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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Snoopy Running Free

Miki and Snoopy - Colorado 1969

I called and called, clapping my hands loudly, trying to quell my rising fear and anger - fear that Miki would be lost forever; anger that Snoopy had, once more, led him astray.
Miki and Snoopy - penned up

Snoopy was a medium-sized dog of dubious lineage. With gray and black short hair and built like a small tank, he arrived on the doorstep of our rural Colorado home not long after we’d moved in. He quickly made himself at home and became fast friends with Miki, our 7 month old Sheltie.

A pet of our home’s previous owners, who moved out of state and could or would not take him, he had been given to friends who lived several miles away. The problem was, Snoopy only knew one home - and it was now ours. His new owners guessed where he was and retrieved him, but over the course of months, Snoopy returned “home” time after time. Finally, his new owners said he was ours.

We did not want him, but decided to keep him until we could find him a new home. He was a friendly dog, with a happy-go-lucky personality. We soon discovered, however, that Snoopy had some less-than-desirable traits. He was filthy and smelled bad, but turned nasty at any effort to bathe him. He was extremely stubborn, blatantly not housebroken, refused all training. Although he lived at our house, ate and slept there, I suspect he had never really been “owned” by anyone - any effort to contain him failed. When he escaped and roamed the hills, Miki went with him.

Backyard laundry

So here they both came, happily loping through the pines - dragging pieces of someone’s damp laundry behind them. Horrified, I scolded them both soundly and put them back in their pen, pondering what to do next. Obviously someone was missing laundry, but I had no idea who or where they lived. Perhaps they did not yet even know it was missing, so I could easily ignore the theft - plead ignorance and never be found out. But somehow, that just didn’t feel right.

Swallowing my anger - and pride - I strolled through the woods in the direction from which the dogs had come. Before long, a tidy little home appeared among the trees; fresh laundry hung on a clothesline in the yard. Hesitantly tapping on the door, I blurted out the tale of the wayward dogs to the woman who answered. Rosemary invited me in, offered refreshment, and became my first neighborhood friend there.

Snoopy - always led the pack

She and her family proved to be good neighbors during the four years we lived there. They watched our house, collected our mail and paper when we were gone; their teenage boys cared for Miki and the next puppy we got. She and her husband were older than we were, but we exchanged dinners several times, helped each other through the Colorado snowstorms. We’ve kept in touch, still exchanging Christmas cards and letters these many years later.

And Snoopy? Neither of us can remember exactly what became of him. My husband thinks we found him a new owner; I picture him running away one last time, alone. But I will never forget him, and the wonderful neighbors his errant ways led me to.

Snoopy running free

I truly hope that he’s still wandering free - wherever free-spirited dogs go...

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Ephesians 4: 25-27

3 comments:

  1. I remember Miki, Mini, Widget and a couple of liiters of puppies... and put the mini-motorcycle through that fence... but never met Snoopy. So... he was gone to wherever he went by fall of 1968 when my family visited Colorado while I searched for colleges. It was fun to see the Colorado photos again and to think about your wonderful Selties.

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  2. It IS fun to remember - these pictures were slides which we've not yet converted to digital ones, so I re-took them with our digital camera while projecting them on the wall. They're not the best quality, but are 41 years old, after all! You DID meet Snoopy, as the pictures of the snow were in Nov. of 69 & I have pictures of your family visiting us right then. In fact, the picture of Snoopy leading the pack has you 3 girls (& probably Pepper) running in the background! However, I'm sure Snoopy was gone by the time you next visited us while in school. Also, you did run the motorcycle through a fence, but it was a rough picket fence on the front of the house - these pictures of the dogs penned were in the back. Minor details, but we all had some good times & I love those Shelties still - wherever they may be - probably harassing the heck out of Snoopy...

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  3. cute story Ladybug!!!!
    and hopefully...like you said...where ever snoopy may have gone...where ever she is now...she's running around, just being herself...free spirited!
    i love your pictures, and will be back for sure, to look around more! ((especially that SNOW picture!! aaaah...i miss the freezing cold...the snow...the icicles...)) :]

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