Three Dog Night

By all rights we should not have had a very small puppy in a wire crate next to our bed on the morning of December 19, three years ago. When Tsuga died suddenly on December 5, we vowed we’d live out the pain before we dared open our home and hearts to another darned dog.


You know how such things go–the empty places where their faces always appeared, the missing sounds, the unmet need to love and to be warmed in the guileless fidelity of a familiar friend, now gone. You think you can live without them once that the decision has been thrust by mortality upon you and that is just the way things are.

But this far-flung fenceless playground and Mole Ranch (and its ranchers) could not go on until the pain subsided, and on December 18, we brought home an 8-week rescue pup from a Walmart parking lot in Carroll County.  We called her Gandy–my crafted feminine for gander–of Goose Creek.

And on December 19, we began our first full day together.  So how could I, this very morning, write about anything else? Herself watches me at the keyboard from her accustomed place on the loveseat–HER loveseat now–where Buster, then Tsuga could nestle briefly and by invitation only.  She OTOH is nestled permanently and sometimes grants us permission to share.

So happy three-year homecoming anniversary, mutt. We hope you’ll keep us as we’re paper-trained and don’t jump up on visitors or sniff inappropriately at strangers or delivery persons.

Gandy Has Entered the Building! | Fragments from Floyd

If Life Gives You Gandy… | Fragments from Floyd


Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Happy Gotcha-Day, Gandy! One of the biggest reasons I have multiple dogs is that I don’t think I could survive being dogless!