Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Willow - Bella - Nessie - Willow

Think this would ever happen before the advent of the internet?

I received a phone call this morning.  Early.  As in, I had just gotten up and let the dogs out.  It was from a very nice gentleman in a place called Porcupine, South Dakota.  Being fairly geographically-competent, I kinda knew where this conversation was going.

It seems, this man does some coyote hunting every year around Thanksgiving near Casper, Wyoming.  This past Thanksgiving, his favorite dog.. a black and white 3/4 coyote hound x 1/4 Scottish Deerhound named "Willow", escaped from her truck box, and was last seen chasing Pronghorn.  Though they stayed in the area for 3 days looking for her, even going back at night time with spotlights, she was gone.  They made the assumption that she was dead.. either run to death by the Pronghorn, or a collision with an embankment or some other immovable object.

The scene now shifts to somewhat later.  Early in December, a stray, fitting the same description is picked up by Casper Animal Control, and at some point is adopted out under the name "Bella".  Apparently the person adopting this dog expected some drooling, happy, jump-in-your-lap-and-lick-your-face black lab-type dog.  After 6 days, she was returned to the Casper shelter.

I don't know the details of how the rest of this tale gets to the present, but I can probably construct a plausible scenario.  After a certain amount of time, with no more potential adopters, "Bella" was scheduled for euthanasia.  Which is where, apparently, Black Dog Animal Rescue, being a "no kill" shelter, comes into the picture.. , and therefore, where Margaret and I come into the picture, as recorded in the previous post.

So, back to the phone call.  The gentleman from Porcupine wasn't trying to get his dog back, as I initially feared. He "thought (I'd) like to know something about (my) new dog."  And this is her story:  She comes from some very accomplished coyote hunting stock.   Her father is a large, black coyote hound named "Tippy".  Why "Tippy"?  I'm not sure, but it might be because he has three legs, and despite this handicap, was still capable of chasing and killing coyotes.  Her mother, "Sting", is half Deerhound, half coyote hound.  Willow was his favorite dog, and he just wanted me to know he was happy that she ended up in a good home.  So just as we will with the Black Dog people, we'll be touching base periodically with this Mr Vaughn in South Dakota.  (it's kinda like your adopted kid being able to finally find his birth parents)..  I think we're going to go back to the name, Willow.  She seems to respond to it, and it's easier to call loudly.

We've been exceptionally lucky with all of the dogs who have come into our lives from varied and sundry sources.  Randir, the deerhound who outlived all his mates and contemporaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who had an unofficial national fan club, and her sister, Fanny.  We're still learning about the talents, practical and comedic, of little Miss Ashley.  Even Rally the broken, epeliptic coldblood greyhound had her moments  I see no reason for our luck to change now  Timing, it seems, really is everything.


  1. well how about that. I'm surprised he doesn't want his dog back, but glad he's happy she's in a home with a similar lifestyle.

  2. He also mentioned that she's quite the cat killer, although Gabriel's already figured that out. He's decided to spend the rest of his days living well above floor level. He now hangs out in the large wicker etegre... in what we call "knick knack mode".

  3. Oh gosh, I got this guy's message yesterday but it was late and I couldn't call him back. I'm hoping he got your number from your website and our blog, because he definately did not get it from me. I'm glad he's not trying to get her back though. She was in the shelter for well over a month before the first people adopted her (the one's who called her Bella), and no one ever called or came looking for her. I wonder why he took so long to call the shelter and check? I guess I'm glad it worked out though and she's still staying with you. Tressa will be disappointed in the name change though :)

  4. My life, (and phone number) is pretty public. He and his friends knew of me from photos I took several years ago at the Loomis gathering.

    I bet if I did an informal poll, the name "Willow" would win easily. Just try this test- stick your head out the window and yell "Nessie" as loud as you can. Then try it with "Willow"... much more lung power engaged ;)
    And your neighbors will give you weird looks either way.