Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and The Bandit; The Beginning

 I am helping to prepare for the NGS Conference in Salt Lake City, UT on 28 April–1 May 2010.  As a result my posts are being few and far between.

This is my Sentimental Sunday post on The Hero Stories for the grandchildren.

In 1979, my hero and I moved to the country to help my parents.  My father had just had a heart attack and was not able to build the farm we had helped invest in.  The hero had never lived or worked on a farm.  We had been studying about living self sufficient on a 5 acre farm.  This seemed logical to do.  My father needed help and we wanted to see if we could do it.  The first duh...no house.  The second duh...the hero had to drive 54 miles one way to work and didn't get back home until after dark.  Things were not rosey.

My father had bought a cow for milking and some chickens.  He decided that we needed a red bone hound to keep the coyotes away at night.  Jake stories will be a later visit.  After a few years and two more cows, Jake passed away and left the hero looking for one: a herding helper, and two: his own dog.
A neighbor found an abandoned Blue Heeler at a farm that had been repossessed, called the hero and asked if he would be interested in taking it.  The hero went over and fell in love. Because of the patches over his eyes the family decided to call him Bandit.  Bandit and the hero were of kindred spirit.

Of course, we hadn't any idea how to train our newly acquired puppy, but we had great hopes when we read about the breed.
The first "trick" the hero attempted was to teach Bandit how to "sic 'em".  He decided that that was an important directive in the country.  Wild Pigs, loose animals, you name it and it would wander through.  Unfortunately, Bandit did not catch on.  When the hero said "sic 'em", Bandit would turn and run up to the hero and start barking.  Never did figure out what was going on in his mind, but we would all howl in laughter and Bandit thought he had done something good.  The behavior never changed through his life.
The other trick was to teach Bandit to "fetch".  This activity was one which Bandit loved.  Unfortunately, he was also a very aggressive and active dog.  The hero was never sure what shape the object thrown would come back in.  A ball even a hard ball would be nearly chewed in half in a few days.  A stick, even a piece of Two by Four, would be splinters by the time it got back.  Sticks were quickly banned in fear Bandit might swallow a piece of wood.
These two became the best of friends and many a night the hero would fix a blanket down on the floor in the living room for Bandit a bed, but Bandit's favorite bed was the hero's army jacket.  This was not too bad, unless Bandit had been rolling in something unsavory in the fields.  That was Bandit's favorite passtime.  To find something really stinky to roll in.  It earned him his nickname...stink dog.
Wish we had more pictures of him, but many of my pictures were ruined and many things we just did not catch on film.
Next time Bandit, The Hero, and the Cows.