Saturday, January 29, 2005

eva in the creek

eva in the creek, originally uploaded by sparakeet.

Eva is fading. my labrador of fourteen is mostly deaf now, sometimes confused, and her hips are giving away with increasing frequency. she moves carefully; considers 2 steps down for what seems an eternity before heading out to the yard. She has had many a crash lately - too quick of a turn and she finds her back end down, hip hitting hard, looking embarrassed somehow. She turns back to see if we saw that, a sad face that suggests she worries we might think less of her, that we might not remember her glory days as a young athletic dog.

This is a bittersweet time. I run my hands over her now lumpy body, comb her to silky perfection, snuggle her muzzle, whisper sweet somethings into ears that cannot hear, but know. I squeeze her little feet that have always reminded me of the buds of magnolias, and rub her sore hip areas. i am delighted when she stretches out her gams for me to massage them as well. She rubs her smiling face back and forth into the bed in an action i recognize as content. Every second is precious and i am really looking at her, more than i ever have, to sear her image into my heart. Saving things to store in my minds eye that no photograph could ever capture.

There are not many areas where i can look at my life and say i did (whatever) as best i could. But as far as raising and caring for a dog, I can honestly say that i have no regrets with the life that Eva has had with us. Our sweet girl. The ice storm provides an opportunity for our little family of man woman and dog to huddle up together inside and appreciate our beauties however impermanent they may be.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

little yellow jacket

little yellow jacket, originally uploaded by sparakeet.
A big ol red bull has captured my heart. all thirty two available TiVo recording hours in our home have been dedicated to championship bull riding in hope of seeing my hero, Little Yellow Jacket, buck off another cowboy. He's 1750 pounds of brangus beauty, one horn up and one horn down, all heart and a ton of attitude. He has a rating of 22.9 out of 25 possible points that a bull can have, and has been bucking bull of the year three times; the first bull to do so. In 88 career outings he has been ridden only 13 times. His average buck-off time is under 3 seconds. If a cowboy sits the 8 seconds on LYJ they can expect a high score and beaucoup respect.

There are many great bulls on the PBR circuit with colorful names like Sling Blade, Panda, Blueberry Wine, Mossy Oak Mudslinger, Uncle Charlie, and a new favorite of mine, Ugly, who might also be known as champion snot slinger. But Little Yellow Jacket is a superstar in that he knows he is a champion. Most bulls after bucking off a cowboy just head on into the exit chute, still kinda buckin', seemingly unaware of the crowd. Not Little Yellow Jacket. When he bucks off a cowboy he stares him down for a moment, holds his head up high, pausing to enjoy the much deserved praise, and turns with a certain adorable flair and trots off into the shoot. One day Little Yellow Jacket will retire and start a family. I anxiously await his future offspring and hope the attitude and the moves live on. Because of LYJ i am a bull riding fan for life. I sit before the glorious monolithic big screen TV watching LYJ in slow motion over and over, knowing there's some future paintings of him brewing. and i hear the exasperated voice of my husband from another room: "Bull Riding! Again?"