Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Bitter cold, temper tantrums...and the memory of his expression

We've had two days of zero degrees, but sunny. The winds are gone today. The wind here off the coast is strong and impressive, and then it echoes all around in the surrounding forest. But I do enjoy the cardinals in winter. Brings back memories of my parents and life in Minnesota with them.

I've been very temper tantrum prone due to the icey ground and the fact that extreme cold hampers my tasks. I just fly off the handle while I'm doing chores -like today when the goats split open a bag of feed before I could get it in the feed room. They head butted it and it was all over the ground. I had a fit. It dawned on me later that part of that is because I'm still upset White Dog is gone. My partner. I miss him. And even if he had not had bone cancer, 10 is getting up there for a large breed. Of course I don't get to be in charge of such things-perhaps it is best I can't control that.

I apologized to everyone in the barn for losing my temper. They didn't care. They had feed all over the ground to eat. they don't judge like we humans. They move on.

There will never be another dog like White Dog. As a friend pointed out to me in a lovely sympathy card, we all choose the dogs we bring into our lives-but White Dog chose us. And he got to us the year we decided to move to Maine where he could be in his beloved cold and snow. He hated rain. And I thought to myself, I gave him six winters here. I have hundreds of photos of him, and I'm grateful for that.

The night we put him down, we walked with the vet out to the barn, it was dark. And he greeted us like always. I keep seeing his expression he had on his face when we entered the barn. Tail wagged, ears pricked, happy to see us. I know we did the right thing, the leg had grown huge. the vet assured us it was the right thing too, and of course I had talked to White Dog a lot. But I do keep seeing the expression on his face that night- he was just happy to see all of us. And then he was gone.

White Dog arrived in such a mystical way that I know that will never happen again. I can't force a situation to happen like it did when he showed up out of the blue. The whole thing was a miracle.

Next week I'll start bringing Marcella out to the outer pasture...just to see how that feels. Out west she was my main helper, in Maine her duties shrunk a bit due to the layout here, and I want to try being with her more. She is very different than White Dog on so many levels. I'm open to another pup...the rescue dogs have a real risk factor and it's complicated by the many species we have here. 

I'm just trying to stay open.