Did you know all dogs are related to the gray wolf? Canis familiaris is a direct descendent of canis lupus. All dogs are domesticated wolves.

What’s interesting is that the transformation of wolves to dogs happened about 130,000 years ago, long before humans settled down. So, it seems, humans didn’t domesticate the wolf, the wolf outsmarted us. They are very successful free loader. They found a way to get us to take them in out of the cold. Feed and love them. I tell this to Boots everyday.

Boots is the new puppy. Properly named, she loves to chew on boots, socks and shoes. Her favorite toy is one of pair of new $60.00 boots she stole from a man working on my land. He’d taken them off to put on his work boots and she made off with them. I think she buried one. The other she plays with like a hunting dog plays with a chicken. Shake.  Toss. Chase. Drop. Start all over.

i am one who could never be happy without a zoo to tend. Back to ‘we are all the end product of our past’, my father raised me to love and take care of animals. I was happy in the barn with a pitchfork, my faithful pack of friendly dogs beside me in the stall. I still am. I’m happiest  in the barn with a pitch fork. Turn me loose with a vacuum cleaner in the house and watch the wicked old witch of the west emerge triumphant.

On a local Kauai note: I’m sure glad the oath takers, they who swear to god they will never read me, never read me. I’d never hear the end of that confession.

Boots came home from the Humane Society the day after my beloved Shepherd /Rottweiler, Brooks was buried in the garden with his bowl, his favorite toy and a stick he loved to chase. This is another trick my father taught me-he was an incredibly wise and good father-when a beloved dog dies replace him/her immediately.

Brooks was a him. Boots is a her.

She was the largest puppy up for adoption. Also the oldest. She’d been classified as Pitbull type but I think she’s probably more Boxer with maybe some Ridgeback somewhere in the hay stack. She has that wonderful energy. That joy. That bounce. The soft eyes. The great sense of humor.  She, as I constantly remind her,  is all the dogs the world has ever know rolled up in one.

One of the most dangerous things you can do with an animal is introduce it to a new environment. Boots had to learn how to live with and around a huge sacred dog-that’s what the Indians called the horse. This end bites. That end kicks and it’s not to safe to take shelter in the middle. She had to learn to play with the kids, they were all the same size. No nipping, no chasing, no stealing food. She learned from them how to climb trees.

She had to learn that the big bird with the long tail was not to be messed with either, and cats have claws.

She’s fast learner. And a joyful presence in my life.


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