I got some bad news while we on the way to the pow wow. I won't get to see Poodle anymore.
"Poodle" was a cream colored cocker spaniel and he arrived on my grandmother's farm about six years ago. My dad said he saw Poodle near town as he drove through but didn't think anything about it. A little while after he got to the farm, Poodle came ambling up the driveway and decided to stay. The amazing thing is that my dad drove normal speed - about fifty or so - and the farm is about ten minutes out of town. There's no way Poodle could have kept up with him, yet there he was.
Poodle was his own dog. After my grandmother died almost two years ago, Poodle had full run of the farm - not that he didn't have it already. His fur, with that long, characteristic cocker fringe on his legs and belly, stayed in a permanent mat because he was always roaming the fields. More than once he "protected" the farm from the terrible turtle menace, grabbing up the unfortunate critters and tossing them into the air with an equally menacing growl - or as menacing as it could be with a mouthful of turtle.
He also had an attachment to the Ford tractor - he would sleep in the barn near it and several times wouldn't even let me get on the thing so I could help with the hay. Unfortunately, that attachment was evidently his downfall. My dad was cutting hay in one of the more remote fields and didn't see Poodle until it was too late. The mower caught poor Poodle on the right hind leg.
By the time my dad got him to the vet, he had lost a lot of blood. That and what was known about Poodle's age worked against him. Part of the leg would have had to be removed and the vet said he probably wouldn't even survive surgery. Poor Poodle had to be put down.
The farm won't seem the same without Poodle there. Whenever I was there, I would take a long walk over the property and he would always go along. Sometimes, if I dawdled too long at the pond, he would stop whatever it was he was doing to come running over to me. It was his way of saying, "Hey! What are you doing just standing there looking at all that boring water? We've got all this grass to run over and explore! There's turtles to toss!" Usually, he got his way and off we'd go again.
Oh, Poodle. You were a great dog and I miss you already. I know you though - you're already roaming new fields and protecting them from those horrible turtles.