Saturday, January 8, 2011


Gentle Readers,

My beloved Faulkner, the conniving canine who stole the marshmallows from my cocoa, was a worrywart.

As I've said before, he had an intuitive intelligence. Perhaps because he had only us to herd (Favorite Young Woman would get off the school bus and I'd let him out to herd her up the driveway and into the garage because he was convinced she couldn't handle this task alone), he also made it his job to take care of us and when we adopted other dogs, he took care of them too.

If I dropped something and didn't notice, he would stare and refuse to leave the item until I took care of it. He made sure the doggie water bowl was always full. If it lacked water, he jerked his head toward it to tell me to get up and fill it. He alerted me when it was dinner time. If the other dogs needed to go out or felt ill in the middle of the night, he made sure I knew. He touched my nose with his cold wet nose to awaken me, and if that didn't work, he used his collie proboscis to pick my head up off the pillow.

He was my protector. Once when we were out walking late in the evening, he saw a small snake in the street and jumped to attention, ready to strike and keep me safe. I had nothing to fear when I was in Faulkner's gentle paws.

And he was a worrier. Oh, such a worrier. If things weren't right at home, he knew it. A disagreement, a voice raised in anger, and the worried look appeared in his eyes and he immediately sat and offered his paw for a handshake because that was a surefire people pleaser and he wanted his people happy.

A noise during the night caught his attention immediately. Storm on the way? He knew before the weather channel. School bus parked out front. What was wrong? He used his emergency bark only when he was really concerned. The rest of the time it was his normal bark or collie talk, which if you've never heard it, is hilarious. I have no way to represent it in words.

He liked Beck. He went up to the speaker and listened so carefully when the donkey brayed on Odelay, one of my all-time favorite CDs. He was tolerant of cats. He slept on the bed with Milhous and liked it when Milhous stood on tiptoes to rub the top of his head on Faulkner's chin. He simply looked perplexed when F.Cat Fitzgerald, the smallest adult cat I've ever seen, slapped him on the nose.

No matter how hard he worked, though, to keep everything under control in his house, the slightest problem upset him so horribly. Favorite Young Woman was upset about something several months ago and she described her feelings as that of a worried collie who wants to shake hands. Perhaps we shall always think of ourselves in terms relating to the King of Collies.

I think it was a bit of a relief for him when he went deaf and he no longer heard what used to worry him. He seemed to lose the feeling he was responsible for everyone.

And now he flies on the wings of the angels, the best worried warrior that ever lived.

Infinities of love,


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