Saturday, March 7, 2009

Goldie (and Christian's Flying Shoes etc...)

Goldie was our beloved yellow Labrador retriever and came to the farm in Christian's car after he stopped by the animal pound in Kingston. Goldie was big, boisterous and beautiful with the most amazing brown eyes you could ever imagine. She was a very curious dog, and always had her nose in or around something. She loved Christian and would follow him around the farm wagging her long tail and with a 'girlish' spring in her step.

Christian was ten years older than I was and left the farm when he was 21 if I recall correctly ... maybe it was earlier - I know when he reads this he will email me if I am wrong :-) ! His age is important because there was quite a difference in age between us and so when he brought Goldie home in his car I was at first excited and happy to see her but wondered what Mother and Father would think of another dog. No worries. They welcomed her into the family with open arms and so she became one of us. The only hitch was that she would sleep in Christian's room and be cared for primarily by Christian. ( sounds like something a parent would do.)

Christian, in addition to his love of animals, or perhaps, more to the point, his inability to visit the dog pound without leaving with one, also loved his sleep. He was a bear when it came to sleeping; snoring loudly, and ensuring his bed was piled high with covers, often at the expense of the rest of us. Some evenings the farmhouse was cold and often you would wake in a chill only to discover that the quilt Mother had made for you had mysteriously disappeared. If you checked Christian's room you would see that he had not only his own quilt warming him, but those of as many unsuspecting siblings as he could rob that particular night.

Christian did not like to be woken from his sleep, loved to sleep in and was very grouchy when you woke him for anything! So, you didn't...but then there was the matter of his roommate, Goldie. She was a sweet, sweet dog but needed to go out at night to pee and when she got out, it was never a simple matter of her getting to it and coming back in. Oh no! She had to sniff around the grounds, check on the chickens, run to the garage which was a good fifty yards from the house, and, generally, do a few things before she was ready to come back in. So Christian would invariably not wait for her to finish but would return to his warm bed and resume (or try to) his sleep....

Problem was , when Goldie had finished her rounds, she wanted to come in! She longed for the comfort of her sanctuary in Christian's room, the, to her ears only, sweet mellow sounds of his breathing and snoring and the warmth of the foot of his bed. She couldn't imagine where he was, why he had not waited for her, and she knew (somehow) which window in the farmhouse was his! Her only choice was to sit under his window and bark, and howl, and bark and bark and bark...she never stopped barking hoping he would come and save her from the loneliness of the farmyard at 4 am. Christian's answer to the problem - throw a shoe down at her, first one then she would sniff at it and move it around a little wondering if this were some human signal that said he was coming to get her - her beloved Christian! More barking...then another shoe....more sniffing, more waiting, more silence then more barking...another shoe ... more barking ...another shoe....more barking... an endless waltz of wills between man and dog!

Oh for goodness sakes! Finally someone let her in from outside and she was happy, all was silent again and Christian could sleep...but only Christian, since the rest of us typically had no covers on our beds and had been awakened by the calamity that was Christian and Goldie. In the morning, under Christian's window on the lawn, we could always find our shoes if they were missing from under our beds.

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