Photo courtesy of The Old Cowboy Archives
I really don’t remember how long Rose had been with us…..She came here to live with us after our old home raised dog Tee Tee died….Tee Tee was the one we kept from the only litter of puppies we ever raised…..They were sired by Monte and out of Montana Crystal, or Tana. Tana and her daughter Tee Tee were known as the Gator Girls. They were a tough pair and both were absolutely devoted to Marie and they would bite a stranger as quick as a gator would. Thus the name. Even regular visitors like our long time Neighbor Jack who had seen both of them raised from pups and was a nearly daily visitor due to the cows, was not immune from those teeth. When Jack knocked on the door he put one hand on the handle to keep the girls from opening it…..
But time passes and ravages us all….and we have an ever expanding graveyard of family members to remind us…..
This week Rose joined those who had preceded her.
Rose came to us from Aussie Rescue and was the first dog we rescued. I remember having to fill out application and having my references checked and we even had to be inspected. On inspection Day our Aussies Lore and Maggy were present when the Aussie Rescue lady, Susan, brought Rose to check us out….
I was sitting on the edge of the porch and when Susan let Rose out of her car, Rose walked across the yard and came over and put her head in my lap to be petted….I asked Susan how long it took her to teach Rose that trick….Susan was mortified and said she guessed the inspection was over as Rose seemed to have made her decision. Lore and Maggy were introduced and Lore nonchalantly ignored the new comer and loving Maggy embraced her immediately.
And so Rose became part of our pack. Lore was the alpha dog at that time, which Rose had no problem with even though Rose was nearly twice the size of little Loreal. About three days in Loreal decided to discipline Rose over some triviality….there was a good bit of snapping and snarling and every time Baby Jim would pull Rose off of Loreal, Loreal would jump up and try to tackle Rose again. Finally Baby Jim got a hand on both collars and put an end to it…..only to hear that ever the non partisan Marie was vehemently stating……”I won’t have it….she has got to go.” Over and over again….
We only know of one other time when Lore tried to assert her dominance with similar result, except that Marie tried to get in the middle and one of them bit her….. and then life evolved into a tolerant harmony…..Rose had no desire to be in charge and Lore thought she had proven her point. And Marie became accepting as well and for years after, Baby Jim was heard talking to Rose telling her “I won’t have it…She has got to go.” As he chuckled in amusement….while Marie fed her treats.
While drafting this, we have searched for photos of Rose when she came here….Sadly while we have photos, they are on digital media for which we have no device to retrieve them. We have stacks of 3.5 inch discs and a small stack of zip drives. So the oldest photo I can put my eyes on is 2008. And this album has photos of Maggy and Toby who have both passed on as well.
Rose. She always loved to lay by a fan or ride in the air conditioned truck.
Toby and Rose lying under the kitchen table…..
Sweet old Maggy
When Rose got here she was housebroken and ever the lady and only wanted some attention and affection. Maggy was head of security at that time and Rose became her back up. Maggy would sound the alarm and Rose had a camouflage of looking intimidating….but she loved everyone….
She was the first dog I ever had who liked to play with mice like a cat. She would catch them and then lay them between her outstretched paws and let them try to run away so she could catch them again….fully half of roses Mice escaped unharmed by running under her and out the back when she stood to look for them. Little Lore used to hate that….she was an intense little cattle dog and thought it foolish to play with mice. If one escaped Rose, Lore would grab it and quickly dispatch it. After Lore was gone Rose taught both Toby and Later Dee Dee this game. Dee Dee had a mole just last week….
This trick brought Rose the only calamity she ever had with us. She was hunting for mice and ended up Snake bit by a copperhead. Her head swelled up like a basketball and we took her to the emergency clinic and they pulled her through…
I spied and got the offending snake about two weeks later and had to turn over a 100 gallon water trough to get him but he got his just deserts…..
For years Rose was my nighttime foot warmer….when I got on the sofa and turned the tee vee on as soon as I put my feet up Rose would jump up and lay her head on my legs….she would lay there as long as long as there was a hand on her….
Rose was a lot like my first Aussie, Monte, and I used to tell her that I thought Monte had sent her to look out for me and she would just look at me and lick my hand as if to say “Of course he did, silly.” When Loreal passed away both Maggy and Marie took it very hard…Lore died in the bed sleeping not far from Marie….And Marie picked out Toby to take up the slack. Maggy adjusted and accepted Toby, but he became Roses Dog. We are crazy people….even our dogs have dogs….Then years later when Toby passed away and Devil Dog Dee Dee came here she was adopted and raised by Rose.
In advanced years Rose would lay in the floor and wrestle and play with this bundle of fur and teeth….Dee Dee would grab Rose by the collar or her ear or her neck and just run along side her, as Rose always accompanied me on evening chores. Rose accepted this and it carried on to the end…As Rose got older and more infirm we tried to stop the behavior in Dee Dee but she had difficulty changing and finally came to understand what ‘don’t hurt her’ meant.
Like all our aussies Rose loved to ride in the truck….didn’t matter where to or how far…she just wanted to ride and preferably with her head in my lap.
About two years ago we found some lumps on Rose and took her to the vet….They gave a grim prognosis and offered to do several thousand dollars worth of exploratory surgery and chemotherapy on her…..with no promise of improvement. I asked if she was in pain and they said probably not yet and that they didn’t expect her to go six months….Two years later she bagan to decline…A tumor in her udder blew up….not the one in her neck that they thought would take her out….but she was still vibrant and alive and enjoying life. Then she began to slow down and other symptoms began to show….A daily aleve seemed to push back the pain and she was running and playing….then trouble urinating and discharges…..but she was still so happy and loving, just at a slower pace….last week her eyes began to dull and then Thursday she became extremely nauseous . Marie called me to tell me how sick she was, so I called the vet and came home early.
Knowing this was coming and knowing how bonded Dee Dee was to Rose we had begun searching for another Aussie. I had hit all the aussie rescue sites and then suddenly BARK right here near home had a registered Aussie. We had not dealt with BARK and had to go through their application process. We wanted Dee Dee to have some time to adjust….We got approved but not soon enough…..I could not have Rose suffer unnecessarily….
When I got home Rose came to greet me and put her head in my lap and wagged her butt feebly. I asked her if she wanted to ride and she headed for the door….She spent her last hour riding in the truck with her head in my lap…I did okay until we headed home and I nearly wrecked the truck because I could not see.
On Friday I buried Rose, but I dared not let Dee Dee know because she was as distraught as I , and I am sure that if she knew she would have dug her up. Dee does not like to Ride like the aussies, but she tolerates it….and she was by my side all day Friday and Saturday.
Saturday afternoon we got the new Aussie Apache and they are bonding better than I had anticipated. But that is another story and I can already tell that Monte and Rose have sent this dog to take care of me and Dee Dee…..He is just a few months older than Dee Dee and I have already told them both that they have to outlive me cause I am not sure I can do this again.