Dingo the youngest.  But any story about my dogs has to start with my Red Jeep because I used the Jeep to bring each dog home.

Lakoda- is now 12 years old and was only 8 weeks old when I placed her in a cardboard box I took with me to fetch her home.

I always wanted a Jeep Cherokee and in 2001, I bought a brand new Red Jeep Cherokee.  My new Jeep has 4 wheel drive and I couldn’t wait for the first snow.  Now, I live in Tennessee and we don’t get much snow.  I purchased the Jeep in December and thought, “surely and most certainly we will get snow this year.”  But for the remainder of 2001 and the start of 2002, no snow.  Spring and Summer pass and into fall I’m beginning to think that I need a dog to complement the new Jeep.  To sit in the passenger seat and look fascinated by the passing scenery.  I have a friend with a Australian Shepherd and begin a search of such a dog.  I search the local paper classifieds and see an ad one Sunday worthy of investigation.

I drive the 70 miles to Crossville Tennessee and arrive at the home of future Lakoda in total darkness.  Darkness such that you can look into the sky and see thousands and thousands of stars.  No street lights.  No traffic lights.  Just darkness except for an occasional automobile head light.  I find the house and pull into the drive.  I get out of the Jeep and I’m greeted by the persistent protective barking of the mama of little Lakoda to be.  A door opens and a body steps through.  He speaks and I introduce myself.  He tells me to follow him.  His flash light provides a path into the darkness and we arrive at a fenced enclosure.  There are several small dogs excited by the presence of something other than the darkness.  The flash light provides me a glimpse of the small dogs.  I see one with a swirl of red, a female and I have to look no further.  I pick her up and we walk back to the house.  I pay the man and walk to the Jeep and raise the back lid.  I locate the cardboard box and lower little Lakoda to be into the box and head for home.

That was more than 12 years ago…. today she is a lot like me in the morning.. slow to get up and going.  That little puppy who today thinks I’m the center of her universe.

After a year, I think a friend to keep Lakoda company while I am at work is in order.  i start a search in the local paper.  i want a dog with blue eyes and preferably an Australian Shepherd.  I don’t find an Australian Shepherd but I do blunder into a Siberian Husky.  A year old and free to anyone who will take him.  A dog with blue eyes and I named him Blue.  If you have never been around a Siberian, I can’t begin to describe the shedding.  Bags full of undercoat each spring and constant vacuuming in the house.

One evening as I’m walking Blue I see a stalkey looking 6 inch long growth projecting from between his legs.  The only other image I can conjure is the horse on my grand fathers farm.  I take Blue to the vet the next day and surgery is in order.  It is simply a growth of unknown origin that needs to be removed.  Three months later, Blue is lame and a trip to the vet confirms that he has a torn cruciate ligament that requires surgery to repair.  Blue has blue eyes that can be piercing at times.  He can’t talk, but he can look at me with those blue eyes and say volumes.  More than most humans with all their vocabulary.  A single request from me to sit and down he goes.  Out in the open and a request to come back is met with selective hearing.  A total hearing loss.  “Here Blue!” several times and he reluctantly concedes and will head in my direction.

In October 2012 Blue comes up lame.  His left leg is drawn up close to his rib cage and for several days I fret about what to do.  I’ve scheduled a trip to Asheville North Carolina to knock door to door for President Obama’s re election.  I’m going to board the dogs with the vet while I’m in Asheville and I guess Blue can have the surgery.  On Friday morning I drop Blue for his surgery and Lakoda and Dingo for boarding.  I have photographs of the surgery with I of course can’t locate, but when I do, I will post.  I spend the weekend in Asheville knocking on doors trying to turn out the vote.  I leave Asheville Monday morning and arrive back in Chattanooga at 1pm.   I’ve talked to the vet and I’m reassured that Blue is doing well.

Lakoda and Blue don’t much care for for one another.  Basically, Lakoda doesn’t  much care for Blue.  Blue is the most non aggressive dog I’ve ever seen.  Lakoda, well is the alpha female; in charge and it doesn’t matter how large you are.  So after a year or so, I go  in search of dingo.  This time I go to the local animal shelter and bring little Dingo home, that was 8 years ago.  Blue accepts Dingo immediately.  Lakoda pretty much ignores him.  Blue and Dingo become best friends and are so today.  So the 3 Amigos are complete.

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