I like to say my girl loved sunsets but truth be told...she was spying on the horses in the valley below!
Recently while hiking with friends, a story of Mabel and the horses came up. As some horses passed us, all the dogs were leashed and taken just off the trail. The horses continued down; the dogs continued up. After a bit, the dogs were unleashed and I knew immediately, it was a mistake to unleash Mabel. She took off!
Hank and Sue's mom peered over the edge of the trail and declared all was well as the horses were so far down in the valley. Then I pointed the little black dot on the trail was chasing the horses. No one could believe Miss Lou had traveled that far that fast! I could! I yelled that I was going home and you cannot believe how fast she tore up that mountain and back to us! A winding trail that must cover a vertical drop of hundreds of feet and she was back to us in under a minute! What a brat!
Mabel's critter prowess and destruction of my fences was well underway! I used to stand in the backyard and marvel at all her scratch marks on the fences. I would wonder if an archeologist unearthed these fences with all those clawed lines, they would certainly think I held some wild beast captive here.
Below, Mabel thinks the possum that is actually on the top of the fence is under the bench.
As she was so critter driven and would not return to me on the trails, this is also the year I resorted to using a shock collar on her. It worked - most of the time!
Mabel's destruction was not limited to the fences...she started eating the deck this year! Always with a purpose!
Fences, deck, or my bedroom furniture...nothing was safe if it stood between Mabel Lou and a critter!
My college bestie came that summer. Yet another person for Mabel to love:
I NEVER got tummy time like that!
One of the best highlights of this year was that I got to spend Christmas at home with my girl. It was a chilly winter and I have lots of pics of her by her fireplace. Maggie was always a little afraid of the fire, but not Mabel. She loved it! I really hate that our recent winters have been so warm. She didn't get a fire in her later years. Mabel would always forgo her bed in favor of being right in front of the fire.
Mabel was such a hoot opening her gifts. I simply adore that she would come and kiss me between gifts! I've gifted human children with far less gratitude. The sense of gratefulness was commonplace with Mabel. She never ate a meal that she didn't come and kiss me afterwards. She thanked me for her toys, for a game of catch and for our trips to the creek. I would love when I would be standing on shore, taking it all in...taking her in... and she could come to me and hook her paw behind my knee to draw me closer. I think she, like me, would be so happy and overwhelmed with the beauty of the places we hiked that she just needed a hug!
Mabel then proceeded to bury the first toy she got that day. I get such a kick out of her need to "save" things! I equally enjoyed irritating her to no end! Shortly after the storm of 05, she buried a nice toy across the raging river. It took me a few years to be able to cross the river, but as soon as I could, I went over there and dug it up... just to get her goat! In fact, I know where her last toy is buried at the creek and tonight, at her funeral, I may just go dig it up! Her irritation with me is expressed when she realizes I'm video taping her here! Just cracks me up!!! (Does anyone else take such pleasure in messing with their dog???)
This is her on they way to the toy burial:
So sorry this post has been so long. Today is Mabel's funeral. All of the people and dogs she loved will gather and spread her ashes in her favorite spots. If you can, say a little prayer for us around 6 PST. I know it will be hard to see all of her friends.
I will leave you with is shot of Mabel on her sixth birthday.