There’s this fella named John Perkins who runs an outfit called The Wild Bunch. It’s just him, his wife, and a passel of dogs, many of them Shelties, ranging from…well, who can tell how many of them there are. John has this incredible talent for story telling and his tales usually make me reach for the tissues. Whether they’re about something good or something painful, I almost always end up crying. He has such a talent for crawling right up behind his dogs’ eyes and seeing the world the way they do. Plus — and I think this is a Good Thing — he shamelessly anthropomorphizes!
Here’s one of John’s recent works (with his permission):
Today started out like many others, get up too early because the dogs wanted me to. Get my feet bit before I could get them off the bed fast enough for Rhymes liking. The brewing and unmistakable smell of fresh ground coffee. I fed the dogs listening to the deafening bark that only 17 dogs could make, the only one not barking was Sissy the rescue that has been here for a week. Sissy stayed in Noel’s room till I came over to pick her up and take her outside. Sissy I was told is 10 years old and has very bad hips, you can feel the crackling in her hips as you put your hands on them and move them back and forth. Both of her owners had passed away this year and there was nobody to take care of her needs so she came to live with us. Not very much justice for a dog her age and with her ambulatory problems to face after 10 years of faitful service to people that she loved but she has accepted her fate.
After doing some chores around town I just beat the rain and thunder showers home on my motorcycle and got it covered and inside just before the deluge hit. The winds were blowing hard and you could hear the rain hitting the windows as it came down. I sat at the computer to check emails and I heard a sound from the past. It was a bark that was unmistakable where it was soft and trailed off to a little bit of a higher pitch. I felt goose bumps come up on my arms and tears in my eyes as I remembered Cupid our 14 year old Sheltie that passed away, it was he who had that very bark. I stood up and all the other dogs started barking as I walked down the hall but there was only one bark I could hear through the deafening noise and that was the Cupid bark. I walked to Noels room and looked down at Sissy and it was she that brought back my many memories of days past. I sat down on the floor with Sissy and held her in my arms and covered her with tears of remembrance of days gone past. After the rain had stopped I took Sissy out front so she could be outside without all the other dogs running around her. Then off in the background the sound of thunder could be heard again. Sissy’s ears perked up and she bounded towards the sound bouncing on her two front legs as she came to a stop. Again tears filled my eyes as I remember the same bounce from Cupid. Yes tears were shed today but they were for a new dog that brings back happy memories of days past.
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John has given me permission to include his stories in this blog from time to time, for which I thank him. But you might want to go to his rather extensive archives and browse for stories that catch your eye (instead of mine). Just be sure you have a box or two of tissues before you start reading! John’s stories can be found at The Wild Bunch News. You won’t get bored any time soon — there are about 450 to 500 stories there!
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